Gothic Steam Phantastic

Le Regulateur

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Le Regulateur/De Regelaar
Part 1: Ambrosia
Text: Corbeyran
Paintings: Moreno

AFAIK the story hasn't been translated to English.

Le Regulateur is a French comic, or rather a "graphic novel" about Aristide Nyx. Nyx is a man who is hired to "take care" of people, "Le regulateur" translates as something like "care taker" ("Regulator"). But actually, this taking care has much more to do with killing than something more human.
The person of Nyx is a somewhat sad character, who has a secret in his past, that made him cynic. He doesn't mind taking care of people. He thinks a lot about his past and his brother, who we do not really see in this story.
The Ambrosia, who has given her name to this part of the comic, is a beautiful woman who has a weapon in her hair. She usually kills politicians and she is engaged to the political underground in a world were corruption seems to be common. Nyx should take care of her.
The world
The World of Nyx is our world after a huge disaster. But the world has changed a lot. The city (Biapolis as far as I know) where Nyx roams is an enormous metropolis, with different levels and filled with high rise buildings. The architecture is Jugendstil (or Art Deco), but not very glossy - it is a big and dirty, rusty city. The costumes are 19th century-style, but the pretty women are clad in tighter suits to show their female forms - somewhat of a style spoiler. Many others have flamboyant uniforms.
On the other hand, there are many modern devices in this world as zipflies and machineguns.
The technics are beautifully painted in this story. They form the backdrop of it all, a backdrop that in places moves into the front. How these technics work is not explained, but that doesn't really matter. There are guns (a lot) and telephones (with a monitor to view the other side), zeppelins and automobiles, small solo flight jets, a variety of medical equipment, a sound recording device. I'm not quite sure about "techlevel", it is the mix of ultramodern and antiquated that makes the atmosphere here.
The story is steampunk - there are these 19th century technics, and the architecture. It is a dark future that points back to our 19th century. There are intrigues and secrets that make the story. But is is not Victorian in any way. Both the story and the world are rude and rough, and although the men are dressed as gentlemen, they don't behave like gentlemen. The women (especially Ambrosia) are more emancipated and free than the best suffragette.
I found the story not very good, but the paintings are worthwhile to gaze upon. Maybe they distract me from following the storyline. I am looking forward to the next part of this "Regulator" series.

© Yaghish 2003
Download some of the pictures as wallpaper
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