Friday, September 30, 2011

Comics : Blake & Mortimer (1) : The Yellow "M"

Time to review books from one of my favourite comic series, Blake & Mortimer. I thought it best to start back at the beginning to the first book The Yellow "M" (though actually the 6th in the series in the original language) by Edgar P Jacobs.

Why are the Blake & Mortimer books so wonderful? And they are. Well one reason surely has to be because of the wonderful period and reality they are set in, Britain in the post-war 1940s (though it could be any time in the 30s or 40s) and with a large dollop of interwar period weirdness, occultness and classic mystery.

The Yellow M is a mysterious super criminal who is terrorising London, even stealing the Queen's crown! As Blake & Mortimer investigate the criminal they uncover the mysterious technology of the Mega Wave, mind control and murder!

As with all of the Blake & Mortimer books the story is intense, you certainly get your money's worth as far as word count is concerned! The plot is deep, intricate and complex though also reminds one of old serials with dastardly bad guys putting our heroes into peril after peril. Some have criticised these books for being too wordy, for explaining everything that is going on even when it is obvious from the pictures but this to me just adds to the classic serial feel. You can just imagine the narration by someone with a very posh clipped RP accent.

It is also so beautifully drawn in the clear line style. This isn't just a comic book, it isn't just a work of art, its a precious treasure. So precious the Yellow M would be sure to try and steal it...

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