I'm looking for a science fiction graphic novel made in the 1980's, (possibly French in origin but translated into English). It's about a space station that's a massive conglomeration of different structures, humans and aliens living together. (For some reason, pills are kind of used as currency.) It starts off with people in the human sector being attacked with weapons that create airtight skins over them, suffocating them, and the female main character goes around the station trying to find out why. Unfortunately, that's all I can remember. Any help would be gratefully appreciated. Thanks!


1 Answer 1


I suspect that this is Valérian comic storyline Ambassador of the Shadows.

Front cover of Ambassador of the Shadows

Valérian and Laureline are travelling to Point Central with Earth's new Ambassador. Shortly before they arrive, the Ambassador calls them into his quarters for a meeting. He informs them that he intends to take advantage of the fact that it's Earth's turn to preside over the council at Point Central – he intends to bring order to the galaxy by proposing a federation with Earth as the keystone and police. He reminds the two young agents of the importance that he is protected. He also entrusts Laureline with the source of their funds while they are on Point Central – a Grumpy Converter from Bluxte, a small hedgehog-like creature that can defecate multiple copies of anything it eats.

The astroship lands at Point Central and the three Terrans spacewalk to the Earth's segment. Entering, they are greeted by the assembled dignitaries that occupy the segment. The Ambassador begins his opening speech but, suddenly, the partition wall melts and a group of armed aliens burst in, opening fire with cocoon guns from Xoxos. The cocoons envelop everyone present rendering them unconscious except for Valérian and Laureline who react in time to put their spacesuit helmets back on. Laureline is trapped by one of the cocoons so Valérian is forced to pursue the aliens, who have taken the Ambassador, alone. Following them to their ship, he is captured and the ship blasts off into space.

This guide to the comics (in advance of the film), explains Point Central's construction.

This space station is actually a collection of segments from different alien races that have glued themselves together. It's the Babylon 5 or the United Nations of the Valerian Universe. At the center lies the Hall of Screens, which is basically the UN's conference room, where everyone talks to each other via translated video screens.

I don't have access to the comics, but here's part of a page showing the aftermath of the cocoon guns:

Image showing Colonel Diol and Laureline surveying the body of someone cocooned

I have not found any reference to pills as currency, but it is noted that the Grumpy Transmuter allows Laureline to produce the necessary goods to bribe various aliens, and it's mentioned that the Transmuter can replicate pills as well as precious metals and the like.

  • 1
    Thank you! That's definitely it; I recognise the cover picture. (I read it in elementary school, if you can believe it. A Catholic elementary school, at that!)
    – Toby
    Feb 1, 2022 at 18:55
  • 6
    You'll probably be sad to know that the artist, Jean-Claude Mezières, passed away less than two weeks ago... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Claude_M%C3%A9zi%C3%A8res Feb 2, 2022 at 7:59

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