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I'm trying to track down a comic/graphic novel I read as a child (must've been between 2001 and 2008, and I estimate it wasn't older than from 1990) in a mid-sized local library.

First off, I read it in German, but it might very well have been a translation. There should be at least three softcover comic books, each of them approximately in A4 format.

The setting was medieval (Europe I think), and the protagonist as I remember him was sort of a Geralt of Rivia type, maybe tracking down something; a person, an apocrypha-like book, I'm not sure. But I think it was central that there was some knowledge not sanctioned by the Catholic church. I remember corrupt or downright evil clergymen. The whole scenery as I remember it was pretty dark, ravens played some role. (At least I remember ravens when I think of the comic.) The Book of Revelation was central I think.

The Four Evangelists also played a role. I don't think they appeared in the books, but their writings did. Maybe the individual comic books were even named after them. It wasn't a religious comic, they just took this medieval, Catholic, and very sinister background for the story. There were graphic elements, so not a children's comic, but rather for teens and grown ups. Monasteries, old cathedrals, and everything was very dark, lots of black in the scenery.

I think Jesus, or someone who claimed to be him, played a role. Maybe it was his brother, or an impostor, or even really Jesus himself? This is just a vague memory which might be completely wrong! As it turned out that person wasn't so nice as you would expect after reading the Bible, but rather violent and dark. I think that person still lived in the comics and the protagonist met him in medieval Europe.

Actually, it might be that there were templar knights in the comic. So maybe crusades and Jerusalem appeared as well.

You can check out The Book of Revelation (this is not the comic I'm looking for though, despite the overlap in topic) by Matt Dorff and Chris Koelle to get a feeling of the style of the comic I'm searching. The book covers also were in that style: lots of black and sinister.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F! This is a really nicely detailed question, but just in case it might still help you, you might want to check out the suggestions for story-id questions. There might still be a hint there you haven't covered yet. – DavidW Dec 10 '19 at 22:58
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    It's not Douglas Rushkoff's Testament series is it? The period and subject matter seem good, but the art maybe isn't dark enough. – DavidW Dec 10 '19 at 23:17
  • @DavidW I checked it and indeed, it's not as dark as the comic I searched. You can check Henning Kockerbeck's answer below to see what I was looking for. – user9007131 Dec 10 '19 at 23:40
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I haven't read it for years, so I'm not sure about all details, but several of your points fit "Le troisième Testament" by Xavier Dorison and Alex Alice. The French original was published by Glénat between 1997 and 2003. Carlsen Comics published the German version in 2002/2003 as "Das Dritte Testament". The first cycle of the series is comprised of four volumes:

Between 2010 and 2018, a second cycle with five volumes was published in France, but I don't believe those have been published in Germany (yet).

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  • That's it! Thank you so much. After writing the question, I kept researching and found something called 'The Fifth Gospel', which seemed to kind-of fit the theme, but was published from 2008 onwards so it couldn't be it. When I read your answer and checked the cover of book 1 'Marc ou le réveil du Lion (Markus oder Das Erwachen des Löwen)' I immediately recognized it. The character and the raven. Never would've thought I would get the answer this quick, big thumbs up. – user9007131 Dec 10 '19 at 23:37

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