Leo & Rodolphe, Marchal: Namibia. Episodes 1-3.
Leo & Rodolphe, Marchal
Namibia. Episodes 1-3
9781849182812; 9781849182829; 9781849182836 Cinebook, 2016, pp48, 7.99 [pounds sterling]
This science fiction adventure series from the Franco-Belgian stable of Cinebook is a sequel to their memorable first season set in Kenya in 1947. It involved British Secret Service agent Kathy Austin encountering strange phenomena while investigating mysterious disappearances. In Namibia the feisty, smart and sassy lady returns to tackle the bizarre sighting of Reichsmarshall Hermann Goring (supposedly deceased four years previously when he committed suicide during the Nuremberg Trials). But is this the only anomaly she is destined to face?
As each volume progresses, moving from one puzzling cliff-hanger to the next, it seems at times as if Leo and Rodolphe have raided a sweet shop of cliched adventure, science fiction and espionage tropes. Is Kathy dealing with biblical plagues, Golems, The Boys from Brazil, Frankenstein, Night of the Living Dead, Close Encounters of the Third Kind or The Second Coming? Marchal's artwork enhances the story as he portrays peculiar occurrences and perilous situations. Imbued by Bouet's ever changing palette ranging from the brilliant cerulean blue sky, verdant green and sandy yellow of the Namibian desert to the murky grey greens, earthy browns and sober reddish tones of London to the overcast greys of Chicago Marchal's panels convey expressive characters reflecting grim determination, bewilderment, fear, shock and anger in their faces as sinister events continue to unfold.
In spite of its melee of tangled plots, Namibia has its strengths. Kathy is a capable agent who dominates her colleague, the misogynistic and racist Major Bowley. Namibia will appeal to readers who like a fanciful yarn with a dash of feminism. There are two volumes left in the series which no doubt will unravel more mysteries. Are all the strange happenings linked to an alien conspiracy (flying saucers adorn the back cover of each book) or merely the skulduggery of agents of a foreign power? Whether the threads will come together or not remains to be seen. Warning Partial Nudity. Caution 15 + rating.