Comics / European Comics

Sanctuaire (Sanctum)

By Patrick Bérubé
March 25, 2009 - 18:40

Cover of volume 2
S anctuaire is a trilogy that came out between 2001 and 2004 at Les Humanoides Associés . It did not caused much hype but Xavier Dorison's more recent work ( Long John Silver more precisely) was good enough to make me want to take a look at his previous work. Armed with my Public Library Card I went searching for the three comic books...

In 2029,The submarine USS Nebraska is sent to the Mediterranean to help in an hostile Syrian takeover of some American oil-platform. It is so far the biggest and the most powerful vessel of his class and his presence alone in the region should help calm the hostilities. But nothing could prepare the crew for what they were about to find. Near the cost, a distress signal is detected some 1,200 meters underneath the sea in a narrow tunnel. Investigating this signal, the vessel discovers the remains of a 1950's era Russian submarine which did not officially exist but even more intriguing is this huge temple right on front of it. It is when a team is sent to investigate the wreckage and another one the ruins that things start to go wrong for the crew as they suddenly start killing each other, getting rare disease and start destroying the equipment. Their only hope now seems to rest in the hand of their commander inside the temple and a radar operator aboard the submarine who now must assume leadership.

The crew discover the remain of a Soviet submarine in volume 1
I have to admit that I never really liked stories that mixed technologies and the supernatural. Both contains too much elements that do not mix well together. That might explain why I liked Sanctuaire. Xavier Dorison fully exploit the potential of each but they never really interfere with each other. The technologies are never used to solve a paranormal problem and the paranormal do not affect the technology. Mr. Dorison also make the most of the environment used in this comic book. I could not imagine the story taking place elsewhere than the submarine, the underwater environment and the Ugarit temple. I should also have mentioned earlier that Sanctuaire is basically a well told story. The characters are developed just enough so we care before they die. There are some well placed high points in the plot. I have admit that only the ending was slightly under my expectation and left me longing for more explanation.

As for the art, Christophe Bec's pencil and ink are quite effective at capturing the suspense/horror feeling of the story. The use of large inked area is not something commonly used in European comics if compared to their American counterpart and it is perfectly suited here. The only part that was not on par was the colors. Not that they are bad or anything, but they don't really stand out.

Sanctuaire will not become a classic but it provided me with a good read. I could hardly wait to read each volume since the plot progression made it hard to stop reading it. The series was partly translated by DC Comics in 2005


Rating: 8 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

    RSS       Mobile       Contact        Advertising       Terms of Service    ComicBookBin

© Copyright 2002-2023, Toon Doctor Inc. - All rights Reserved. All other texts, images, characters and trademarks are copyright their respective owners. Use of material in this document (including reproduction, modification, distribution, electronic transmission or republication) without prior written permission is strictly prohibited. Toon Doctor ® is registered trademarks of Toon Doctor Inc. Privacy Policy