The action takes place in July 1804. Thus begins Roosters, fifth volume of the comic strip Double Mask by Jean Dufaux and Martin Jamar plunging us into the dawn of the Empire where plots and machinations continue to take shape, but also negotiations and talks.
On May 18, 1804, Bonaparte was proclaimed “Emperor of the French” under the name of Napoleon the First. However, the coronation - December 2, 1804 - is still to come. This fifth opus opens with the preparation of the coronation ceremony with all its ceremonial. However, Bonaparte has other concerns in the person of his strange double raging in the slums of the capital. If he wants to continue his inexorable rise to the imperial throne, the Emperor has no choice but to enter into a discussion with the Ant on his own, despite everything under the supervision of Fouche, the Squirrel and the Torpedo. As to the origin of the two masks, the veil of mystery begins to fall.
This new volume of Double Mask continues in the line of precedents in its quality of historical reconstruction. The context for the advent of the Empire remains very well explained. Details such as the choice of patterns for a coat, for example, enrich this historical thriller with lightness and precision and allow themes such as the symbolism of bees to be addressed. Meaning immortality and resurrection, bees are considered one of the oldest emblems of the rulers of the kingdom of France, later becoming an imperial emblem. More than the plot remaining fairly classic, it is a real painting from the beginning of the 19th century.e century that Jean Dufaux delivers to us through his story.
And this painting would not be complete without the drawing of Martin Jamar. Indeed, graphically, Double Mask does not cease to seduce us in particular with a very beautiful color setting perfectly reproducing the different atmospheres and the different places.
Thus, despite a plot that progresses slowly and amidst the profusion of comics on the difficult subject of Napoleon Bonaparte, Jean Dufaux and Martin Jamar have been able to build and give their series an identity and personality of their own. Their last volume finally offers us the confrontation between the two mask-bearers, the luminous Bee facing the dark Ant.
Les Masques, volume 5, Les Coqs, by Dufaux and Jamar. March 2010, Editions Dargaud.