Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Arctic Marauder

I'll have to forgive you if you hear the description of Jacques Tardi's The Arctic Marauder and think that it's a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea rip-off. After all, it does have ships that mysteriously blow up as eerie lights shine below the ocean surface.

And the destruction does end up being caused by the anti-social crew of a submersible, who do occasionally like to go for walkabouts on the ocean floor.

But The Arctic Marauder doesn't steal from 20,000 Leauges so much as improve on it. After all, Nemo's crew never traveled like this:

The Arctic Marauder takes out all of Verne's boring travelogue stuff and replaces it with awesome. The Marauder is also the name of the villains' seacraft and it's even more cool than the Nautilus. And rather than just being withdrawn from society like Nemo, the Marauder's captain is a full-blown whackadoo who wants to destroy the world.

There's also this creepy, old bat to complicate things in the best possible way.

And of course there's some good, old-fashioned cephalopod hating.

While not exactly a cliff-hanger, the ending does necessitate a sequel, so the lack of closure is the only negative comment I can make about this thing. Even then, though, there's a way of reading it where the book says everything it needs to. Still, I hope Tardi's working on the follow-up right this very minute, because I want a lot more of this.

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