De Bank Deel 5 Derde Generatie: Het Panama-Project – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: History
Written by: Pierre Boisserie, Philippe Guillaume
Illustrations: Stéphane Brangier
Coloring: Delf
Publisher: Dargaud

De Bank Deel 5 Derde Generatie: Het Panama-Project – Comic Book Review

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Good: Surprising yet interesting part of history to be told in a comic book series
Bad: The fast pace makes it difficult to follow
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It’s been a while since we reviewed an issue of the series ‘De Bank’ revolving around a French banker’s family and the entire banking history in France in the nineteenth century. Now we’ve come to the 1880s, a period of recession and stock market crises. The members of the de Saint-Hubert family all try to keep their heads above water, be it with different ideas, causing them to clash once more.

De bank deel 5a

Joseph de Saint-Hubert arrives in New York in 1882 to take care of the opening of the new branch of the BGI overseas. He is convinced that they shouldn’t wildly spend the common man’s money, as they will not be able to pay it back if needed, and once that happens, they will go bankrupt. The members of the board think differently though and want the bank to keep investing as much as possible, in Ferdinand de Lesseps’ Panama Canal for example. They laugh at Joseph’s urge to be prudent, and since Joseph doesn’t have any say, they do just as they please anyway.

Shortly after, the stock market in Lyon, which was already very tense, crashes. Because of Joseph’s prudence, the BGI survived well, and Joseph becomes head of the BGI instead of his uncle who is set aside. He comes up with a plan to save the banks that went bankrupt, including the one of his brother Achille. The tension between the members of the de Saint-Hubert family rises even more, and intrigue and adultery seem to be common things.

De Bank #5 2

The story moves at a very fast pace, which makes it quite difficult to follow. Lots of things are constantly going on, and the transition between the different scenes is often quite abrupt. Nonetheless, the subject is quite an interesting one, though probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re willing to put some effort into it, it’s absolutely amazing to see this part of history being told in a comic book. If you want even more historical background, there is additional information at the back. While providing you with more details to the story, this also gives the whole series a more authentic feel.

The illustrations are by Stéphane Brangier this time, unlike in the last issue we reviewed. The overall style is quite similar though, thus everything still goes together seamlessly. Nonetheless, the bolder lines and less detailed faces make sure Brangier’s input is noticeable, and appreciated. The coloring is done using muted, light shades, making the whole look a bit old, which it is of course. In other words, it’s a nice touch to the series.

De Bank #5 1


De Bank Deel 5 Derde Generatie: Het Panama-Project is a nice addition to this series. The story continues, the economy changes, and history is being made. Even though the subject is not something everyone would reach for, it’s very informative while at the same time exciting. Nonetheless, you will have to stay focused if you want to be able to fully understand what’s going on, as the pace is rather quick, but if you’re willing to put some effort into it, this is absolutely worth checking out.

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