Space Pirate Captain Harlock: Comic Review

A while back, I reviewed the 1978 Space Pirate Captain Harlock anime on the blog. My general verdict was that, after finishing the show, it was an enjoyable work of space opera. Well, almost 40 years after the series originally aired, the story is getting revisited and expanded in the form of a comic by Leiji Matsumoto & French comic writer Jerome Alquire.

One of the covers for the Space Pirate Captain Harlock comic

I didn’t mistype – this is a comic, not a manga – the art is by French artists, though they are mimicing Matsumoto’s work. The comic is set at an unspecified point during the events of the series, as the crew of the Arcadia is facing off the Mazone invasion. The plot introduces a new character, a woman who is the sole survivor of her world’s conquest by the Mazone, and she is seeking several experimental Mazone weapons in order to turn them on their creators and wipe out the Mazone – and she’ll hapilly destroy Humanity and Earth in the process, putting her in opposition with Harlock.

That said, this series place within the larger narrative killed the tension. I know from the show that the villain’s plan will fail, and the only characters in permanent jeopardy are characters unique to the comic. This doesn’t mean the comic is a bad read. Quite the contrary, as the writing is engaging and fits with the story of the original show.

The art, as mentioned earlier, fits with the style of Matsumoto’s existing work, but with what feels like more vibrant colors. This might be a case where the series had to use darker colors for broadcast, but this is closer to the original intent (in terms of the colors).

I absolutely recommend picking this comic up, either from your FLCS, or from Comixology.

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