Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the latest sci-fi epic from Luc Besson, had far more humble beginnings than the silver screen. It started out as a series of French comics called Valérian and Laureline that launched in 1967 and wrapped in 2010.
Besson has talked at length about his love for the series, especially its heroine Laureline, and it inspired some of his 1990s hit The Fifth Element. In the comics, Valerian and Laureline are “spatio-temporal” agents who travel through time and space solving problems, like the title character on Doctor Who. Unlike her Cara Delevingne live-action counterpart, the comic version of Laureline is a peasant from 11th century France who winds up becoming Valerian’s partner after saving him.
An anime version, dubbed Time Jam: Valerian & Laureline, premiered about 20 years ago. The French series features much of the pair’s original origin story, but adds a disappearing Earth into the mix. After Laureline saves Valerian, the two warp back to his era and find the planet is gone. They take jobs as mercenaries, completing odd jobs, while trying to solve the greater mystery of their disappearing home. Laureline and Valerian are initially reluctant partners, taking verbal shots at each other whenever they get the chance. But as the show progresses, they develop real feelings for each other — and get very, very good at saving each other from bad spots.Read More...
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