Writer: Pierre Christin (1938- )
Artist: Jean-Claude Mezieres (1938- )

Valerian is an agent for the space-time police of Galaxity, the powerful Terran empire from the year 2770. His companion is the red-haired Laureline, originally from medieval France. In episodes 13 and 14, Galaxity's future is erased by powerful time-manipulating aliens, stranding Valerian and Laureline in our present.

The Stories
from "Pilote" Magazine

0. Les Mauvais Reves [
The Bad Dreams] (30 p.) (PI Nos. 420-434, 1967)
1a. La Cite des Eaux Mouvantes [
The City Of The Moving Waters] (28 p.) (PI Nos. 455-468, 1968)
1b. Terre en Flammes [
Earth In Flames] (28 p.) (PI Nos. 492-505, 1969)
2. L'Empire des Mille Planetes [
The Empire Of A Thousand Planets] (44 p.) (PI Nos. 520-541, 1970)
3. Le Pays Sans Etoiles [
World Without Stars] (46 p.) (PI Nos. 570-592, 1971)
4. Bienvenue sur Aflolol [
Welcome To Alflolol] (46 p.) (PI Nos. 632-653, 1972)
5. Les Oiseaux du Maitre [
The Birds Of The Master] (46 p.) (PI Nos. 710-722, 1973)
6. L'Ambassadeur des Ombres [
The Ambassador Of The Shadows] (46 p.) (Nouveau PI Nos. 14-17, 1975)
7. Sur les Terres Truquees [
On The Fixed Earths] (1977)
8. Les Heros de l'Equinoxe [
The Heroes Of The Equinox] (1978)
9. Metro Chatelet Direction Cassiopee (1980)
10. Brooklyn Station Terminus Cosmos (1981)
11. Les Spectres d'Inverloch [
The Ghosts Of Inverloch] (1984)
12. Les Foudres d'Hypsis [
The Thunder Of Hypsis] (1985)
13. Sur Les Frontieres [
On The Borders] (1988)
14. Les Armes Vivantes [
The Living Weapons] (1990)
15. Les Cercles du Pouvoir [
The Circles Of Power] (1994)
16. Les Otages de l'Ultralum [
The Hostages Of The Ultralum] (1996)
17. L'Orphelin des Astres [
The Orphan From The Stars] (1998)
18. Par des Temps Incertains [
In Uncertain Times] (2001)
19. Au Bord du Grand Rien [
At the Edge of the Great Nothing] (2004)


1. Par les Chemins de l'Espace [
Across The Pathways Of Space] (1979, digest-size softcover; contains five 16 p. short stories published in "Super Pocket Pilote":
a) Le Flumgluff de l'Amitie [
The Flumgluff of Friendship] (SPP 8, 1970);
b) Tsirillitis l'Asteroide [
Tsirillitis the Asteroid] (SPP 5, 1969);
c) Les Engrenages d'Uxgloa [
The Cogs of Uxgloa] (SPP 4, 1969);
d) La Planete Triste [
The Sad Planet] (SPP 6, 1969);
e) Triomphe de la Technique [
Triumph of Technology] (SPP 9, 1970))
2. Mezieres et Christin Avec... [
Mezieres & Christin With...] (1985, hardcover; reprinting Episode 0; an unpublished "video comic", Les Asteroides de Shiballil [The Asteroids of Shimballil], and some non-Valerian stories)
3. Valerian Omnibus (1986, hardcover; reprinting Eps. 1, 2a and 2b, and the last two 16 p. short stories published in "Super Pocket Pilote" not reprinted in 1 above:
f) Le Grand Collectionneur [
The Great Collector] (SPP 3, 1969),
g) Droles de Specimens [
Funny Specimens] (SPP 7, 1970)
4. Les Habitants du Ciel - Atlas Cosmique de Valerian & Laureline [
The Inhabitants of the Sky - Valerian & Laureline's Cosmic Atlas] (1991)
5. Les Habitants du Ciel Volume 2 - Atlas Cosmique de Valerian & Laureline [
The Inhabitants of the Sky - Valerian & Laureline's Cosmic Atlas] (1999)

Publishing History

Valerian made its debut in 1967 in the French weekly magazine "Pilote".

Ep. 0 --
The Bad Dreams -- takes place in Year 2770 and set the stage for the following stories. On this Earth of the future, Galaxity is the capital of the mighty space-faring Terran Empire. Since the discovery of space/time travel in 2314, Earth has lived in a semi-technological utopia. Spatiotemporal agents patrol the past to protect it -- a concept obviously inspired by Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series -- and explored the cosmos.

The Bad Dreams, top agent Valerian is sent to the middle-ages to capture a renegade Galaxity scientist, Xiombul, who desires to control the future through sorcery. The story also introduces Valerian's companion, the young and spunky Laureline.

In the next story,
The City of the Moving Waters, and its sequel, Earth in Flames, Valerian and Laureline are once again sent to chase after Xiombul, this time in the New York of 1986. Just before their arrival, there has been an explosion of a cache of hydrogen bombs near the pole, which has resulted in the crumbling of civilization and the submersion of much of Earth's coastal areas. Xiombul's plan is to use his superior scientific knowledge to control the survivors, and create a new galactic empire.

In 1968, postulating a world-shattering catastrophe for 1986 was perfectly acceptable. After all, it was almost twenty years in the future. However, time caught up with Mezieres and Christin, and when 1986 came, they had to address the question of why had the explosion not occurred. More on this below.

The next adventure is a classic space opera, entitled
The Empire of a Thousand Planets. Valerian and Laureline infiltrate the decadent, alien empire of Syrte, and discover that it is secretly ruled by the disfigured survivors of a first Terran space expedition.

The fourth adventure,
World Without Stars, shows Valerian and Laureline saving the inhabitants of a hollow planetoid from a collision course. For the first time, Laureline is shown to be a wiser character than Valerian.

Welcome to Alflolol is almost a political statement. In it, Valerian and Laureline disagree on Galaxity's treatment of the native inhabitants of an industrial planet, when they return to find their world sadly changed.

The Birds of the Master, the heroes are stranded on an isolated planet, and must overcome a galactic entity that feeds on negative emotions.

Ambassador of the Shadows is the first Valerian story to have been translated in the United States. Its plot focuses on Laureline's frantic search for Valerian and a kidnapped Earth Ambassador. The setting is a gigantic space station that serves as a meeting point for a myriad of galactic races. It confirms the young woman's dominant position in the series.

The Fixed Earths features an army of Valerian clones investigating bizarre replicas of pieces of Earth's historical past floating in deep space. They turn out to be the creations of an alien artist who wished to study our civilization.

Then, in
The Heroes of Equinox, Mezieres and Christin poke gentle fun at American superheroes, in a story about a competition between Valerian and three super-powered alien champions to become the progenitors of a new generation of children for a dying race.


The next two books, Metro Chatelet Direction Cassiopea and Brooklyn Station Terminus Cosmos, show Valerian travelling to the 1980s to explore the mysterious appearances of alien, elemental forces. Laureline discovers that the key to this cosmic plot is to be found in Cassiopea in the future.

The saga continues in
The Spectres of Inverloch and The Thunder of Hypsis. Mezieres and Christin finally come to grips with the non-occurrence of the 1986 nuclear explosion. We discover that the powerful alien planet Hypsis has come to resent Galaxity's increasingly imperialistic interference in cosmic affairs and have decided to get rid of it. To do this, they manipulate Earth's past, intending to set up the fateful nuclear explosion, not realizing that it is precisely that event which eventually gave rise to Galaxity. By saving the world in 1985, Valerian virtually erases his own future.

Some loose ends are tied in
On The Borders in which Jal, a Galaxity agent who has miraculously escaped the destruction of Galaxity, tries to start a nuclear war to recreate history the way he knew it.

Since then,
Valerian and Laureline have been selling their expertise as freelance cosmic troubleshooters, looking for "timelost" Galaxity...


In addition to these full-length stories, there were seven shorter Valerian stories published in the early 1970s in the digest-sized, quarterly "Super Pocket Pilote". These were collected in The Pathways of Space, and the more recent Valerian Omnibus volume.

An original Valerian story,
The Asteroids of Shimballil, was also prepared for an animated video production. Drawings for the first episode were published in the Mezieres & Christin collection.

VALERIAN in the U.S.A.

The first episode of
VALERIAN to be trasnslated into English was L'Abassadeur des Ombres as Ambassador of the Shadows in the January-April 1981 issues of Heavy Metal magazine.

Then, four books were released by the short-lived
Dargaud USA in 1982-83: Ambassador of the Shadows, World Without Stars, Welcome to Aflolol and Heroes of the Equinox.

Heroes of the Equinox were then reprinted in 1996 by the even shorter-lived Fantasy Flight.

In 2000,
NBM Publishing reissued the same four titles above, and announced it was going to release The Empire of a Thousand Stars, but ultimately, did not.

Finally, in 2004,
iBooks published The New Future Trilogy collecting On the Frontiers, The Living Weapons and The Circles of Power in one volume reduced to US comic book size.



The Authors

Pierre Christin. When he created Valerian, writer Pierre Christin, a childhood friend of artist Jean-Claude Mezieres, had already penned a number of short stories under the pseudonym of "Linus." Another, more recent, collaboration with Mezieres, is the futuristic thriller Canal-Choc. Christin's other famous genre series include the grim and political Légendes d'Aujourd'hui [Modern Legends] drawn by Enki Bilal and Les Leçons du Prof. Bourremou [The Teachings of Prof. Bourremou] with Francois Boucq. Christin is also a distinguished science fiction novelist.


French artist Jean-Claude Mezieres (1938- ) attended the same art school as Moebius in the 1950s. He joined the editorial team of "Pilote" in the early 1960s, and co-created Valerian, the most popular SF series in French comics, with Christin in 1967. He also supervised Canal-Choc in 1990.

Valerian © 2003 Mezieres/Christin/Dargaud. All rights reserved.