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Review: Blake & Mortimer Vol. 3: The Mystery of the Great Pyramid (part 2)

Retaliation, Revenge and Get Back was one of my favorite albums that Daz Dillinger had put out back in the late 1990s. For those who don’t know who I am talking about, he was one of the lessor known artists assigned to Death Row Records, the same music label who was responsible for Dr.Dre’s solo success and 2Pac’s resurgence before his death. The album itself was a modern hip hop masterpiece, as it was probably one of the better albums that came out that year.

The title itself was not used just for namesake but was the underlying theme throughout the album as each song personified an aspect of vendetta. To make things balance in the world, one often thinks that they must exact one of these things. This is especially true when one someone close gets brutally murdered, as those around them wonder if a righteous kill equals vengeance? In the third volume of Blake and Mortimer, Mortimer is hot on the trail of Blake’s killer, Olrik.

Captain Blake having been assassinated at Athens Airport, Olrik seems to have won the first round. A furious Mortimer swears that he’ll never stop trying to avenge his friend. He goes on the hunt for Olrik, but information is scarce. Sheik Abdel Razek, an old man with mysterious powers, protects him against Doctor Grossgrabenstein’s crew. The doctor is a devoted Egyptologist who has undertaken excavations not far from the Great Pyramid. Strange happenings occur and Mortimer may sometimes feel like he’s losing his way in this investigation that will lead him into the darkest depths of the Great Pyramid.

Overall, this third volume is one of the better books in the series so far. We get to find out just how accomplished a storyteller Edgar P Jacobs as he hit stride in this installment. The story by Jacobs is dense, smart, and well developed. The art by Jacobs is vivid and elegant. By volume’s end, we find two friends closer than ever.

Story: Edgar P Jacobs Art: Edgar P Jacobs
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: The Adventures of Blake & Mortimer: Mystery of the Great Pyramid

One of the most overused tropes in procedural stories is the “avenge my death” device, which makes you either hate or love the protagonist. Within the reader, there is a part of them that wishes for them to catch the killer. The other side, and the one which is more pragmatic or pessimistic depending on your outlook, knows there is no way to catch the killer. Both sides are extremes, and ones that do neither any good.

The one eventual outcome that usually occurs is that the death of the murderer doesn’t ever satisfy the need for avenging. As the loss remains and when they do catch the guilty party, it is never what they expect it to be. This revenge drives the character and sometimes it doesn’t pay off. In the second book of the Blake and Mortimer series, we find a mournful Mortimer, who has lost his best friend and is hot on the trail of Olrik, the man who killed his partner.

We find Mortimer and Nasir on their way to Cairo, as they arrive they son find that they are being followed, as trouble is close by. As he visits a friend who is an Egyptologist, Professor Ahmed, as they soon uncover hidden in the texts of some artifacts, rumblings about a secret treasure. As Mortimer gets closer to finding the clues to where the treasure is kept, his archenemy, Olrik, catches up t him and looks to take the sacred texts revealing the necessary clues. Soon, Olrik and Mortimer get in a skirmish, leaving Mortimer unconscious and the local police looking for both. Eventually Mortimer escapes and what follows is a cat and mouse game between the two, which leaves some casualties in its wake. By book’ end, some dreadful news reaches our heroes and they are forever changed by it.

Overall, an excellent comic which sets this book apart from other globe trotting adventures series of it’s time. The story by Edgar P. Jacobs is fun and action packed. The art by Jacobs is gorgeous. Altogether a great installment which is reminds of the serials that the book is inspired by.

Story: Edgar P. Jacobs Art: Edgar P. Jacobs
Story: 9.6 Art: 9.4 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy