Barracuda 4: Revolts, written by Jean Dufaux, art by Jérémy, Cinebook, £8.99/$15.95
♦ Pirates. There’s never really enough pirate stories in comic books. Yes EC had a go with Piracy, but that didn’t last long, neither did CrossGen’s El Cazador. Now I’m kind of striking out: Conan as Amra, perhaps? Does Tales of the Black Freighter count?
Well, if you miss pirates too, Barracuda might be your cup of tea. In Barracuda 1: Slaves Barracuda is a pirate ship, home to Raffy, the son of the Captain of the Barracuda. When the pirates board a ship, and find no treasure, they take three women to sell as slaves, a Spanish noblewoman, her daughter Maria, and (unbeknownst to them) a servant boy Emilo, who is disguised as a girl. As is the way with numbers, in Barracuda 4 we are some way forward in time, and Raffy, Emilio, and Maria, three children left behind by the Barracuda are now bonded by experience and friendship.
Barracuda can’t be accused of playing down the violence or misery of a life in piracy: This is the gritty, unromantic side of pirate life but as a result is more interesting, with vulnerable characters surrounded by merciless foes. The writing is strong and the artwork by Jérémy is beautifully detailed and painted. This is one of the smaller format Cinebook releases, and you feel it’s a shame that you can’t get a better look at the work of Jérémy. That would be my only criticism though. Cinebook have another pirate series in Long John Silver, and with Barracuda they are pre-eminent in the field.