is a science fiction comic book
saga written by Alejandro Jodorowsky
and illustrated by Moebius
In a dystopian
far future, P.I.
John Difool receives the Light Incal, a crystal of enormous powers, from a dying alien, a member of the race named the Bergs who are large featherless birds. The Incal is sought by many factions: the Bergs; the corrupt and decadent government of the great pit-city; the rebel group Amok; and the Church of Industrial Saints
(commonly referred to as the Techno-Technos or the Technopriests
), a technocratic cult which worships the Dark Incal.
The series mixes space opera, metaphysics, and satire; a counterpoint to the grandiosity of the events is always Difool's base, even cowardly nature. He has no interest in being a hero, and constantly threatens to walk away – preferably taking Animah with him.
While escaping, John Difool (and his pet bird Deepo, a "concrete parrot" who is generally smarter and more resourceful than he is) finds himself forced to join forces with a group of other people seeking the Incal, who include:
- The Metabaron, the greatest bounty hunter, mercenary and fighter ace in the known universe. The Metabaron is originally sent to kill John Difool by Tanatah, but The Metabaron returned J.D in a frozen state without killing him, knowing that Tanatah wasn't going to keep her part of the deal.
- Animah and Tanatah, two sisters who used to safeguard the two Incals. Tanatah hired the Metabaron to kill John Difool and bring back his body and with it the Light Incal. Animah, who originally safeguarded the Light Incal, has psychic powers. Tanatah is the head of Amok.
- The androgynous messiah Solune, the adopted child of the Metabaron and the biological child of Animah and John Difool. Like Animah, Solune has immense psychic powers.
- Kill Wolfhead, a cynocephalous mercenary in Tanatah's employ. He holds a grudge against Difool because the latter pierced his ear with a gun.
All of the characters in The Incal are based upon Tarot cards – for example, John Difool is obviously based upon The Fool with his name being a pun upon "John, the Fool". Animah's name of course is based on the Jungian concept of the Anima, the feminine part of every male's psyche.
was the first comic set in what became the Jodoverse
, also known as the Metabarons Universe
Moebius and Jodorowsky sued Luc Besson
, director of The Fifth Element
, claiming that the film borrowed graphic and story elements from The Incal
, but lost their case. In a 2002 interview with the Danish
comic book magazine Strip!
, Jodorowsky actually claimed that he considered it an honour that somebody stole his ideas which is not surprising as Jodorowsky believes that authors do not create the stories they tell as much as they make personal interpretations of myths universal to the collective human subconsciousness.
consists of the following books (original French names):
- L'Incal Noir (1981)
- L'Incal Lumière (1982)
- Ce qui est en bas (1984)
- Ce qui est en haut (1985)
- La cinquième essence - Galaxie qui Songe (1988)
- La cinquième essence - La planète Difool (1989)
Avant l'Incal (or Before Incal):
- Adieu le père (1988)
- Détective privé de "Classe R" (1990)
- Croot! (1991)
- Anarchopsychotiques (1992)
- Ouisky, SPV et homéoputes (1993)
- Suicide Allée (1995)
Après l'Incal (or After Incal):
- Le nouveau reve (2000)
Final Incal (two final volumes)
- Les Quatre John Difool (2008)
- L'Androgyne Capricieux (??, unreleased)