Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Secret History Book Fourteen: The Watchers

Written by Jean-Pierre Pécau
Art by Igor Kordey

This issue of The Secret History is vastly different from all the previous ones.  Usually, any given installment of this long story that spans the entirety of human history will contain a few sub-plots, as well as check in on the Archons or some of the major players that have been introduced since the second volume began.  The Watchers really only tells one story - that of Daniel Rosenthal.

The story is set in Paris in the days immediately following the end of the Second World War.  Much of Paris is rubble, and whole neighbourhoods stand empty, as very few people have returned to the city yet.  Rosenthal was a shady art dealer before the war, most of which he spent locked up in a German concentration camp.  While at the camp he met Robert Desnos, the Surrealist poet, who gave him a Tarot card, or 'blade' in the parlance of this series.

Now, Rosenthal, a morphine addict and generally hopeless figure, finds himself caught up in the usual drama that revolves around runes and taro in this comic.  There are a number of organizations, including Opus Dei, trying to track down any extant cards, especially the Surrealist deck we saw Reka commission a while back.

This issue is pretty interesting for the way it portrays Paris, wraps up a few plotlines from the rest of the second volume of this series, and starts to set up the new status quo for the next big story.  Reka and Erlin are being shunted to the side as the modern age gets under way, and I find myself more interested in this comic than I have been lately.

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