This third book of the collected edition contains volumes 6 to 8: Ambassador of the Shadows - the story that directly inspired Luc Besson's film - On the False Earths and Heroes of the Equinox. Over the course of these titles, among the finest in the series, Laureline takes her rightful place as the brains of the outfit, while Valerian fully embraces his role as anti-hero: always brave, but often a bit out of his depth. You will also find the end of the interview with Luc Besson and the authors, and an in-depth portrait of Jean-Claude Mézières, the artist.
Fourth volume of the collection: return to Earth, and some great
upheavals in the characters' lives, are on the menu for the best
titles of the series. This volume contains books 9 to 12 - two
unmissable two-parters that represent a turning point in the story of
our agents, and which are widely considered by critics and readers
alike to be the pinnacle of the series. Characterised by a return to
20th century Earth, these two stories are suffused with incredible
melancholy and poetic charm, and force Valerian, the action man, to
face his limitations. As the real date neared 1986, final year of our
world according to the authors, Pierre Christin reconciled fiction
and reality with consummate skill and daring, sweeping aside the
status quo and sending his heroes down a completely new path. This
book is introduced by several articles of the recently departed Stan
Fifth volume of the collection, and it's almost a new series that
begins, without ever losing any of what makes its strength or its
charm. In this volume of the Collection you will find books 13 to 15,
and our heroes' life has been irretrievably changed with the
disappearance of future Earth and Galaxity. Lacking work, they become
freelance spies in the 80s in On the Frontiers. Lacking money,
they're reluctant arms dealers in The Living Weapons. Lacking
options, they turn investigators slash bait on corrupt Rubanis in The
Circles of Power. The apparent descent into hell of the two former
agents is the chance for the authors to study the ambiguities of our
world, either directly or through the lens of alien civilisations;
along with the ambiguity - pragmatism versus heroism - of the titular
character, saved from a fall from grace by his ever irreproachable
Galaxity, capital of the Terran Empire in the 28th century. Valerian and Laureline are agents who protect mankind from rogue time travellers. Now they are sent to New York in 1986 to intercept Galaxity's worst megalomaniac, Xombul-except that in 1986, the world is in ruins and New York is about to be swallowed by the ocean. The two agents must navigate the shifting waters of the past to make sure that the future will exist.
Every 100 years or so, the infertile people of Simlanne send their champions to the sacred island of Filene, where the best among them, chosen via a series of tests, will find and bring back the next generation. This cycle, though, the local heroes seem to fail repeatedly, and the aging Simlannians have sent for heroes from other worlds. Valerian, chosen to represent Earth, will have to overcome the tests and his competitors in a dangerous odyssey...
Technorog is a planet essential to the economy of the Terran empire. For 200 years, it has been a centre of industry, research and agriculture. Suddenly, the indigenous population-believed long extinct-comes back to the planet they know as Alflolol. Earth's laws are strict: They must be allowed back on their ancestral grounds. But when Valerian and Laureline are assigned to facilitate their "reinsertion," they see the difference between the letter of the law and its spirit...
When a rogue planet threatens a new Human colony, Valerian and Laureline are sent to investigate and discover a barren, rocky surface... and a whole world beneath it! The people who live inside Zahir have never seen the stars. Divided along gender lines, torn by a senseless and bloody war, they are unaware that their planet is hurtling towards disaster. To stop it, the two agents of Galaxity will have to infiltrate both sides and force a reconciliation.
On an interstellar cruise ships, a mysterious individual in full environmental suit is working hard to get to Earth. On Earth, meanwhile, another person in a spacesuit is exploring a nuclear reactor on behalf of its owners. That second man is Valerian, and since the disappearance of Galaxity, he's been forced to make a living by putting his advanced knowledge and equipment to good use. But what he's discovered insidethe plant is extremely worrisome...
Running away with the unhappy heir to the galaxy's biggest fortune, even if it's because he wants it, is bound to cause some problems. On the lam with the Caliphette of Iksaladam, Valerian and Laureline are relentlessly pursued by the Quatuor Mortis, who are still after the enormous reward offered for the child's safe return. Stranded among the Asteroids of Shimballil, they must evade the hunters, recover their ship, dodge profiteers and traitors ... and decide what to do with the little brat!
Valerian and Laureline take a break from adventuring and go on a cruise, but Valerian feels uncomfortable among the idle and the powerful. He's not bored for long, though, because when a quartet of mercenaries board the cruise ship to kidnap the son of the Caliph of Iksaladam, they end up taking Laureline as well. With the almighty Caliph offering a massive reward for his son's return, Valerian's quest to rescue his girl is suddenly hindered by every bounty hunter in the galaxy...
The evil hordes of the Wolochs are rampaging through space, and everywhere death and destruction follow. But despite the despair of some and the betrayal of others, Valerian, Laureline and a few other brave souls are resisting. They're hoping to use a mysterious artefact, the Time Opener, to banish the stones and bring back Earth. But what price must they pay to do so? And what sort of Earth will they get back if they succeed?
The expedition into the heart of the Great Void is launched, and Valerian and Laureline are on it. But in no time they're already facing the mysterious force that threatens the entire galaxy: the Wolochs, gigantic sentient monoliths dead set on destroying any civilisation that might stand in the way of their domination. Our two Human agents can't hope to stop the Order of the Stones by themselves, but fortunately, they still have allies...
Even though Valerian and Laureline's adventures have come to an end,
there are still many chapters that haven't been told yet. Simple
episodes, post-scriptums to their main stories, moments of their
lives seen through the eyes of their friends, their allies, or even
their enemies. Here's a collection of vignettes that will cast a new
light - sometimes funny, sometimes touching - on the saga of our
The Delphs are an artificial species who depend entirely on an
extremely rare substance, that not only allows them to live and
reproduce, but also fuels their creative talents - for the Delphs are
the most sought-after storytellers in the galaxy. They call upon
Galaxity to find a new source of it, as their own is exhausted. The
problem is, the only available deposit is on 21st century Earth, and
the agents on station ... are still going to high school!
Valerian and Laureline's ship has crash-landed on an uncharted planetoid. The two castaways quickly discover a vast ship cemetery, leading them to believe that their arrival was not an accident. Before long, they make contact with a population whose sole purpose seems to be to gather and produce food for a mysterious "Master." The Terran agents aren't going to be turned into slaves easily, but the Master enforces his will through his terrible agents: the Birds of Madness...
Valerian and Laureline are exploring Syrte, capital planet of a system of 1,000 worlds. Their mission is to discover whether the Syrtians could present a danger to Earth. What they find is a decaying empire led by decadent aristocrats, a population ripe for revolution, and a mysterious caste of masked wise men who discreetly pull the strings from hidden fortresses. Swept up by the winds of history, the agents of Earth will have to choose a side...
Valerian, shot to death in an Indian fortress. Valerian, dead in 19th century London. Valerian, gunned down in San Francisco's Chinatown... And Laureline, paired up with an unpleasantly arrogant historian from Galaxity, forced to witness every demise of the man she loves on a succession of re-enacted pieces of human history. A very strange case that will take the two spatio-temporal agents to the limits of their endurance as they hunt down the mysterious architect of the false Earths....
Point Central is a multicultural space station that serves as a sort of United Nations to the galaxy. Tasked with protecting the new ambassador from Earth, Valerian is kidnapped alongside his charge in a lightning commando attack. It's up to Laureline to do all the heavy lifting and slog through the seedy bowels of the station as she tries to locate and rescue them-and figure out who kidnapped them and why.
Galaxity's orders are rather bizarre, lately. Laureline has been left on stand-by in a Scottish castle. Valerian, haunted by recurrent nightmares, has been sent to capture a sentient being as if it were a wild animal - an unsavoury task, to say the least. And on Earth in the 1980s, members of the military and political elites are descending into madness one by one. What future does our planet still have ... and who's so bent of changing it?
This first volume of the collection contains books 1 and 2 of the series: The City of Shifting Waters - in its original two-part, 9 pages longer format - and The Empire of a Thousand Planets. It also includes book 0, Bad Dreams, translated into English for the first time: the very first adventures of our two heroes, published after City and retroactively numbered. Finally, linking the volumes of this collection together, a long, exclusive interview with the authors and director Luc Besson is illustrated with new art as well as numerous sketches, studies and photographs from the latter's upcoming big-screen adaptation.
The (false?) gods of Hypsis are once again interfering with Human history. Tired of their lower status among their peers, the trinity in charge of planet Earth opens communications with megacorporation Vivaxis at the end of the 20th century - an occurrence Valerian and Laureline's allies report to the two ex-agents. But to what end did the Hypsians initiate such a contact? And who is the mysterious Sat who, from the depths of Point Central, also endeavours to meddle with Human affairs?
Somewhere at the edge of known space is the Great Void. That inscrutable, shapeless, ever-changing place is where the expanding universe springs forth, where new planets and new life forms are created. It's also, according to the gods of Hypsis, the place where Galaxity's Earth was sent and is being kept prisoner. Valerian and Laureline begin a discreet investigation, but it doesn't take long before they start finding obstacles in their path, placed by the rulers of Rubanis - and their mysterious master...
After the events of The Time Opener, Valerian and Laureline reverted
to childhood, and are now living with Mr Albert on 21st century
Earth. But in a universe where time travel is a reality, words like
`after' or even `now' can be somewhat ... hazy, and elsewhere, in other
times, our young but nonetheless adult agents are still working
tirelessly to maintain a galactic peace threatened as always by greed
and the thirst for power.
Our two spatio-temporal agents are on a new mission, but this time the duo is split up. While Laureline flies solo from planet to planet, on the trail of arms dealers and forbidden technologies, Valerian is on 20th century Earth, teamed up with the eccentric Mr Albert. And he, too, is hunting down technologies incompatible with the era. What is the link between the two cases, separated as they are by centuries and light-years?