Lefranc #26 Operatie Antarctica – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: Adventure
Written by: François Corteggiani
Illustrations: Christophe Alvès
Coloring: Bonaventure
Publisher: Casterman

Lefranc #26 Operatie Antarctica – Comic Book Review

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Tales with journalists who seem to experience more adventures than they write articles, we’ve already seen a few of them in comic books, Tintin probably being the most known. Nonetheless, Lefranc’s missions are of a whole different caliber. While Tintin has time to listen to his friend Bianca Castafiore sing, Lefranc is pretty much alone while trying to save the world. An interesting take on the same starting point.


Journalist Guy Lefranc is working on a new article when suddenly he gets a phone call from detective Renard. Renard brings him to a remote cottage somewhere in Normandy, for a top secret meeting with Mister Cunningham. This Mister Cunningham asks for his help in a very important mission in Neuschwabenland, Antarctica. There, in the icy desert, the Nazis built a base around 1936, where a select group of scientists worked together on their new flying disks, The Diskus. The American, Russian and English special forces set up operation ‘High Jump’, to destroy this base, in order to dislodge the last soldiers of the Reich, but the operation turned out to be a total fiasco. Nonetheless, they told the world that there were no Nazis out there. Obviously, this was a lie, and thus Cunningham asks Lefranc to infiltrate the base, with the help of a Russian spy. To do so, he has to go undercover as the German test pilot Anton Lodewijk, who will be brought to Antarctica. Fortunately for Lefranc, this first step of the operation succeeds, and nobody notices anything odd. But while he, together with some scientists, is on his way to Antarctica by zeppelin, one of the others proves to be his archenemy Axel Borg. Lefranc fears that he will be unmasked, but as Borg is actually there under a false name as well trying to steal the German’s artworks that are supposedly hidden there, for now they decide to be allies. They arrive safely, but it’s only now that the operation truly starts, as he will have to find out who is his Russian ally, as well as a way to eliminate the Germans while still getting out alive.

After what seems to be the beginning of an interesting, though mysterious story, a minor flashback shines some more light on things. The story moves rather fast, although it never truly feels that way. Next to the conversations, a big role is set apart for a narrator, which enables François Corteggiani to give lots of information, which in turn gives the story more depth without it becoming unclear.

The Second World War has already been the topic of many comic books reviewed on the site, and indirectly, also this album is connected, since at the base of Neuschwabenland there are still some Nazis, even though the war has ended several years ago. The fact that Axel Borg is looking for the paintings stolen out of museums by the Germans, is also a nice reference which will immediately ring a bell for those who read our review on the comic book Geel Berlijn. What makes this album different, is that it is part of a longer running series, and it is mostly the remnants of the war, rather than the war itself, that are the core.

Even though this issue is published more than sixty years after the first one by Jacques Martin, Christophe Alvès’ illustrations still evoke the same atmosphere. The meticulously contoured speech balloons, as well as the italic font also add to a certain feeling of sophistication. The colors Bonaventure chose to use are never really bold, but still show quite some variation and richness.


Lefranc #26 Operatie Antarctica tells the story of an operation to try and eliminate the Nazis on Antarctica, long after World War II has ended. This might seem a bit odd, but the story is presented in an intriguing way, which never gets dull. Alvès and Corteggiani prove that Lefranc is still a strong title, even after the death of Jacques Martin, Lefranc’s spiritual father.

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Lefranc #26 Operatie Antarctica - Comic Book Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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