Jason McClane’s original story over eighteen graphic novels was long, twisted and complex, and encompassed characters from all walks of life. It’s seems to be the case that Yves Sente has set himself the exercise of not only producing a thrilling follow-up in five volumes, but to feature any character of note who survived from the original story. That’s ambitious, but the way he works them in so naturally is breathtaking, as several more appear in The Martyr’s Message, and this hardly prevents the introduction of new characters serving individual episodes. It’s inordinately impressive, and so is the way Sente weaves a new story around incidents detailed in the books written by Jean Van Hamme.

This time around Jason appears to have found himself with someone who has as great a capacity for landing themselves in trouble as he has, desperately attempting to escape some people who’re the result of her low rent lifestyle. An act of kindness pays off, however, as Jason, now in the Netherlands, begins to piece together the secrets his family has kept, those erased from his memory.

As has been the case since starting on the series, Iouri Jiganov’s artwork is impeccable. He tells the story well, his cast live and move naturally, and everything looks so attractive. He also brings locations to life, be they an orphanage in the 1960s, the Dutch canals or a rural bar.

By the end of the book Sente has ramped up the stakes considerably, and leaves himself with one hell of a task to tie things up neatly in the conclusion, Jason McClane’s Inheritance. Based on XIII since he started writing it, we can assume he’ll manage.