Fantasy Flight Publishing brings us an authentic European action hero in the form of the handsome and brave Percevan. He and his corpulent companion Kervin are wanderers through a medieval Europe in this charming graphic novel series.
Running in France for around 20 years, the adventures of Percevan have come to the United States thanks to game publisher Fantasy Flight, who will be presenting a series of good-looking hardcover volumes featuring the handsome hero. The first volume, “The Stars of Ingvaar,” has recently been released. It’s a charming collection of three interconnected stories.
If you’re looking for classic fantasy and high adventure, these books have it in spades. The first story tells the tales of three magic gems that make their wearer invulnerable when worn at the same time. Unbeknownst to him, Percevan has one of the gems. However, the evil Baron Deadstone wants to collect all three gems for his own nefarious purposes. Naturally that quest puts the two men, and their assistants, in opposition–sparking an adventure that spans a continent (as well as all three stories in this collection).
The battle spans forests and tiny towns, fog-shrouded fjords, and treacherous seas. The heroes are handsome, the villains are loathsome, and there is both much adventure and comedy.
Overall, this book presents a particularly European package. The heroes and villains are rather broadly drawn. Bad guys are often drunk, or have giant noses. The villainous women have narrow, untrustworthy eyes. Meanwhile the heroes, especially Percevan, are forthright and handsome crusaders for justice–and comic relief comes from characters that are comical in appearance.
The art is also quite nice in a European way. There are some wonderful battles–Percevan’s battle with a wolf on page 115 is wonderful for its intense, silent fury. Yet the art overall is quieter than we are often used to in North America. There’s action, but it’s not presented in the classical Marvel manner. The art has a much quieter, more European rhythm and style. Thankfully, that style works well for a book that’s so clearly based in classical fantasy.
All the elements of this book add up to a very comfortable package, which is really kind of the point. This book delivers on exactly what it promises. Stories are light and fun, and justice always triumphs over evil.
Those looking for alternate takes on medieval knights are advised to look elsewhere.