The Empire of a Thousand Planets (Valerian and Laureline Vol. 2) by Pierre Christin
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 22 April 2017

The Empire of a Thousand Planets (Valerian and Laureline Vol. 2)

Author: Pierre Christin
Artist: Jean-Claude Mézières

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi

“So that we live, and that Earth dies!”
Dispatched to a distant part of the galaxy to access whether Syrte, capital of The Empire of a Thousand Planets could be a danger to Earth, Valerian and Laureline’s covert mission soon gets complicated. Quickly discovered as humans by the mysterious Enlighteneds.

The Enlightened are not part of the long line of rulers of the vast empire but rather a mysterious and mystical group, who have become influential and powerful. Honoured guests of the imperial palace and feared by the populace, their teachings have led many in the Syrtian system to give up their scientifically led ways and slowly witness the decline of the great empire which has become more and more insular.

With Galaxity’s finest in their custody, the Enlightened are bent on accessing the Terran space ship which is far more advanced that anything in the Syrtian fleet and use it to attack Earth. The Spacio-Temperal agents must escape captivity, find allies and perhaps save the Syrte along with Earth.

Unlike their earlier adventure in The City of Shifting Waters which focuses on time travel and an Earth based settings, The Empire of a Thousand Planets showcases European fantasy science fiction at its finest with Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières able to explore their imagination and create rich Alien cultures and fantastical settings.

Fantastic, epic, action-packed and filled with inspiring ideas (as evidenced by the influence it had on everything that came after, including Star Wars) The Empire of a Thousand Planets is a must read for fans of both comics and science-fiction. It continues the charming relationship between the stoic Valerian and strategic Laureline while exploring still relevant themes of secular versus religious states.
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