Story Information
TitlePoint fatal
Number of pages7
Context Information
AlbumRork - L'intégrale 1
Magazine PublicationTintin/Hello BD (fr); Kuifje (nl) (1979, number 41)
Magazine PublicationKomiks fantastyka (1989, number 3)
from the article "The fantastic worlds of Rork (1984)":
A good example of how everything is connected is the story Point fatal. When Adam Neels (read Neal Adams, an American comics artist) makes a sphere burst other spheres may burst as well. Andreas doesn't explain exactly what occult relationship exists between the spheres, but does make Neels explain his invention: "One places a sphere between the rings... places the needles against the sphere... and spins the flying sphere twice... notice the pattern of lines that is drawn... () In all this mixup of crossing lines there is always one point where five lines cross. It requires only a light pressure to..." and the sphere bursts.
At first one is inclined to think that the sphere that was placed in the device has gone weak by all the markings on its surface. But that doesn't explain the synchronous exploding of other spheres of the same volume that are positioned elsewhere. We must thus presume that Neels has a much more fascinating theory: every sphere has a weak spot, and with his device he is able to determine this spot. The bursting of all kinds of spheres proves his theory, and he is proud of it.
To the magician Rork it is a small leap of thought to then imagine the earth's sphere, and a nut that discovers that fatal point on the earth's surface. "All right, agreed" says Neels, "that has occured to me... but who would be crazy enough to saw through the branch he is sitting on?" Rork: "Exactly, a nut... or... yes, indeed, a nut..." Neels: "O, You always exaggerate! You spoil my beautiful invention."
Rork holds something back, but we can guess his thoughts: the same way Neels can burst the spheres in his laboratory, an alien power, to whom the earth is a mere toy ball, can burst the earth. What happens to us on a small scale (microcosmos) can happen elsewhere on a large scale (macrocosmos).
A minute later the events start to follow up rapidly as the villagers, that have had some hindrance of the side-effects of Neels' experiments, decide to destroy Neels' cabin to end it all. At that moment Neels has to admit that he has found the fatal point already, and has build his cabin on top of it. Almost immediately a supernatural force lowers "an enormous mass". Lucky for us Neels has made a mistake in his calculations. Understandably, since he is unable to build a device of suitable size for thís calculation.
We then return to Andreas' precision. At the moment Rork reaches Neels cabin (2nd page) we can see a kind of ivy growing above it. If we watch really carefully we can even see a cable and a hook in it. This is a detail we probably won't notice, but it returns at the 6th page. The page, in which Neels explains to have build his cabin on top of the fatal point, offers a top view (bird perspective) on the cabin and the people running towards it.We can see clearly that the cabin has been hung up with these cables between two trees. Alongside these cables the ivy curls. Thus Neels was afraid the weight of his cabin alone could mean an overload of pressure to the earth's surface.
The bird perspective through which we see the cabin is therefore not only very pretty, but very functional as well. And it certainly is not the only thing that is extremely effective: when at the same page the mass in the form of a giant needle descends from the sky, Andreas uses a picture that spans the full height of the page. For the impression of the needle in the earth's crest he chooses a large picture, to do justice to the giant proportions of the needle. For the picture in which Rork and Neels conclude that "somewhere up there () there is a power that is after our planet" Andreas takes a frog's perspective to also show the starry sky above. One star is blue...the color of the needle! Andreas uses more techniques very functionally to tell his stories. For example his use of color, or the composition of the pages.
--- part of article left out here ---
Images and text
Every strip is told with texts and images. Text and images each have their own properies, though. Andreas makes use of that. He for example opposes text and images occasionally. The text at the beginning of Point fatal reads: "Its a sombre, savage forest. The people of the village rarely dare to go there..." The image indeed shows us that sombre, dark forest, yet at the same time a cabin, and the shadow of a man falling on a treetrunk. The image contradicts the text, more or less, and prepares us for the next picture, in which we learn that the old Neels lives in the cabin, and we see that the shadow belongs to Rork, who is approaching the cabin.