Luc Besson's new film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is, like many movies, based on a comic series, however, this source material is not necessarily as well known as your standard Marvel comic book. The 1967 comic which inspired the movie is originally French and as such is less well known in North America. In an attempt to fix that, a new collection that contains the first two books in the series is set for release in June, just before the film hits screens.
Valérian and Laureline was created by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières in the 1960s and while the comic actually ran until 2010, it's probably not as well known to the average movie fan as anything from Marvel or DC. There will be a chance for fans to familiarize themselves with the content, however, as Amazon is currently listing a new edition of the first two books in the series with a release date of June 1, 2017. Even people who are fans will want to pick this one up, as it will contain issue 0, a book written after the first, but numbered and set beforehand. That book has never been translated into English before.
Movie fans will also want to check it out because the volume will also contain an interview with director Luc Besson as well as sketches and photographs from the production of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The film will hit theaters at the end of July, giving people plenty of time to pick up the book and read it before checking out the movie.
If Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets looks similar to Luc Besson's other major science fiction movie The Fifth Element, that's not an accident. Jean-Claude Mézières, the artist half of the Valerian team was also a designer for the movie. Luc Besson has been a fan of the comic for a very long time so this is clearly a labor of love for the writer and director. It certainly contains the visual style of a graphic novel. Whether or not the substance is there remains to be seen.
As somebody not personally that familiar with Valerian, I'll certainly be looking at ordering up this book in order to get more prepared for the film. Were you already a fan of the comic or has the movie created a new interest? Let us know in the comments below.