By Franq and Van Hamme
Just as Largo is getting to grips with the huge corporate empire he's inherited, another threat to his authority and position rears its head, this time in the form of a gigantic heroin trade that appears to be being run from within the W Group.
Largo's already on the case of confronting the problem, but not through conventional channels, so when a murder of an associate and then two policeman bring the conventional channels directly to him, especially as they appear to implicate him directly, he finds himself with little space to manoeuvre and on the run from the law. His problem now is to clear his name and identify the rogue from within his senior ranks before the police and the drug dealers put an end to him.
Like XIII, Jean Van Hamme is writing an incredibly intricate plot entwined with corporate and national law, the global drug's trade and the ins and outs of big business, and all wrapped up in first class action and adventure. He treats his readers with respect, so there's no shying away from, or dumbing down from, the more complicated aspects of the business, finance and law, and so this enriches the stories as it takes them places other comic art forms fear to tread.
And also, like XIII and Thorgal, Van Hamme expects a lot from his artist too, shouldering him with the huge responsibility to accurately depict the international situations in all their glory. Francq's attention to detail gives the work a cinematic quality, beautifully realising everything from Amsterdam and Paris streets to a 747's unorthodox landing on a Scottish motorway. Great stuff.
I've said it before, but you owe it to yourself to grab a copy of Largo Winch and immerse yourself in it. If there ever was a book that demonstrated the versatility and breadth of the medium then this is it.
And if you enjoyed that: Well, there's loads more...
Largo Winch Vol.3: Dutch Connection: Dutch Connection v. 3 (Book)