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The Incal Reading Order, The French Comic Book by Jodorowsky and Moebius

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The Incal is a French graphic novel series (“L’Incal” in French) written by Alejandro Jodorowsky and illustrated by Moebius (aka Jean Giraud) that started in 1980 in the pages of “Métal hurlant.”

As the official synopsis explains it, The Incal is about the tribulations of the shabby detective John Difool as he searches for the precious and coveted Incal. John Difool, a low-class detective in a degenerate dystopian world, finds his life turned upside down when he discovers an ancient, mystical artifact called The Incal. Difool’s adventures will bring him into conflict with the galaxy’s greatest warrior, the Metabaron, and will pit him against the awesome powers of the Technopope. These encounters and many more make up a tale of comic and cosmic proportions that has Difool fighting for not only his very survival, but also the survival of the entire universe.

The Incal Reading Order:

There are multiple series taking place in The Incal Universe. I recommend starting with the original series, even before reading the prequel stories.

The Incal

 The Sci-Fi masterpiece by Mœbius and Jodorowsky about the tribulations of the shabby detective John Difool as he searches for the precious and coveted Incal.

Before the Incal

A prequel series to the first Incal series, published after it. Moebius refused to work on it. The adventures of a young John Difool take us way back to the youth of the notorious Class R private investigator. We are instantly plunged back into the unique atmosphere of the world of The Incal, as we witness John Difool’s search for his identity and his origins, his first meeting with Deepo, and the appearance of many of the series’ key characters, such as the Metabaron or Diavaloo.

After the Incal

A mysterious metallic virus has devastated the immense City-Shaft, and John Difool is going to have to once again transform himself into humanity’s improbable savior! The unfinished conclusion to The Incal trilogy as drawn by Moebius. The last cycle of the adventures of John Difool, After The Incal was not yet completed when Moebius stopped working on the series. When Jodorowsky discovered the talent of Jose Ladrönn, he rewrote After The Incal for him, which morphed into Final Incal.

Final Incal

Lowly class ‘R’ detective John Difool and his faithful companion, Deepo, are unwillingly hurled into yet another universe-saving mission, as their world is faced with the threat of an all-devouring metallic virus. Visionary storyteller Jodorowsky returns to the epic mythology he created with the late Mœbius in the early 80s. For the conclusion of the legendary spiritual space adventure series, he partners with Eisner-winning artist Ladrönn.

Also collected in one volume simply title:

Other spin-offs

The Metabarons (or The Saga of The Meta-Barons)

Written by Alejandro Jodorowsky and illustrated by Argentinian artist Juan Giménez, The Metabarons chronicles the fascinating dynasty of the ultimate warrior. This collection introduces the history of the Metabarons and reveals the origins of their deep-seated principles, their vast wealth, their cybernetic implants, and their most brutal custom: that the only way for a son to become the next Metabaron is to slay his own father in mortal combat. Follow generations of Metabarons as they struggle to overcome the forces amassed against them in a galaxy corrupted by greed, power, and terror.

The Full collection:

The original publication: All of the volumes of The Metabarons

The First Cycle

  • Metabarons Genesis: Castaka (2014) – This is a prequel to the original series. The artwork is by Das Pastoras because Juan Giménez is too busy with other projects.
  • Weapons of the Metabaron (2011) – Another spin-off by Travis Charest and Zoran Janjetov. 

The Second Cycle: The Metabaron

Spin-off by Jerry Frissen, Valentin Secher and Niko Henrichon.

The Technopriests

After the Greek tragedy of “The Metabarons,” Alexandro Jodorowsky comes back to his biblical roots with this quest reminiscent of Moses and set on a galactic scale. To top it off, the characters and the theme of virtual reality are tailor-made for artist Zoran Janjetov (“Before The Incal”), who finds in Jodorowsky his perfect match. Albino, hero of this space odyssey, remembers here his childhood, his apprenticeship, and the big and small battles he had to fight to fulfill his ambitions in a universe where technological advances are paradoxically matched only by the cruelty and the barbarism of the forces controlling it.

The Incal Universe

The Incal expansion continues with the blessings of Alejandro Jodorowsky. Humanoids recently released three new prequels as part of the ‘Incal Universe Project’.

  • Kill Wolfhead (“Kill Tête-de-Chien”) (2021), by Brandon Thomas and Pete Woods
  • Psychoverse (2022), by Mark Russell and Yanick Paquette
  • Dying Star (2023), by Dan Watters and Jon Davis-Hunt

Last Updated on May 27, 2023.

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