After establishing the world of the prickly heroine with the first two episodes of this classic series (combined in Fantagraphics’ The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, Volume 1), Jacques Tardi plunges us back into Belle-Époque Paris for another double dosage of heroic derring-do, evil and crazy malefac- tors, mad actresses (yes, Clara Benhardt makes a return appearance) and monsters!
In “The Mad Scientist,” the science that brought us revived dinosaurs now results in a pithecanthrope stalking the streets of the City of Light, climaxing in an amazing car chase involving a foe from the previous volume. Will the perpetually inept Inspector Caponi just make things worse? Probably. Then in the second episode, “A Dusting of Mummies,” the mummy glimpsed in Adele’s apartment in previous episodes comes alive! The volume concludes with the sudden startling (and delightful) incursion of some characters familiar to Tardi fans, and a shocking climax that leaves the future of both Adele and this series in doubt as World War I erupts. (It’s the only story in the entire series not to feature an “in our next episode” teaser.)
The Extraordinary Adventure of Adele Blanc-Sec, Volume 2, is the lucky seventh book in Fantagraphics’ acclaimed series of Tardi reprints, showcasing the rich variety of graphic novels from one of France’s greatest living cartoonists.