De Wapenmeester – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: Adventure
Written by: Xavier Dorison
Illustrations: Joël Parnotte
Coloring: Joël Parnotte
Publisher: Dargaud

De Wapenmeester – Comic Book Review

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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Halfway the 16th century the Roman Catholic Church started losing a bit of its supremacy, as the Protestant movement started translating bibles, making them accessible for the average population, which made sure the priests were no longer able to lie about its contents. The book was supposed to be about love, compassion and aiding one another and not about dragging the normal people down the dumps, while those preaching the bible gained all their riches. ‘De Wapenmeester’ is a tale about this turbulent period, albeit through the eyes of one of the best warriors France has ever seen.


Hans Stalhoffer has been the king’s weapons-master (armorer) for over twelve years, and during his life he has seen many wars and violence, and trained many nobles, who were eager to hone their skills with this legendary fighter. Nonetheless, every year a duel takes place to see if one can keep his position of working for the king, and while Hans is still a very capable fighter, it seems something is off. He is disappointed by the king’s choice of adding a rapier to the list of weapons. Hans feels this isn’t a blade of honor but a weapon that can be mass produced equipping many incapable fighters with a means to fight, whilst not being worthy of such a feat. Even though his duel with the sneaky Giancarlo Massimo Alessandro Di Maleztraza ends with a tie, Hans gives away his prestigious title, as he is too disappointed in the king to continue his work for him. Leaving his friend, the royal surgeon Gauvin, behind, Hans heads off to find work. All this time Maleztraza is furious about not being able to finish the duel.

Hans is now working for a priest, who demands money from his underlings and Hans has to collect it, using any means necessary. Even though this goes against all of Hans’ principles he still does the job, albeit in a rather peaceful fashion. Little did he know his arduous routine would be shaken up when Gauvin and his assistant Casper show up asking for his help. It seems Gauvin is trying to protect the first printed copy of a French bible for the populace, with troops right behind him. Even though Hans refuses at first, it seems he can’t abandon his old friend after all. When Maleztraza suddenly appears in the picture, it’s clear that a rematch is bound to happen.

Overall the flow is very pleasant, as you’ll get a very proper introduction, especially with the short page of text in the beginning. You’ll be treated with enough information, followed by a lot of action sequences, making this a very interesting album.

Xavier Dorison shows he is capable of writing a tale of rather epic proportions, where a lot of plot twists occur, surprising everyone who reads the album. Not only are the action scenes well thought of, the underlying plot and thread throughout the entire issue are a sign of a very experience writer. Even though the album is nearly 100 pages long, you’ll want to read it in one go.

The illustrations by Joël Parnotte are top notch, as everything is highly detailed, realistic and the backdrop in all pictures is outstandingly done. Certain scenes are highlighted more than others, by the use of inconsistent panel placing which makes for a very interesting appearance. Sometimes the environment stands out thanks to the use of this method, or even certain emotions of characters when browsing through certain ‘zoomed in’ panels.


De Wapenmeester proves to be an amazing standalone album, with not only a surprising storyline but great illustrations to accompany it from start to finish. This long hardcover issue is well worth it to have in your collection, especially if you enjoy a great action tale, with a very interesting thread running through it.

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De Wapenmeester - Comic Book Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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