Buck Danny 45 -- Les secrets de la mer Noire
Cinebook ltd 2010
Written by Jacques De Douhet
Illustrated by Francis Bergèse
Coloured by Frédéric Bergèse
It is the end of the Cold War—supposedly the era of glasnost and perestroika. The Soviet Union is about to come apart at the seams. Buck Danny is sent as an observer and adviser to help the Russian army deal with its arsenal of nuclear weapons and some of its rogue units. But old Communist habits die hard, and some of the Red Army hardliners have other plans. The pilot finds himself over the Black Sea, where he locates some unusual prototypes.
This is my new favourite series. It also holds the dubious distinction of being one of my highly recommended all time favourite series, it is in my top 5 series now and if this doesn’t tell you how good it is then I don’t know what will. There is something absolutely magical about the book, it’s characters and how everything comes together and creates this stunning story that is for everyone, not just fans of war books and stories. I am such a fan of this and I cannot believe it’s taken me this long to find it. When I talked to Jerome about working with them I already had one title that I really liked and wanted to review, then I thought let’s try this one too, nearly an afterthought but ya know sometimes you find something truly and utterly amazing when you aren’t looking for it or expecting it.
The way this is being told is perfectly done. The story & plot development keeps moving forward through how we see the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information, all of which is presented extremely well. How the story is woven in, through, around and entwined with the character development that we see just impresses me like so few can. The character development we see through the situations and circumstances that they find themselves in continues to have them grow and evolve as people. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages pulling back the layers of the story and revealing the twists and turns along the way is expertly rendered. How we see the structure of the book, with its layers and multiple locations and the introduction of new characters is done so well. Everything we see here works together to create the ebb & flow for the book and I gotta say it’s a joy to read a 54 page book that doesn’t feel so long when it's being read.
The interiors here are so incredibly mind bogglingly well done. The linework is divine and how we see the various techniques and weight within the linework and how this showcases the attention to the detail work is astounding. The devil’s in the details, that’s the saying right? Well I wouldn’t be surprised if he made a deal with the devil for this level of talent and skill that he demonstrates. From how we see the various aircraft and how well detailed and shown that they are to the characters with their own unique individual quirks, you have to see them for yourself, it all has this incredible consistency to it. How we see backgrounds being utilised is wonderfully done and they not only enhance the moments or show us how tight quarters can be they bring us this great depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show such a masterful eye for storytelling. The colour work is divine. It really manages to bring us that old school feel and yet how the hues and tones within the colours are being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is sublime. There is a true mastery of craft that we see here and how to inherently know how the shading should be and how the colours work on the subtle side is breathtaking.
This is going to be the one book you think you’ll skip or pass on that will gnaw in the back of your mind till you pick one up. Then it’ll all be over. This is so masterfully written, and gorgeously illustrated it reminds you that this is why comics were created in the first place.