Le Chevalier d'Eon, Volume Three (Mania.com)

By:Nadia Oxford, Columnist
Review Date: Saturday, February 02, 2008

Volume 3 of Ubukata and Yumeji's Le Chevalier D'Eon continues its grand tradition of cross-dressing warriors, exploiting the Kabbalah for the sake of depth and making storybook figures out of historical characters for the purpose of putting them where they don't belong. In other words, Le Chevalier D'Eon continues to be good fun. Just don't take it seriously and everything will be okay.

Le Chevalier D'Eon's story centres around D'Eon, a bumbling member of the Paris Police Force. D'Eon takes his "real" job very seriously, however: He's actually an agent of King Louis XV's Secret Police, a shadowy force dedicated to identifying and stopping the fiendish Poets. The Poets, a twisted sect of monsters that write psalms with the blood of young virgins, are matched in ferocity by the spirit of Lia D'Eon, who uses her brother's body to fight them.

Indeed, quite strange. But not easily forgotten.

Especially since Le Chevalier D'Eon is well-known for its gorgeous artwork, and volume three is no exception. Every panel is drawn with remarkable detail, particularly the flowing gowns that make Lia appear ghostlike even when she's inhabiting the body of her brother. The poets look suitably hideous, and the blood spurts generously.

Volume three also adds a new dimension to Lia (whose code name among her enemies is The Sphinx). The first two volumes of the series cast her as little more than her brother's personal summon monster, but by the end of volume two, she presented herself as more of a free-thinking character. She wishes to find out who murdered her and why, and it's already evident that the journey to find the answer won't be easy on herself or her brother.

Or, for that matter, the rest of Paris. Le Chevalier D'Eon's plot has slowly been mixing in other elements aside from the Poets' mystery and massacre since the second volume. Paris' relations with other countries are in danger of breaking down under wars and the politics of alliances. King Louis himself declares his intentions to abandon diplomacy if it means protecting his cursed daughter, Sophie, from the forces of darkness. And the impending French Revolution is never far from the minds of those who know it's inevitable.

Two new figures step away from history to settle themselves in the fictional world of Le Chevalier D'Eon: Saint Germain the "wandering alchemist" and Madame de Pompadour who is cast as Sophie's mother. Both promise to have very significant roles as the series goes on. Volume three retails for $10.95.



Mania Grade: B
Issue: Le Chevalier d'Eon, Volume Three
Story By: Tou Ubukata
Manga By: Kiriko Yumeji
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Publisher: Del Ray