Likely Heroines, Granya in Luc Orient

Science fiction BD lover that I am, I’ve always had a long lasting fondness for the very classical Franco-Belgian series Luc Orient, which ran from 1967 to 1994, penned by the prolific scenarist Greg and drawn by the no-less prolific artist Eddy Paape.

(SPOILERS for the above mentioned French comics)

Stylistically wise, it is very old-school and I’ve always thought the colours were often horrid, but I loved most of the series to death for its pretty out-there take on all things Sci-fi with a touch of horror. Like Yoko Tsuno, another favourite of mine, Luc Orient, a blond buff scientist and his two partners, professor Kala and assistant Lora, have a series of adventures both on Earth and in space, the latter taking them to the planet Terango. Like most of its contemporaries, the series isn’t hugely progressive when it comes to women, but the lone female member of the trio, Lora, likes to dig at her colleague’s bouts of inherent sexism, and is an intelligent and competent woman, even if she sometimes does veer into the stereotype of the blundering and air-headed damsel in convenient recurring distress.

One of the series more interesting takes on women can be found in volume 4 (vol 1 to 5 deal with a great Earth to Terango arc), where literally a third of the volume is devoted to Rebel Fighter Granya (introduced in previous volumes more as an instant friend for Lora, and her equivalent on the Terango side, as well as a vague love interest for Luc) her discovery of the new conspiracy to get rid of the rebels and her flight from the capital city, alone and through many dangers, to try to reach and warn her friends of imminent destruction. She is presented as a competent freedom fighter with good judgement, a dislike for violence but a reluctant understanding of the necessity of fighting, as well as a courageous person who will not hesitate to put herself in danger to save others, with the final sequence culminating in a really great fake-off, where Luc tries ineffectually to save her from death, but she instead ends up saving herself at the peril of her own life.

Here are a few pages of Granya’s flight through the hostile plains of terango :

* Luc Orient, Greg – Eddy Paape, albums originally published by Éditions du Lombard.

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