XIII and his friends are still in their safe house in Mexico as they decide what must be done to clear their names in the USA where, unknown to them, two books have been published about the “XIII Mystery” which has made what has been happening public. However before they have a chance to return to the States, their safe house is discovered and attacked.
One of these fictional books, The XIII Investigation, is the original 13th French book that Cinebook skipped in their series as it was neither a regular graphic novel nor vital to the ongoing plot due to it retelling what had happened in the series up to that point, while the other fictional book, The Kelly Brian Story, appropriately released by Moebius Publishing, is the equivalent of the XIII series’ prequel title The Irish Version illustrated by Jean Giraud.
It is hard to say much about the plot of The Last Round without giving too much away, but Jean Van Hamme gives us an instalment that is both action packed and full of political intrigue as the different factions try to manoeuvre themselves to safety.
I first read XIII via CatCom’s Code XIII American publication of The Day of The Black Sun, the first book in the series, but I never expected that any English language publisher would ever have the dedication to get deep into the series let alone finish it. It is to Cinebook’s credit that they did and, given that it has been such a backbone of their publishing schedule over the last few years, it will be interesting to see what they choose to replace it with.
XIII – The Last Round is a more than satisfying conclusion to a series that has never disappointed over a total of 18 books. If you haven’t indulged yet, what are you waiting for?
• There are more details of the English language XIII books on Cinebook’s website.
• There are more details of the original French XIII albums on the official XIII website (in French).
• You can read an interview with Cinebook publisher Olivier Cadic and XIII translator Jerome Saincantin on downthetubes at XIII Questions About XIII.