Review by Woodrow Phoenix
Roger Leloup’s action hero Yoko Tsuno travels into space at light speed in this story, accompanied as always by her two friends Vic, the handsome, level-headed one and Pol, the comedy relief member of the team. When originally published in Dutch and French, these albums alternated in style between science-fiction action and adventure in one story and a mystery to solve in the next. However since these English translations have selected albums out of sequence from across the now-29-book series, many of the more straightforward mystery tales have already been reprinted. Six of the next seven volumes of Yoko Tsuno feature her blue alien friend Khany the Vinean, whose super-advanced technologies lead to many trips far beyond our solar system. Collecting almost all the space stories into one continuous stream of albums is good news for those fans who like the high-concept side of Roger Leloup’s storytelling, but perhaps not so good for those who like to see more human-scale adventures.
This story begins with the arrival of Khany in a very high-tech spaceship, to confirm what Yoko had long feared: human technology has improved to the point where the Vineans cannot remain in hiding on Earth any longer without eventually being discovered. They must try to relocate to their original planet, but how can they possibly reach a solar system millions of light-years away from Earth without spending uncountable lifetimes in a space ark? The answer is a hyper-space highway through a wormhole which enables them to make the immense journey in just a couple of months while sleeping all the way there in suspended animation. When the friends awaken, they find themselves above a planet divided into zones of permanent day and permanent night. There appears to be no trace of habitation since the cataclysm that made the Vineans abandon their world centuries before, but then who is controlling the giant machines that still function on the surface below?
Roger Leloup draws some fairly spectacular machinery and landscapes for the team to explore in The Three Suns of Vinea, beginning a new set of adventures for Yoko that will require all the mental and physical skills she possesses to achieve positive outcomes for herself and friends against some challenging foes. There is plenty of technical explanation and complicated conceptual ideas for young readers to get to grips with, lightened by some relationship drama, although there isn’t much in the way of jokes anymore. The otherworldly action continues on the planet Vinea in the next volume, The Titans.