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Review: Blake & Mortimer Vol. 9: The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent Part 1

Blake & Mortimer Vol. 9

India is one of those countries that is both revered and speculated. The British have been there for years to the point that one of the UK’s most popular food is Chicken Tikka Masala. My father was born and grew up in one of Britain’s colonies, I can see their influence everywhere when I go back. Even my Dad still talks about how you don’t need a passport to go from Trinidad to England.

From where it started to now what it is, has been a long journey between India and England. It has never been completely cordial, as much of the long seeded hate and discontent also has existed just as long. Can there ever be true harmony between the once colonized and the colonizer? In the ninth volume of Blake & Mortimer, our intrepid heroes solve a mystery while revisiting his past in India.

We’re taken to Simla, the former capital of British India, where a gathering of the Maharajas is taking place at the former Viceroy palace, where we meet a shadowy figure known as Emperor Ashoka. As we soon find out Blake and Mortimer has a long strange history within the country, as this was the place where they met. We soon find out that Mortimer had grown up there, even saving an Indian princess and he had encountered Ashoka once before, whose stance was against the British foreign occupation. Years later Ashoka has his agenda against Mortimer and enlists the duo’s favorite villain, Olrik into his scheme against our protagonists. That is just when Blake and Mortimer find out that Ashoka has a plot to use uranium to cause a major catastrophe which leads them to Brussels. By Blake & Mortimer Vol. 9’s end, an Indian Government agent joins their ranks, and our intrepid duo heads to South Afrika to reckon with Ashoka and Olrik.

Overall, the ninth volume of Blake & Mortimer is a gripping adventure that has the guys deal with the sins of colonization. The story by Yves Sente is exciting. The art by André Juillard is stirring. Altogether, an excellent globe trotting adventure..

Story: Yves Sente Art: André Juillard
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


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Review: Blake & Mortimer Vol. 8 The Voronov Plot

BLAKE & MORTIMER VOL. 8 THE VORONOV PLOT

Tom Clancy is one of those writers whose eye for detail and character development makes him one of the best. His intimate knowledge of the inner workings of how people like Jack Ryan would operate is immense. That whole series of books was as much as action as it was cerebral maneuvering.

One of his best, and probably the best film adaptation, despite who was playing the titular character, was The Sum Of All Fears. The premise dives into if someone found a nuclear warhead and the subsequent events that lead to an attempted Presidential assassination. The hard truth was Clancy was an insurance salesman before he wrote books but his imagination was immense. In Blake & Mortimer Vol. 8 The Vornov Plot, our intrepid heroes track down a weapon of mass destruction.

We are taken to Kazakhstan, where the Russians shoot a rocket into space, only for it to come back with something, which gives rise to a secret they don’t want the world to know. It is not long before our heroes; Blake and Mortimer are pulled in, as British Intelligence wants to know exactly what the Russians are hiding. As Blake and Mortimer find clues and meet acquaintances, the more the Russians attempt to thwart their motivations. By the book’s end, a defection of a new ally, the uncovering of a massive plot to kill key world individuals, and the embarrassment of a world enemy, leaves our heroes on top of the world.

Overall, Blake & Mortimer Vol. 8 The Vornov Plot is a compelling adventure which has the guys mixed in with Russians, space travel and  on the brink of war. The story by Edgar P. Jacobs is dense, and enthralling, The art by Jacobs is brilliant and flowing. Altogether, one of the best adventures from this series.

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


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Review: Blake & Mortimer Vol. 7 The Affair of the Necklace

Blake & Mortimer Vol. 7 The Affair of the Necklace

There is no historical figure in France more celebrated and vilified than Marie Antoinette. The words that have made her so infamous to so many has become known only in recent years that she never uttered them. It was during her tenure that the French Revolution took root and crushed the monarchy finally.

Over time, monarchies like hers fell eventually but what people of that time did not count on was the romanticizing of those figures throughout history. The film by Sofia Coppola both dispelled myth and gave viewers even ore insight into this legend while doing one thing most historical pictures haven’t done, make her hip. The world got another chance to fall in love with her again. In the seventh volume of Blake & Mortimer our intrepid heroes became entangled with her legend while facing an old foe.

Our dynamic duo show up in Paris, the city is buzzing with news of the impending nuptials of two royals, and quite a crown jewel being offered. They show up to a pre-wedding party for the monarchy, a few mysterious occurrences take place, leading to the theft of Marie Antoinette’s necklace, by their old nemesis, Olrik. He makes it difficult for the two to find, even using local gangsters to stop them in their tracks. Their search leads to Paris’s underground where Olrik’s man, Sharkey apprehended by the police, leads them and where they find out that their old enemy is hiding more than that necklace.

Overall, the seventh volume is an entertaining adventure which has the guys mixed in with gangsters, history, and royalty. The story by Edgar P. Jacobs is dense, smart, and gripping, The art by Jacobs is vivid and fluid. Altogether, one of the better adventures from this series.

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

Review: Blake & Mortimer Vol. 6: S.O.S Meteors

Blake & Mortimer Vol. 6: S.O.S Meteors

If you were born in the 20th century, you were treated to some of best acting performances of all time. There were actors that are once in a generation. Some of my favorite actors of all time, are no longer with us, like John Candy and Raul Julia. One of those actors made the world smile while the other actor made the world feel.

Another actor, who is still with us, but is more retired than working these days, is Sean Connery. He’s probably best known for his time as James Bond. One of his best movies of all time, one in which he plays an older maverick, is The Hunt For Red October. Then there are some of his not so great movies, like The Avengers, where he played Sir August De Wynter who plans to take over the world with a climate changing machine. In the sixth volume of Blake and Mortimer, our heroes are fighting a climatic threat, one that is obliterating Europe.

We catch up with Professor Mortimer, as he is in Paris, to figure what is causing the atmospheric disruptions when he notices the inordinate amount of rain, affecting transportation, and in effect causing accidents. Meanwhile, Blake is following a case surrounding a mysterious network which lead him to Paris as well. We soon find out that an old foe came out of hiding, as he has joined forces with some French gangsters and a mad scientist, to take control of Western Europe.

Overall, this volume is an engaging story that shows even the most over the top plots can by executed perfectly in the right hands. The story by Edgar P. Jacobs is action packed and funny. The art by Jacobs is alluring.  Altogether Jacobs proves he can tell a story that both well developed and entertaining.

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