A real Euro treat – Metabarons
In this article, I will be once again presenting one of my favorite comics of all times and this time it is a European comic called Metabarons which was written by Alejandro Jodorowsky and which was drawn by Juan Gimenez.
Before anything else, I should perhaps introduce the writer of this incredible comic book series that has, at least as far as I am concerned, proven that comics can be so much more than just entertainment – Mr. Jodorowsky. Mr. Jodorowsky is one of the most important artists of the 20th and the 21st century so far. He is a playwright, a film director, a writer of comics, an actor, a tarot master or whatever they are called and an all-round borderline insane person. Luckily, that healthy dose of insanity is also combined with a great deal of genius that has given us such movies like Holy Mountain and El Topo, as well as some of the most important comics of all times, such as Incal which has revolutionized SF.
With Metabarons, at least this is my opinion; Jodorowsky has reached unimaginable levels of artistry in writing comic books. This saga and it truly is a saga that spans centuries if not millennia and that does not have a single main character but follows an entire line of Metabarons, the ultimate warriors in the universe, is such an epic work that I have problems calling anything else epic. Once you close the final pages of Metabarons, you feel like you have just seen ten movies that all last for three hours each and that provide more epicness than Lawrence of Arabia, Lord of the Rings and Apocalypse now combined.
In its core, Metabarons is a pure SF, a space-opera of sorts, in the best sense of the word. Everything is exciting, everything is momentous and you feel that every single square in the comic book is worthy of a separate 20-something page issue. When you think about it afterwards, you cannot wrap your mind around how much has happened and what you have witnessed. It is packed full of the best Jodorowsky moments, such as patricide, incest, space battles, a believable SF universe and plenty of dark humor that never feels clumsy or artificial.
I consider myself a fan of comic books, movies and everything else that can deliver a story. However, I have never encountered a story that is as sweeping as the story of Metabarons and I can never stress enough as to how important this comic is going to be in the future.
It would also be very disrespectful of me not to mention the beautiful art by Gimenez, an Argentinean artist who has really let it go in Metabarons and who has brought to life all the ideas of the crazy Mr. Jodorowsky, no matter how mythical they are and how reality-bending and subversive they might be. This is perhaps one of the very few comics that has all the makings of a classic. It is a myth in form of a comic book and I believe that it is one of the most underrated comic books of all time.