Hugo Pratt, hailed as the “inventor of the literary comic strip,” offers an provocative story whose protagonist is a seemingly wanton murderer, driven by a religious obsession with the absolute. First English-language edition.
This is the story Jesuit Joe, a lone traveler of French-Canadian and Mohawk descent. In northern Canada, circa 1920, he wanders the icy wastes, engaged in an obsessive religious search for the absolute. He wears the red jacket of the Canadian Mounties that he found in a hut—which gives rise to a series of misunderstandings when he is mistaken for a member of the Mounted Police. His actions in response to complex moral choices highlight his unusual ethical code and his disturbing and complex personality. He kills with terrible ease and shows an unmatched cruelty and ferocity, yet his mood suddenly shifts and he performs unexpected acts of kindness and compassion. All the while, he is tracked by his nemesis, Sergeant Fox, whose mission is to capture Jesuit Joe and bring him to justice.
This is the first English language edition of Pratt’s 1980 classic, and includes an incomplete second story of Jesuit Joe, plus Pratt’s storyboards drawn for the movie version.
“Like Pratt’s other work, this is a work of graphic fiction and graphic storytelling that grabs the reader in ways that larger, more developed comics do not. That is the reason why Pratt is always worth reading.” –ComicBookBin.com
“Jesuit Joe is a wanderer with a strong moral code, although one somewhat orthogonal to everyone else’s. But divining that code from the terse and laconic panels is not easy. Jesuit Joe shows occasional glimpses of capriciousness, but also an Old Testament view of justice, and a mercy he explains away as mere whim. And each can be dealt out with a sharp word or a bullet.” –Castalia House