This first volume of the collection contains books 1 and 2 of the series: The City of Shifting Waters – in its original two parts, 9 pages longer format – and The Empire of a Thousand Planets. It also includes book 0, Bad Dreams, translated into English for the first time: the very first adventures of our two heroes, published after City and retroactively numbered. Finally, linking the volumes of this collection together, a long, exclusive interview with the authors and director Luc Besson is illustrated with new art as well as numerous sketches, studies and photographs from the latter’s upcoming big-screen adaptation.
In this book you will find volumes 3 to 5: The Land Without Stars, Welcome to Alflolol and Birds of the Master – three stories that introduce the societal criticism aspect of the series. Battle of the sexes, totalitarianism and extreme productivism are lambasted, but never at the expense of fantasy or of the action. And as they travel from world to distant world, Laureline becomes a truly equal partner, far from the stereotypical female sidekick roles of the time. Finally, the second part of the exclusive interview with the authors and director Luc Besson is followed by an in-depth portrait of Pierre Christin, the writer.
This third book of the collected edition contains volumes 6 to 8: Ambassador of the Shadows – the story that directly inspired Luc Besson’s film – On the False Earths and Heroes of the Equinox. Over the course of these titles, among the finest in the series, Laureline takes her rightful place as the brains of the outfit, while Valerian fully embraces his role as anti-hero: always brave, but often a bit out of his depth. You will also find the end of the interview with Luc Besson and the authors, and an in-depth portrait of Jean-Claude Mézières, the artist.