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XIII #5

Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2006
By: Michael Deeley



Writer: J. Van Hamme
Artist: W. Vance

Publisher: Alias/DB Pro
Price: $2.99 USD


The mysterious XIII has been sentenced to Plain Rock Penitentiary for the criminally insane. He’s been framed for the murders of his “father” and “uncle,” or rather, the father and uncle of Steve Roland, the man he thought he was. XIII and government officials now believe he was surgically and psychologically altered to replace Steve Rowland. XIII is part of a larger conspiracy to kill the late President Sheridan; a conspiracy that includes the sadistic doctors at Plain Rock.

Man, it’s great to read this again! It’s been three months since I’ve last read an issue of XIII, and I’ve missed it dearly. Vance’s distinctly European art style still stands out in today’s market. His delicate line work, his attention to details, and his watercolor palette give the series a timeless look. Only the fashions and technology date the story.

Even knowing how the overall story ends, I still enjoy the little twists and turns the mystery takes me. Every new answer only leads to new questions. Only now do we get a sense of the depth of the conspiracy. But XIII is deadly, resourceful, and determined. His lost memory is being replaced with a new personality--one that hates who he used to be and seeks vengeance against his tormentors.

The next time you get burnt out on Americna superhero comics, pick up a couple issues of XIII. It looks, reads, and feels different from almost everything else on the shelves.



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