Comics Panel: Cyborg tackles unlikely superhero subjects of race and disability

French comics scribe Fabien Vehlmann continues his run of penning a slate of varied and interesting comics, highlighted by the quality of his artistic collaborators. In The Marquis Of Anaon: The Isle Of Brac, U.K. publishers Cinebook bring to English-language audiences the first book in Vehlmann and Matthieu Bonhomme’s five-volume series following eponymous hero Jean-Baptiste Poulain. Nicknamed “the marquis of lost souls,” Jean-Baptiste travels to places where strange and mysterious phenomena have been observed, investigating inexplicable, seemingly supernatural happenings, with the aim of both assisting people and enriching his scientific knowledge.

Published in French in 2001, this opening volume is decidedly gothic in tone and influence, yet also admirably restrained. Jean-Baptiste arrives on the Isle Of Brac, where he’s been hired to tutor the young son of Baron Gwenole. Things are amiss even before he sets foot on shore: His fellow passengers cower and shun him at …

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