The tales of the 18th century adventurer known as The Scorpion, written by Stephen Desberg and illustrated by Enrico Marini, continue in The Treasure Of The Templars.
Pope Trebaldi has sent his warrior monks, lead by the mysterious Rochnan, after The Scorpion and his allies who are searching for the true cross of Saint Peter in the Muslim Ottoman Empire. Chased by both Rochnan and the Ottoman police force, the Scorpion finally arrives at the old Templar fortress of Saint-Serrac where the cross, if it still exists, is believed to be hidden.
The Scorpion is one of my favourite Cinebook series with Desberg's swash-buckling adventures being complemented with Marini's beautiful artwork. The Scorpion himself is a cross between 2000AD's Nikolai Dante and Indiana Jones, but the series strength is not just in the complicated relationships between the Scorpion and his allies but also in the characters of their enemies, former Cardinal, now Pope, Trebaldi and the leader of his warrior monks, Rochnan.
Trebaldi is a Pope that is not to be crossed, after all he strangles a woman to death with his bare hands within the first three pages of this book, and he leads a mafia style organisation descended from the Roman Empire that has ruled the Catholic church since it inception. Rochnan on the other hand has been somewhat of a shadowy figure in the series with his face covered with a golden mask with hints that this is due to him having been tortured. The whole truth is literally unmasked and the true horror of the torture that turned a Christian knight into a villainous warrior monk is finally explained towards the end of the book.
With its complex storyline by Desberg and excellent artwork by Marini, The Treasure Of The Templars brings the six album/four book Cross of Saint Peter arc of The Scorpion stories to a satisfying conclusion. There are currently three more albums in the French series so hopefully it won't be much longer before Cinebook translate them into English as well.
There are more details of The Scorpion books on the Cinebook website.
There are more details of the French Scorpion books on the Le Scorpion website (in French).
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