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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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03/27/2005 Archived Entry: "Graphic novel review: The Incal"

The Incal
Story and Art by:Jodorowsky and Moebius
Published by: Humanoids/DC Comics
Visit: and

Review by Kathy LaFollett

This review contains plot and character information that might be considered spoilers. Please continue at your own risk.

If you were to take "A Clockwork Orange", add "MadMax", stir in a pinch of "Star Wars" (the original three, not the tripe of this decade), and finally baste the whole with a creamy layer of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", serve that up with a side of "The Fifth Element" and you've just made The Incal in your own kitchen.

Stanely Kubrik must have loved this story with characters like; Technopope, Metabaron, and The Supreme Highness. Everything in Technocity is SO techno-techno. Or should I say ultra-violent, or better; ultra-ultra-violent.

The storyline, although entertaining, is a bit tired. John DiFool, class R detective, seems quite happy having homeo-whore sex, drinking too much, smoking whatever is available, and stepping into situations where he's getting beat-up by someone who he torqued off in the past. Everyone loves a seasoned detective with no self-respect.

Place DiFool in a galaxy far far away, then you can bring in a corrupt future government offering robots, and technology as a god. You'll also avail yourself of aliens and beings that don't need explanation outside of the word mutant. Saves time.

The Incal offers good and evil weighted but dependant on each other in the form of two sisters. They each have or want back an Incal, one light, one dark. Again, a ying/yang thing.

And herein lies the crux of all to come: DiFool falls onto the white Incal. Go figure. DiFool has a bird as a pet who offers a bit of humor and side jokes. Much like the detective show, "Barretta" back in the 70's.

The story itself gives us many unexpected avenues to walk. I get the feeling Jodorowsky was making this up as he went along, which gives the unexpected. DiFool proves the only genetic possibility to the sister of the dark Incal to whit, he impregnates her for the birth of a child to save the world. He doesn't remember that part though.

So, let's see, we have an immaculate conception for a child to save the world (and later becomes the biological computer brain of a space ship), two crystals of equal but opposite power that must be joined again, corrupt galaxy-wide government with a "Prezident" who after a cloning event SURE dresses, walks, and talks gay, hunchbacks, killer nanobots, arctic weather spots, an ultra-violent Metabaron of greatest purported warrior status, a Technopope and a gritty detective.

Boil it down here's the moral of the story; Life isn't fair, good without evil is nothing and vice versa, technology kills in the wrong hands, nobody likes an arrogant detective, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and repeated cloning makes you gay. ((okay, I made that last part up myself)).

But honestly, I can find that out any day of the week by turning on CNN.

What keeps you interested in this meandering tale is Moebius' art. His art is not a crutch, but rather the very cornerstone, weight-bearing wall, and spinal cord to The Incal. He makes the ridiculous sublime. You can watch the cloning of the Prezident and buy it. A child becomes the talking Operating System of a ship? No problem. Acid lakes and acid whirlpools that don't splash acid on kayakers? I can buy it, now. Techno-techno is SO true. "The Black Egg" that eats Suns and turns a galaxy into a large piece of poop? Sure, Moebius proved it out. Psychorats that feed off mind-waves of fear and rage. Moebius makes them believable.

Moebius is Jodorowsky's "get out of jail free" card.

The Incal was originally published in France in 1988.

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