The most famous superheroes are Americans, but they are far from the only ones! France and its renowned French comics (bande dessinée) has also known many forgotten superheroes, and several current authors are keen to rediscover them. There is also a plethora of newcomers to this small but influential world of French speaking super heroes. Heres our quick take on some influential crusaders which we hope would give a different vision of superheroes …
La Brigade Chimérique
Serge Lehman began a titanic work with La Brigade Chimérique, a work he continues in other albums (L’Oeil de la nuit, Masqué …). This ambitious work offers nothing less than a reinterpretation of French and more broadly European popular culture, through a host of fictional characters that appeared mainly in the form of serials, and deals with their disappearance on the eve of the Second World War. He brings the worlds of early twentieth century literature up to date, and gives a refreshing to the theme of the superman, in the company of various contributors to the screenplay and illustrations. It invites us to rediscover a rich and diverse world and also shows that the themes of the golden era of superhero comics are still relevant today.
This iconic series kicks off its story in the months leading up to World War I. The French army is working on a super-soldier project, “Les Sentinelles”: its objective is to transform mutilated combatants into indestructible robots. A scientist, Gabriel Féraud, invents a revolutionary battery capable of increasing the autonomy and power of these warriors, but he refuses to cede his invention to the army. Mobilized and sent to the trenches where he is seriously injured, he ends up becoming Taillefer, the leader of the Sentinelles. In this famous bande dessinée Dorison revisits the history of the First World War and the various battles that marked it, all served by the superb illustrations of Enrique Breccia, which brilliantly transcribe the horrors of war. Or how war transforms people, willingly or by force …
This unique series by Rémi Gourrierec, features quite ordinary children who discover that their father is a superhero: when the latter disappears, they decide to take over his role. However, once they get over the enthusiasm of the beginning, they realize that being a super hero requires many sacrifices … Big Crunch is distinguished by the importance given to the daily life of its main characters: we see them struggling to keep their new activity a secret, and hide as much as possible the disappearance of their father . The black and white drawings contribute to the atmosphere, and reinforce the dynamism of the story: the lines are edgy, and the decor allow the action to be easily situated. The division into chapters borrows from the tradition of french comics while the characters evoke manga, in a mixture of influences that gives a unique touch to this series, which takes on the theme of superheroes in an original way.
A television series directed by Simon Astier, Hero Corp has been adapted into a comic book, following its success on the small screen. Simon Astier wrote the script for the books, while Louis, Stéphane Créty and Kyko Duarte served as illustrators for the series. The series explains the origins of several beloved superheros in the television series-Captain Extreme Sports or Jean Mi Cheng, for example. Hilarious and exhilirating, Hero Corp confirms that not all superhero stories need to be dead serious and dark. They could be a lot of fun too!
Not all these books are available widely in translation. In case you would like to start reading French literature in French, you can always enroll yourself for an online French Course at Babel School of Languages 🙂 Just click on the contact us tab!