Cataclysm in the Vinean system
|Created by||Roger Leloup|
Vinea is a fictional planet that appears in the Yoko Tsuno graphic novel series by Roger Leloup. Its native intelligent species, the humanoid Vineans, came to Earth in the distant past due to catastrophic changes to their home planet. At the time of the graphic novels, they are in the process of returning to their planet.
The main characters of Yoko Tsuno form a close bond with some of the Vineans in the very first volume - this is especially true of Yoko and Khany - and many stories either involve the Vineans or take place on Vinea itself.
Vineans are of pale blue skin, but otherwise very closely resemble humans. No reasons are given in-universe for this extreme similarity of two species that evolved millions of years (and two galaxies) apart, and neither is this matter ever raised in the novels. However, it is understood throughout the series that Vineans cannot sunburn because their pale blue skin is more resilient than that of humans.
It is also indicated that some medicine will not have the same effect on Vineans as humans.
Planet & history
Vinea is part of a binary star system about 2,500,000 light years from Earth somewhere in the galaxy M33. Millions of years ago, the orbit of one of the pair began to degrade. The Vineans decided to send out a series of spaceships containing millions of their people in hibernation, so the planet could at least be partially evacuated. After a long journey one of these ships discovered Earth, but because a primitive intelligent species was emerging on the planet it was decided to move underground in order to not disturb the natural evolution of humanity.
Large tunnels and underground cities were built belowground, while on the surface the human species slowly developed. During this time the Vineans came into contact with Yoko Tsuno, Vic Video, and Pol Pitron, three humans whose appearance eventually led to the Vineans' overthrow of the corrupt central computer that had regulated all aspects of their underground civilization since arrival. At some point in the 20th century the Vineans embarked on a project to create an artificial continent in the Atlantic by diverting undersea lava flows, with the aim of creating a surface nation for the Vineans to inhabit. This plan was eventually given up in favor of creating a faster-than-light technology capable of reaching Vinea in less than 3 months. The technology was discovered when a Vinean probe for the purpose of creating a wormhole finally arrived in the Solar system, indicating that at least until the craft was sent, some 100,000 years after the Earth-bound Vineans left Vinea, there was still an advanced society in the Vinean solar system.
When an expedition was sent out to Vinea, it found that the local population had regressed to a relatively primitive level, and was currently governed by a conclave of digital personalities taken from great leaders from the Vinean past. The planet had entered a wider, tidally-locked orbit around its suns, with one side permanently scorched and the other forever frozen. The effects on Vinea's climate were more or less compensated for by an artificial temperature regulation system, including large orbital mirrors acting as artificial suns for the 'night' side. A project for relocating the Earth-Vinean population was put into place, and the rebuilding of the planet's civilization began.
Later, the newly returned Vineans discovered that a species of intelligent giant insects had colonised a remote region of the planet. After clashes and negotiations in Les Titans, the insectile species eventually agreed to leave Vinea and settle elsewhere.
So far, no Vineans have ever been seen having spare time in the series. It is thus unknown what activities they engage in when not working, if they have spare time at all. It is also unknown what kind of government and political system they have, after the corrupt central computer was destroyed in the first album.
The Vineans are much more advanced than 20th century terrans. Among the key Vinean technologies are:
- Maglev trains, which form the typical transport between their cities
- Interplanetary travel at near-lightspeed with mature technology spaceships of various sizes
- Interstellar travel, with either stasis-ships or using wormhole technology for FTL travel
- Artificial intelligence, with sentient computers playing a substantial role in many stories
- Hibernation / Stasis, allowing people to be 'frozen' without harm for millions of years
- Arcologies built with advanced structural materials, allowing large underground, underwater or space cities
- Disintegrators, usable at different levels of power for use as pacification device, lethal weapon or tool
- 'Thermal Bombs' (similar to nuclear weapons but without radiation) used as weapons, demolition and excavation devices
- Artificial telepathy, allowing mental contact over long distances, often combined with universal translators
- Mind uploading, enabling the personalities and memories of people to be stored or to control machines
Key Vinean characters are:
- Khany - close friend of Yoko Tsuno and one of the leaders of the relatively egalitarian Vineans
- Poky - twin sister of Khany. As she was awakened from stasis much later, she has remained a young child
- Synda - Khany's mother. Awakened from her stasis on Vinea only after the return of Earth's Vineans, she is now of the same age as Khany.
- Sadar - Khany's father and Doctor. His brain transferred to robot computer.
- Vynka - close friend of Khany.
According to the sixteen-page appendix of L'Astrologue de Bruges (album 20), Roger Leloup had seen an ad of Nivea cream when he was a child, misreading it as Vinea. Because the poster was old and discolored, only the blue had remained, a girl on the poster was all blue. Leloup thus believed that this cream changed the color of the skin into blue. He recalled all this when he built the Vinean universe.
Vinéa est un univers qui peut exister, mais que j'ai créé de toutes pièces. Son origine remonte à mon enfance. Dans le salon de coiffure de mon père, une publicité vantant la crème Nivéa - que, dyslexique, j'avais transformée en Vinéa - avait attiré mon attention. Avec le temps, l'image s'était décolorée et seul le bleu était resté. Une fille, sur l'affiche, avait donc la peau de cette couleur. J'étais convaincu que cette crème rendait la peau bleue. Et quand j'ai imaginé ce peuple venu de l'espace, je me suis rappelé tout cela. Il faut - hélas ! - parfois attendre d'être adulte pour pouvoir raconter ses rêves d'enfance.
"Vinea is a universe which could exist, but I have completely created it myself. Its origin stems from my childhood. In my father's barbershop, there was a poster ad for Nivea-cream - which I, dyslexic, misread as Vinea - that always caught my attention. Because of its age, the picture was decolorized and only the blue had remained. A girl on the ad thus had skin in that color. I was convinced that the cream would make your skin blue. And when I created these people from outer space, I remembered all that. It appears that, sometimes one needs to wait until adulthood to be able to recount one's childhood dreams."
Vineans and Vinea have been the subject of several Yoko Tsuno stories, such as: