“The Incal” Is the Comic-Book Predecessor to “The Fifth Element”
Science-fiction as a genre has many unique ways of exploring sociopolitical problems affecting modern society by positioning them in alternate universes, or using aliens and robots to guise the satire of some popular figure, or by anticipating the evolution of certain issues and proposing answers to them. In conclusion, sci-fi is amazing. So to find out there was a comic book series out there considered to be one of the best ever written that I didn’t know about until recently was a bit Earth-shattering. That series is The Incal.
The comic was written by Chilean Alejandro Jodorowsky, who some might know from his films, and drawn by French artist Moebius, who some other might know for his Blueberry series and his contributions to the film Alien‘s look. The plot of the series is very convoluted but can best be described as a space-opera where P.I. John DiFool receives a powerful crystal known as the Light Incal that is sought after by many groups of people, and thus adventures ensue. There truly is nothing else like it out there, unless you count The Fifth Element, of course. But those superficial similarities are due to Moebius collaborating in the film’s art direction.
The combination of writing and drawing by two talented individuals really elevates The Incal to new heights and has established it as a gem of science-fiction in comic lore, albeit without as much exposure in the US. But let’s hope this article helps to change that.