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Comicbook: XIII

XIII (Thirteen in Roman numerals) is a successful long-running Franco-Belgian Comics series written and drawn by Belgians Jean Van Hamme and William Vance. The series was initially serialised in 1984 in Spirou and became instantly a hit. It was later published by Dargaud.

The series begins with a man found on a shore in Peacock Bay in the East Coast of the United States, suffering from amnesia due to a bullet wound to the head, and just the tattoo "XIII" on his collarbone to link him to his past. Volumes one through five deal with XIII searching for his identity and his past, only to find himself confronting the "Conspiracy of the XX" which aims to a coup d'état in order to overthrow democracy in the USA.

The rest of the series shows him dealing with the remnants of his past, stopping the number I of the Conspiracy once and for all, and facing more and more enemies afterwards, as a public reveal of his past would have very unpleasant consequences for some very powerful men ...

Does this remind you of anything? Yes, it was heavily inspired by Robert Ludlum's Bourne Series.

Adapted in 2003 as a First-Person Shooter by Ubisoft, and in 2008 as a two-part miniseries on NBC starring Stephen Dorff and Val Kilmer. More recently in 2011 a new adaptation has started in Canada.

Albums list :

  • 1 - The Day of The Black Sun, 1984 (Le jour du soleil noir)
  • 2 - Where the Indian Goes, 1985 (Là où va l'Indien)
  • 3 - All the Tears of Hell, 1986 (Toutes les Larmes de l'Enfer)
  • 4 - S.P.A.D.S, 1987
  • 5 - Full Red, 1988 (Rouge Total)
  • 6 - The Jason Fly File, 1989 (Le Dossier Jason Fly)
  • 7 - The Night of August 3rd, 1990 (La Nuit du 3 Août)
  • 8 - Thirteen to One, 1991 (Treize Contre Un)
  • 9 - For Maria, 1992 (Pour Maria)
  • 10 - El Cascador, 1994
  • 11 - Three Silver Watches, 1995 (Trois Montres d'Argent)
  • 12 - The Trial, 1997 (Le Jugement)
  • 13 - The XIII Mystery: The Investigation, 1999 (XIII Mystery : L'Enquête)
  • 14 - Danger to the State, 2000 (Secret Défense)
  • 15 - Unleash the Hounds!, 2002 (Lâchez les Chiens !)
  • 16 - Operation Montechristo, 2004 (Opération Montechristo)
  • 17 - Maximilian's Gold, 2005 (L'or de Maximilien)
  • 18 - The Irish Version, 2007 (La Version Irlandaise), drawn by Jean Giraud, to accompany The Last Round
  • 19 - The Last Round, 2007 (Le Dernier Round)

Youri Jigounov and Yves Sente reprised the series in 2011:

  • 20 - Mayflower Day, 2011 (Le Jour du Mayflower)
  • 21 - The Lure, 2012 (L'Appât)

A Spin-Off series titled XIII Mystery : l'enquête (XIII Mystery : the Investigation) explores the backstory of some minor or important characters of the initial series. Each album features a different art style by a different creative team, under the supervision of Jean Van Hamme:

  • 1 - The Mongoose, Xavier Dorison and Ralph Meyer (2008)
  • 2 - Irina, Éric Corbeyran and Philippe Berthet (2009)
  • 3 - Little Jones, Yann le Pennetier and Éric Henninot (2010)
  • 4 - Colonel Amos, : Alcante and François Boucq (2011)
  • 5 - Steve Rowland, Fabien Nury and Richard Guérineau (2012)
  • 6 - Billy Stockton, Laurent-Frédéric Bollée and Steve Cuzor (scheduled for 2013)
  • 7 - Betty Barnowsky, Joël Callède and Sylvain Vallée (scheduled for 2013)


XIII provides examples of:


The Wind in the WillowsCreator/CinebookYoko Tsuno
ValerianBelgian ComicsYoko Tsuno
ValerianFranco-Belgian ComicsYoko Tsuno
The TransformersThe EightiesSteel

alternative title(s): XIII; XIII
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