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Comic Book: Jour J
Be realistic, demand the impossible.

Jour J is an French Alternate History graphic novel series co-authored by Jean-Pierre Pécau, Fred Duval and Fred Blanchard. Each volume is stand-alone and explores a different counterfactual scenario, depicting how history could have turned out some years after the point of divergence.

Volume 1, Les Russes sur la Lune ! (Russians on the Moon!) shows the state of the space race ten years after the crash of the Eagle US moon module in 1969, and the subsequent successful Soviet lunar mission.

Volume 2, Paris, Secteur Soviétique (Paris, Soviet Sector) takes place in 1951, seven years after the failed D-Day Normandy invasion: The Red Army has made it all the way to Northern France, and Paris is divided between an Anglo-American and a Soviet sectors.

Volumes 3 and 4, Septembre Rouge (Red September) and Octobre Noir (Black October) are a two-part story in a setting where the French failed to stop the 1914 German offensive, Paris was taken, and the French government evacuated to Algeria. In Russia, Because of the involvement of French agents, the Bolshevik revolution is aborted, and the Anarchists take over instead.

Volume 5, Qui a tué le Président ? (Who killed the President?) takes place in 1973, 13 years after Richard Nixon won the presidential election against John Kennedy and is beginning his fourth term.

Volume 6, L'Imagination au pouvoir ? (Power to imagination?) also takes place in 1973, but in this timeline the point of divergence is Charles de Gaulle's death at the height of the student uprisings in May 1968. The situation escalates into civil war, and a utopian Paris Commune is set up.

Volume 7, Vive l'Empereur ! is set in 1925. Thanks to a more enduring peace between France and Britain in the Napoleonic era, the French Empire was able to expand throughout Europe and all the way to central Asia.

Additional volumes have subsequently been released, the scenarios portrayed ranging from a world where the Ottoman Empire adopts Leonardo Da Vinci's designs (Le Lion d'Égypte) to one where the Cold War went hot during the Cuban Missile Crisis (Apocalyse sur le Texas).

Jour J provides examples of the following tropes:

  • After the End: Apocalyse sur le Texas, which is largely set in a post-apocalyptic America during The Sixties.
  • As You Know: Sometimes the recapping is fairly obvious.
  • Cold War: In Paris, Secteur Soviétique, the Iron Curtain goes through France instead of Germany.
  • For Want of a Nail
  • Historical-Domain Character: A host of them.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • The ending of Vive l'Empereur ! Where the Emperor's death results in France and Britain fighting a much bloodier version of World War I.
    • Le Lion d'Égypte ends with the Papacy seizing Da Vinci's special designs for their own quest for power, restoring something akin to Renaissance history as we know it.
  • Invaded States of America: Played with in Apocalyse sur le Texas. A joint Anglo-French campaign is launched on American soil in 1967. It's soon revealed that due to the Cuban Missile Crisis escalating to nuclear war in 1962, there technically isn't an America anymore. And the British/French soldiers are the good guys.
  • Red October: Played with. In Octobre Noir, the Bolsheviks are sidelined by the Anarchists.
  • Retraux: The covers are all reminiscent of old-school Life Magazine ones.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: In Septembre Rouge, a ruthless Bolshevik named Joseph Stalin engages in gratuitous violence in the name of the revolution.
  • Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman:
    • Adolf Hitler is a hit man for an Austrian secret society in Vive l'Empereur !.
    • Vladimir Lenin is a French agent.
  • The Seventies: An even more hedonistic version is depicted in L'Imagination au pouvoir ?
  • Space Race: In Les Russes sur la Lune !, the Russians beat the Americans to the Moon.
  • The Thermidor: Heavily implied to be imminent in L'Imagination au pouvoir?
  • We Are Struggling Together: France and the UK forge a close if strained alliance in Apocalyse sur le Texas, the nuclear war making them the world's leading superpowers.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: Prominently displayed in Vive l'Empereur !

Johan and PeewitFranco-Belgian ComicsKairos

alternative title(s): Jour J
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