In Review: The Scorpion – The Mask of Truth

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The Scorpion returns with The Mask Of Truth,  the third part of the latest on-going story of the swashbuckling 18th century rogue and his battles with the less-than-holy Pope Trebaldi written by Stephen Desberg and illustrated by Enrico Marini.

One by one, the Pope’s warrior monks fall to the Scorpion’s blade or desert their master. Feeling his enemy circling ever closer, Trebaldi grows desperate and hires Rome’s best paid assassins to go after him—and whomever else stands in his way. As the women in his life choose their destinies, an old enemy reappears to plague the Scorpion… or perhaps to bring him the truth at last, hidden behind his mask.

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The Scorpion is a favourite series of mine and The Mask Of Truth continues the ongoing story in the fashion to which readers have become accustomed to – intricate plotting from Desberg and beautiful artwork for Marini. As the Scorpion’s noose figuratively tightens around the Pope’s neck, Trebaldi is prepared to go to any lengths to rid himself of the Scorpion and that includes dealing with the guild of assassins. However just as he thinks all is lost one of his men, the masked Rochnan, thought lost at the end of the previous story, returns to his employ.

Writer Desberg’s decision to return to the character of Rochnan is surprising given what happened at the end of the first story arc in The Scorpion books, but is no less interesting for it given the way that he plays out this plot strand. Meanwhile Marini’s artwork never fails to impress, whether it is in the cinematic presentation of the large interiors of builds or the close-up detail of hand to hand fighting his work is always a delight to look at.

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The Mask Of Truth continues the ongoing story of The Scorpion with all the panache that I have come to expect from this series.

• There are more details of The Scorpion books on the Cinebook website.

• There are more details of the French Scorpion books on the Le Scorpion website (in French).

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