Jean-Louis & Julien Fonteneau (A) Erik Arnoux (C) Chrys Millien
Spending recent years in Corsica, Tony Duarte has immersed himself in learning the tricks and mastering poker. Duarte’s father, Jacques, was an avid gambler and poker player often on the less legitimate side of things. But then Jacques dies in a rather suspicious suicide and Tony decides to get to the truth. Tony has already come close to death when he took on a psychopathic poker player nicknamed Balzac, in a cellar full of the corpses of players he had avenged and only managed to escape by setting fire to the house and leaving Balzac for dead. Unfortunately the authorities now blame Tony for these deaths!
Tony’s research is now focussed on his father’s note-book which contains the names and addresses of players. Tony decides to increase his knowledge of the “science” of poker, in order to have a chance to penetrate the inner circle of “big” players and find out what really happened to his father.
In particular, Tony discovers that his father took part in a game at a mysterious castle the day before his death knows that his father played a part in a mysterious chateau the day before his suicide. Along with his acquaintances, Tony gets into the chateau but there are many distractions –and lots of beautiful women, some large amounts of bluffing, gun-play and even a “Mexican stand-off”!
I really do love the nitty-gritty in these French albums. The little cottages, the messy bedrooms and all the stuff that you never really see in an American comic. It adds to the atmosphere of the art and story which is a little more complex than I’ve probably made it sound! Millien’s colour work is really great. I’ve not seen the first volume but it doesn’t really matter. More classy French work!