BOOK 2 SCREEN PICK
Satania by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoet (NBM, 2017 English Edition)
Summary: Charlotte – aka Charlie – a pretty redhead, sets up an expedition to find her brother. The young scientist, who disappeared underground several months ago, claimed – to everyone’s astonishment – to be able to prove the existence of Hell by using Darwin’s theory of evolution! The little group, led by Charlie, plunge underground in his pursuit. The deeper they progress into the entrails of our planet, the more they enter another world that hides other forms of life heretofore never experienced. The discovery changes them gradually in a way they cannot perceive…
Charlotte is in search of her older brother, Christopher, a spelunker gone missing. He’s determined to prove Hell exists and demons are just another part of Darwin’s evolutionary chain. Charlotte finds herself journeying deep into the earth, with five half-mad male characters that make up her recovery team. Charlotte is strong, brave, stubborn and slightly mad. Half the team disappears or go crazy and you are left with Charlotte, Father Monsore, and team leader, Lavergne. As they find clues that Christopher might still be alive, they push deeper finding strange creatures they call ‘Satanians, otherworldly landscapes, and hidden cities. The Satanians become obsessed with Charlotte. They reflect a more primal version of human desires and instincts.
This eccentric and juicy story combines the visuals and moral questions of Dante’s Inferno and Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth. The psychedelic color palette sparks one’s imagination, really pulling one into the story. There is so much ability to play with the landscape Kerascoet has given. Some really big themes are covered from looking at how small and meaningless humanity is in comparison to the universe; to challenging morality and human supremacy. Also, covering topics such as Christianity’s need to colonize, especially when thinking about these Western explorers looking for Hell. They all have their ulterior motives. The comic’s plot is very loose, as it’s the landscape that really pulls the story, which gives it a lot of room to be fleshed out and cleaned up for an adaptation.