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Book Review: Terra Prime series, by Phillipe Okagi

24/07/2018

This book is available in French only.

If you’ve never set foot on Earth, are you an Earthling? In the darkness of space, does man need to be a slave to a 24 hour day? If you were the last hope for humankind, would you be able to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Terra Prime, a graphic novel by Philippe Okagi, explores these themes and more. The space opera genre is not easy to translate into graphic novel format; there are multiple characters and points of view, and a certain immensity to both space and the story told therein. Okagi manages to encapsulate this enormity, shaping it into an adventure that gets more dire with every volume.

As revolution heats up aboard the ark-ship carrying the remnants of humanity, those in charge are surprised to find that they’ve discovered the first habitable planet in over 300 years. It’s a good thing, too, because the fighting causes multiple catastrophic explosions which cause the ship to crash onto the surface of the planet, killing almost half of the humans aboard.

The planet is already occupied by many different tribes. The ship-turned-city is peaceful at first, but contact with these native tribes causes more friction: certain humans want to work with the tribes to survive and thrive, but most want to enslave or destroy them.

The comparison to the history of European settlers coming to America is almost too obvious, but Okagi keeps the story original by injecting many sci-fi twists, each weirder than the last.

The art is dense but gorgeous, and the different tribes who inhabit the planet all have their own original look. Terra Prime is not a graphic novel you can skim through, but it’s overflowing with adventure and characters you really care for. If you’re a scifi lover, get your hands on the first volume, “La colonie” right away.
 

Image: Terra prime

Terra prime

1, La colonie
By Ogaki, Philippe
Image: Terra prime

Terra prime

2, Déicide
By Ogaki, Philippe
Image: Terra prime

Terra prime

3, Deuil
By Ogaki, Philippe