De Cambridge Five Deel 1: Trinity – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: History
Written by: Valérie Lemaire
Illustrations: Olivier Neuray
Coloring: Dominique Osuch
Publisher: Casterman

De Cambridge Five Deel 1: Trinity – Comic Book Review

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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Espionage appeals to the imagination of many of us, and has already been the topic of many films, books and other media. It is exciting and scary at the same time, as spies might be unmasked at any moment. Then again, it is honorable to fight for what you believe in, even though it means lying, manipulating and not being able to live a peaceful life. That is exactly what the Cambridge Five, a group of English communist thinking spies did: they fought together for one cause. In the first issue of the comic book series based on their story, we see how it all came to be.


The story starts off in 1979. Two men, John and Kolia visit Anthony Blunt, who has recently been identified as a Soviet spy and was one of the Cambridge Five. He used to be good friends with these gentlemen’s mother, and therefore trusts them enough to tell them his story.

It all starts in 1931. The crisis of 1929 is still very noticeable in England. People are poor and have a hard time not starving to death. Fascism emerges all around Europe. At Cambridge, most students are upper class though, and are not in the least interested in the living conditions of the poor. They believe they are better, and stick with their conservative ideas.

Luckily, not every Cambridge student thinks that way. Some really start to doubt society as they know it and do have an eye for the poor. This doubt becomes a real conviction, and before they know it, a group of five students who strive for a better society is formed. As their political beliefs get stronger, they find that the Soviets have more or less the same standards as they do. Slowly, but successfully they get caught up in what later proved to be the most unbelievable network of espionage.

Truth be told, there is a lot of information to process in this issue. Sometimes Olivier Neuray and Valérie Lemaire leave you in the dark for just a moment, presenting you with new characters, while only explaining who they are a few panels further in the story. This is an interesting way of telling the story, but also makes it difficult as a reader to follow. It is Anthony Blunt, in 1979, who is actually telling the story. Every now and then we are reminded, as the panels may suddenly switch from the 1930s back to 1979.

The beginning of the story is not very clear, as characters such as Youri aren’t properly introduced. Although this is a separate series from the two part series by the same writers called De Kozakken van Hitler, it would be useful to read that series first, as these characters are introduced there. Nonetheless, this doesn’t prove vital for the story, and after flicking the first page, you will experience no real disadvantage any more.

Illustrations are quite detailed in the backgrounds, though not so much when it comes to facial expressions. Neuray and Lemaire chose to work with shadows and thick black lines, rather than small thin strokes. This gives the series quite a unique look.


Overall the story is very interesting, certainly given that it is based on real events. It isn’t always that easy to follow, as there is a lot of information to process. Nonetheless, this also keeps the story exciting. Illustrations are in a unique style, which helps to evoke the 1930s feeling. There was a lot happening in this issue already, and we’re looking forward to the next one, to see how things will evolve.

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De Cambridge Five Deel 1: Trinity - Comic Book Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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