XIII reaches book 16, Maximilian's Gold, in which writer Jean Van Hamme and artist William Vance give readers the conclusion to the golden treasure hunt arc that began in book 11, Three Silver Watches.
XIII, Jones and co have left Costa Verde and are hiding out in Mexico from the US authorities as NSA chief Dick Giordino continues his attempts to capture XIII. In the relative safety of a friendly hotel, they start to unravel the mystery of the numbers and letters that are engraved on the three watches which gives them what they believe may be the location of the 100,000 gold coins that could be worth up to $15 million. However the suggestion that there may be something worth hunting for in the Mexican mountains attracts some unwanted attention.
The last quarter of this book gives artist William Vance scope to provide some quite unearthly vistas and locations in the mountains where the gold may be hidden to go along with his much more familiar planes, boats and rainfall at the beginning of the book.
We are so close to the end of the XIII saga and Maximilian's Gold gives me hope that after all the plotting and side tracks that Van Hamme and Vance have taken readers down over the last 750+ pages of this ongoing story that the final conclusion will be just as interesting as the trip we have taken to get there.
• There are more details of the English language XIII books on Cinebook's website.
• There are more details of the original French XIII albums on the official XIII website (in French).
• You can read an interview with Cinebook publisher Olivier Cadic and XIII translator Jerome Saincantin on downthetubes at XIII Questions About XIII.