My rating: 5 of 5 stars
How many times did I read this Book one? The answer is countless times. How many hours I have gazed upon some of the images (two images given below) The answer to this question is also countless hours.
Image 1 source Google image search
Why this comic captivated me? there are many things to say but I feel the story, the characters XIII, Martha and the art work should be.
An old couple named Abe and Sally living somewhere in coastal US happens to see a critically wounded man washed ashore. They call license revoked Surgeon Martha to attend, she treats the mystery man. The old couple who had lost their only son in the war showers love to XIII.
Couple of days later XIII shows recovery but he cannot remember anything, the bullet wound in his head, a tattoo "XIII" in the collarbone, a key sewn into the collar of his shirt is what remains with him.
The alcoholic Martha stays away from her bad habit. Everything looks beautiful and seems to be settled but one day while Alan (XIII was named as Alan, after their son by the old couple) and Martha return from the seashore, they both see the dog Pronto dead and the old couple were killed in their sleep. The thugs start to attack Alan, his reflex action saves him. After this encounter Alan gets a photo from the dead thug Chuck. In the photo Alan is seen along with a girl.
After seeing the photo Alan did not get any hint who she is and in what way she is related. On the back of the photo the photographers name and address was printed. Martha asks Alan to go away as the thugs may come again. Alan leaves to East Town to find the photographer and the girl in the photo.
Did Alan find who he is and why he was shot? Why was he chased by thugs? Did he come to know about that girl? all these questions will be answered in the remaining pages of the comic.
Image 2 source Google image search
I first read the Tamil version of this comic in the year 1987. And after more than two decades, I purchased the full book of XIII. Although I have read all the chapters, I liked the first chapter very much.
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