THE METABARONS ULTIMATE COLLECTION (Humanoids, 2012; Hardcover)
Collects Metabarons Nos. 1-17 and the Metabarons: Alpha/Omega one-shot (cover dates January, 2000- May, 2002), originally published in France as a series of eight graphic novels between 1992 and 2003.
Writer: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Artist: Juan Gimenez
The sins of the father shall be visited upon the son. This age old concept goes back to The Bible and probably even earlier than that. Metabarons takes this concept and spins it into a multi-generational science fiction epic, with each son having to kill their father in order to assume the title of Metabaron.
The robots Tonto and Lothar tell the stories in a sequential flashback narrative. There are a total of five Metabarons, each more disturbing than the last. Mutilation rituals are enacted on each descendant, a result of wounds incurred by Othon von Salsza, the first Metabaron.
Jodorowsky occasionally steers into adolescent sexual fantasy areas. Either that or it is my American hang-ups over such things being in comic books that makes a few of these scenes seem sophomoric. Here in America we don't even wince when someone gets shot, but show a breast and everyone is up in arms.
These Humanoids books are definitely adult fare and are sophisticated, dense reads that require revisiting. I probably should have read this twice before even reviewing it, as I have undoubtedly missed things. These books are beyond the scope of my admittedly more mainstream tastes but I enjoyed them nonetheless.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.
The OCD zone- This is a superb, high-end package. If you like your books with top notch production values and built in ribbon bookmarks, then Humanoids books are right up your alley. They even have great stories in them! Win-win.
The US single issue comics were censored from the original French publication. Since this is divided into eight chapters with a few assorted extra chapters in the back, I am going to assume that this is presented unedited as originally published in France. Any clarification about this would be greatly appreciated.
And yes, the remaining original cover art for the US comics are included in a cover gallery in the back of the book.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Beautiful, thick coated paper stock with a slight sheen.
Binding rating: 5 out of 5. Superb sewn binding. The casing is not glued square to the spine, allowing the book to pay flat, a must when you get into the 500+ page range.
Hardback cover coating rating: 5 out of 5. The image is printed on the hardback itself, and is coated with an extremely thick coating which should hold up well. The Metabarons logo is a reflective silver dye and a nice touch.