Long John Silver Volume 3…. better and better and better….

Published On November 3, 2011 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

Long John Silver Volume 3: The Emerald Maze

By Xavier Dorison and Mathieu Lauffray


There’s a quote on the back of this from me that’s so true….. “practically nailed on to the best of 2011 list already“. And Volume 3 merely reinforces that verdict. This is everything I was hoping it would be, a  perfect continuation of the saga.

Here’s some more from the previous reviews (Volume 1, Volume 2), just to give you an idea of how much fun this is……

“It’s a simply wondrous, hugely enjoyable book. The characters are so effortlessly amoral, so believably real in a deliciously pantomime manner. But beneath the effortless adventure and the plentiful enjoyment to be had in some very strongly crafted characters there’s a real steel, as Dorison delights in revisiting some of the key philosophical themes that Stevenson addressed in the original.”

“And all the way through Lauffray’s art, whether looking Eisner-ish, Adams-ish or simply Lauffray-ish, is a little special. Lauffray pulls off some beautiful, breathtaking scenes and effortlessly captures the spirit of the times and the multifaceted nature of these incredible characters.”

“Long John Silver Volume 2 is a sublime continuation of the series, that takes the oh so perfect setup from Volume 1 and keeps going, fast and furious yet with a refined control. It’s a page turner, but one you also want to linger over. This dichotomy creates something really readable, literate yet pulpy, a potboiler of an adventure with a solid moral edge worthy of Stevenson’s best characters.

Really, I shouldn’t need to say much more really, should I?

Okay then, for you…… Long John Silver has taken over the Neptune but he’s lost the map that will lead him, the devious and desperate Lady Vivian, and the increasingly out of his depth Dr Livesy, to the fabled treasures of Guiana-Capac and the riches beyond their dreams. But everyone of the main cast has some other agenda, and there’s no way of knowing at this stage what any of them are. The thrill is in the finding out.

Speaking of thrills, right at the very start, as Silver navigates the Neptune to land through some seemingly impossible to navigate reefs, there’s a series of pages which end with the line “Everyone was holding his breath“. And dammit I know just how they felt. I was as well. Thrilling? Oh yes:

But once they make it past the reefs, they have no idea what awaits them, no idea what fate befell Lady Vivien’s husband, no idea of the danger they’re sailing into. We’re past paradise here, deep in the Amazonian jungle, with Silver and his fellows in troubles they can’t quite imagine.

Their only real guide at this point is the native Indian sent by Lord Byron Hastings in the first volume to Lady Vivian, and it’s becoming obvious that there’s much more going on with Byron and Lady Vivian, and her fear is unsettling, even to Silver:

Yet again, it’s a superb read. Like I said, it’s been a shoo-in for the best of the year list since I first read Volume 1. This volume merely reinforces my initial reaction. This is absolutely top drawer brilliance, with both Dorison and Lauffray on fire. Perfection? It’s damn close.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

One Response to Long John Silver Volume 3…. better and better and better….

  1. Your review of Long John Silver is, I think, spot on. This is one of those rare series that as well as looking good and telling a good story actually oozes real atmosphere. For my money it hasn’t put a foot wrong and of all the many comics and graphic novels I’ve brought this past year, Long John Silver sits at the top of my list of favourites. I must get around to reading Treasure Island one of these days!