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The Yellow "M": The Adventures of Blake and Mortimer Volume 1

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London's walls resound with the incredible exploits of the 'Yellow Mark'. The spectacular actions of this mysterious criminal are on the increase: holding up the Bank of England, robbing the imperial crown. No one seems able to stop him. He is so audacious that he lets the police know in advance where he will commit his crimes. London's walls resound with the incredible exploits of the 'Yellow Mark'. The spectacular actions of this mysterious criminal are on the increase: holding up the Bank of England, robbing the imperial crown. No one seems able to stop him. He is so audacious that he lets the police know in advance where he will commit his crimes.


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London's walls resound with the incredible exploits of the 'Yellow Mark'. The spectacular actions of this mysterious criminal are on the increase: holding up the Bank of England, robbing the imperial crown. No one seems able to stop him. He is so audacious that he lets the police know in advance where he will commit his crimes. London's walls resound with the incredible exploits of the 'Yellow Mark'. The spectacular actions of this mysterious criminal are on the increase: holding up the Bank of England, robbing the imperial crown. No one seems able to stop him. He is so audacious that he lets the police know in advance where he will commit his crimes.

30 review for The Yellow "M": The Adventures of Blake and Mortimer Volume 1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Pramod Nair

    The Yellow “M” is the sixth book in Blake and Mortimer series from Edgar P. Jacobs and is a classic mystery-adventure and action graphic novel with ‘Captain Francis Blake’, the dashing head of MI5 and his friend ‘Professor Philip Mortimer’, a nuclear physicist as the lead protagonists. Jacobs drawings are clean and stylish and the cartoon panels have a strong visual resemblance to ‘Tintin’. This is easily explained by the fact that Jacobs has collaborated with the master Hergé himself, in the rec The Yellow “M” is the sixth book in Blake and Mortimer series from Edgar P. Jacobs and is a classic mystery-adventure and action graphic novel with ‘Captain Francis Blake’, the dashing head of MI5 and his friend ‘Professor Philip Mortimer’, a nuclear physicist as the lead protagonists. Jacobs drawings are clean and stylish and the cartoon panels have a strong visual resemblance to ‘Tintin’. This is easily explained by the fact that Jacobs has collaborated with the master Hergé himself, in the recasting of some of the Tintin titles like ‘Tintin in the Congo’, ‘Tintin in America’ and ‘The Blue Lotus’ and has contributed directly both with the sketches and storyline for two Tintin double-albums. The first book in the Blake and Mortimer series ‘The secret of the Swordfish’ was published in the launch issue of the Tintin magazine. Unlike the Tintin books the Blake & Mortimer series don’t depend on humor to connect with the reader instead it uses action packed storytelling drenched in good amounts of mystery and adventure. The mood is more serious and has a touch of danger lingering in the atmosphere. When the city of London is terrorized by a mysterious super villain - who perplexes even the very best of Scotland Yard - it is up to Blake and Mortimer to stands against the threat and diffuse the mystery. The Yellow “M” has a strong storyline with enough plot twists, strong characters and a good dose of edge-of-the-seats moments to make it a fast read. As a pure adventure and action story these titles from Jacobs are fun to read. Nice action along with masterly crafted cartoon panels makes this a good series to pursue for anyone interested in adventure graphic novels.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Veronique

    4.5* Couldn’t resist re-reading this classic. A second follow up to the story was just published and I wanted to remind myself of the original. The Yellow Mark is probably one of the most iconic comics, combining a realistic 1950s detective mystery with science fiction. In it, a masked figure is terrorising London by committing daring robberies, leaving only his signature, a yellow M. That is until the villain starts kidnapping famous people... Philip Mortimer, a Scottish nuclear physicist, and h 4.5* Couldn’t resist re-reading this classic. A second follow up to the story was just published and I wanted to remind myself of the original. The Yellow Mark is probably one of the most iconic comics, combining a realistic 1950s detective mystery with science fiction. In it, a masked figure is terrorising London by committing daring robberies, leaving only his signature, a yellow M. That is until the villain starts kidnapping famous people... Philip Mortimer, a Scottish nuclear physicist, and his friend Captain Francis Blake of MI5, are called to the scene to help Scotland Yard. E.P. Jacobs, Belgian writer and artist, was fascinated by the English culture and used this to great effect for his Blake et Mortimer series, one of the very first ones published in Tintin’s magazine in 1953. He had worked with Hergé for many years before that. His style has signs of this and works in perfect tandem with the plot, keeping this realistic touch, while the supernatural elements feel like valid scientific extrapolations, a little bit like Jules Verne but pushing further. I remember when I first read this adventure in my childhood, growing up in Belgium. Little did I know then that I would end up moving to London and make my life there. Small world :0) PS: Cineworld has translated a whole load of Franco-belgian comics, including this series (https://www.cinebook.co.uk/blake-mort...), in case you prefer to read this in English.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Diz

    This presents an interesting mystery with equal time given to action and to detective work. Blake and Mortimer don't work together as much as I was expecting. The two heroes spend a lot of time working on their own to take advantage of their skills. Blake focuses on using his social connections and putting his military background to use in action scenes. Mortimer focuses on using his knowledge and research skills to find and develop clues. This presents an interesting mystery with equal time given to action and to detective work. Blake and Mortimer don't work together as much as I was expecting. The two heroes spend a lot of time working on their own to take advantage of their skills. Blake focuses on using his social connections and putting his military background to use in action scenes. Mortimer focuses on using his knowledge and research skills to find and develop clues.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    In order to understand the continuation story "the Septimus - wave" which was released in 2013 one has to read the original story as written by Edgar P. Jacobs called the "Yellow sign" from 1956 in which a series of sheer impossible crimes seem to plague the United Kingdom and a group of people that were great friends and somebody seems bound to take revenge on them as one by one get taken by this unknown superhuman creature. Colonel Blake is one of the friends and so it is inescapable that his In order to understand the continuation story "the Septimus - wave" which was released in 2013 one has to read the original story as written by Edgar P. Jacobs called the "Yellow sign" from 1956 in which a series of sheer impossible crimes seem to plague the United Kingdom and a group of people that were great friends and somebody seems bound to take revenge on them as one by one get taken by this unknown superhuman creature. Colonel Blake is one of the friends and so it is inescapable that his friend Mortimer is involved. Of course the always inescapable character of Olrik shows his face as expected. It is a great story that is interesting and fun, and its has been of great interest to various movie companies to film this particular story and it might actually be a great movie when they stick to the time era it is set in 1952. As Always an original Blake & Mortimer story is something great and a mad professor thrown into the mix is a tasty as it gets.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shish Basu Palit

    My main motivation for reading Blake and Mortimer is probably shared by most readers who come to Edgar Jacobs's work - a love for Tintin. Unfortunately, while Jacobs's time working for Herge clearly left him with a solid grasp of ligne claire art, he did not learn anything from the master about even the most basic aspects of comics and visual storytelling. The thing that overwhelmingly sticks out in this book is the amount of text. Endless walls of text fill pages from corner to corner, choking o My main motivation for reading Blake and Mortimer is probably shared by most readers who come to Edgar Jacobs's work - a love for Tintin. Unfortunately, while Jacobs's time working for Herge clearly left him with a solid grasp of ligne claire art, he did not learn anything from the master about even the most basic aspects of comics and visual storytelling. The thing that overwhelmingly sticks out in this book is the amount of text. Endless walls of text fill pages from corner to corner, choking out the art trying desperately to peek out from underneath. It's as if somebody wrote a script for a comic book, and then while drawing it decided, for some unfathomable reason, to insert the entire script word-for-word into the drawn panels. Every single action happening on the pages is written out in textboxes in graphic detail, even when the thing described is clearly visible in the panel. This is so far opposed to even a beginner's understanding of how comics should work, that I can only surmise that Jacobs either (1) was making an avant-garde anti-comics statement against the medium, or (2) had identified his audience as being caretakers for blind people. It's a pity, because his draughtsmanship is unquestionably worthy of somebody from Herge's studio. While it's not pushing ligne claire forward like the more stylized work of Yves Chaland on Freddie Lombard, it's still a solid and atmospheric execution of the classic style, sure to trigger the admiration of any Herge fan. It might have been enough to forgive the other shortcomings of the book (such as the total lack of humour, visual gags or space), but nothing can overcome the fact that this is comics working really, really hard to not be comics. As an illustrator working from a good script, Jacobs might have been able to create great works of bande-dessinee, but instead he has created something that I cannot recommend to anybody except the most dedicated fans of ligne claire, or those who like me have burned every last page of Tintin into memory and just need another fix, no matter how unsatisfactory.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Edgar P. Jacobs was a contemporary and colleague of his fellow countryman, Hergé, assisting the latter with some of his Tintin stories. Comparison is therefore inevitable, and it is to Jacobs' credit. Jacobs' artwork has the same clean lines as Hergé's, but his figures are drawn more realistically, without the elements of caricature found in the adventures of Tintin. Having only read The Yellow 'M' at the time of writing this review, I found the narrative style somewhat denser; there is none of t Edgar P. Jacobs was a contemporary and colleague of his fellow countryman, Hergé, assisting the latter with some of his Tintin stories. Comparison is therefore inevitable, and it is to Jacobs' credit. Jacobs' artwork has the same clean lines as Hergé's, but his figures are drawn more realistically, without the elements of caricature found in the adventures of Tintin. Having only read The Yellow 'M' at the time of writing this review, I found the narrative style somewhat denser; there is none of the slapstick found in Tintin, little in the way of humour, actually, with the action being played seriously. There are no talking animals, apoplectic sea-captains, bungling detectives or comically absent-minded professors. The writing is seemingly aimed at an older, if still juvenile, audience than Hergé went for with Tintin. Accordingly, and with an extra 9-10 pages in which to expand the story, I found this first foray with Blake and Mortimer much more satisfying than most of the Tintin albums. Written in the 1950s, there are a number of stock tropes which, depending upon the reader's viewpoint, will be found either stylistically comforting or clichéd (I obviously incline to the former). Blake is cast in the same mold as Dennis Nayland Smith from the Fu Manchu stories: a capable and influential establishment figure with a military background. Mortimer is the epitome of British scientific know-how, akin to Professor Quatermass. The villain(s) are a blend of Fu Manchu, Fantômas, Rastapopoulos, et al. The story involves an evil mastermind terrorising the country, stealing (part of) the crown jewels, bent on a mysterious vengeance plot, manifesting seemingly superhuman powers and generally outwitting Scotland Yard at every turn. The action is well-paced, if somewhat formulaic: comfort-food for the brain. The English translations of the Blake and Mortimer stories have been published out of the order in which they were written. Consequently, a few characters appear with little or no introduction, as we are expected to have met them previously. Also, some minor plot elements refer back to the earlier stories. None of which seriously detracted from my enjoyment of the story, if anything whetting my appetite for more.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ishtiaque Alam Russel

    After Tintin and Asterix, I have come to learn about this amazing comic series. Rich storyline and mind blowing artwork certainly put this series to a newer height.

  8. 5 out of 5

    M.

    I’m so glad I found this series by long time Hergé collaborator Edgar Jacobs. This series has a lot of the adventure elements of Tintin but with more of a James Bond/Dick Tracy vibe. This story is about a strange, super-powered burglar who is terrorizing post-WWII London and transitions from stealing national treasures to kidnapping leaders of various national institutions. Blake is an MI5 operative who is put in league with Scotland Yard and brings in his Scottish physicist friend Mortimer to i I’m so glad I found this series by long time Hergé collaborator Edgar Jacobs. This series has a lot of the adventure elements of Tintin but with more of a James Bond/Dick Tracy vibe. This story is about a strange, super-powered burglar who is terrorizing post-WWII London and transitions from stealing national treasures to kidnapping leaders of various national institutions. Blake is an MI5 operative who is put in league with Scotland Yard and brings in his Scottish physicist friend Mortimer to investigate. As they race against the clock, they end up studying a history of scientific squabbling and chasing the villain across the docks, wharfs, and sewers of the city in hopes of saving the victims and unearthing a history of that may include some of their own past as well. This one has definitely sold me on this duo. There are entirely too many narration text boxes. The story is long and convoluted and without some of the summary there might not have been enough space to visually show all the transitions. Even so, a lot of the overlaid text is unnecessary and a bit redundant of the images and dialogue. It fails the “don’t tell us, show us” test sometimes and tends to slow down the action with over-explanation in highly tense moments. In this way it reflects traditional action strips more than it does Tintin. But if you like Tintin, this will definitely be worth your time. It is different enough to be unique but also checks all the same adventure and espionage boxes. You won’t be disappointed.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Zare

    Well this one was quite a surprise. Unlike its contemporary Tintin Blake and Mortimer adventures are more adult story and without that much humor and comedy. Art is excellent, so called "clear line" schools is truly great. So if you like Tintin, early Tanguy and Laverdure you will truly enjoy it. Story wise this reads more like graphical novel than standard comic - there are blocks and blocks of text. But while sometimes actions of villains seem very much like parodies (you now that ominous cackl Well this one was quite a surprise. Unlike its contemporary Tintin Blake and Mortimer adventures are more adult story and without that much humor and comedy. Art is excellent, so called "clear line" schools is truly great. So if you like Tintin, early Tanguy and Laverdure you will truly enjoy it. Story wise this reads more like graphical novel than standard comic - there are blocks and blocks of text. But while sometimes actions of villains seem very much like parodies (you now that ominous cackle and monologue describing what their evil plan is) overall story is pretty good. You have thrills, chase, mystery and very interesting characters. Recommended to all fans of thrillers and adventure stories.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Erin Britton

    The Blake and Mortimer graphic novels are finally being published again in English! A mysterious crime wave is sweeping London and nothing, from the Bank of England to the Crown Jewels, is safe. The identity of the criminal is unknown but Londoners are beginning to fear the symbol that is left at each crime scene, the Yellow "M". Even the famous detectives of Scotland Yard seem unable to stop the crimes and so the Home Office turns to Captain Francis Blake to solve the mystery and identify the m The Blake and Mortimer graphic novels are finally being published again in English! A mysterious crime wave is sweeping London and nothing, from the Bank of England to the Crown Jewels, is safe. The identity of the criminal is unknown but Londoners are beginning to fear the symbol that is left at each crime scene, the Yellow "M". Even the famous detectives of Scotland Yard seem unable to stop the crimes and so the Home Office turns to Captain Francis Blake to solve the mystery and identify the man behind the Yellow "M". Aided by his old friend, the famous nuclear physicist Professor Philip Mortimer, Blake sets out to bring the devious criminal to justice.

  11. 5 out of 5

    ISMOTU

    A contemporary of Herge, Jacobs creates his own adventurers in the form of Professor Mortimer and Captain Blake. This adventure has the pair up against a mysterious kidnapper who taunts the police. It's fine. The art has the same cartoony quality of Tintin but the gigantic blocks of exposition in word balloons really grind the story to a halt in parts. Definitely a product of its time as there are basically only white men as characters. I don't recall even a single female character with a line o A contemporary of Herge, Jacobs creates his own adventurers in the form of Professor Mortimer and Captain Blake. This adventure has the pair up against a mysterious kidnapper who taunts the police. It's fine. The art has the same cartoony quality of Tintin but the gigantic blocks of exposition in word balloons really grind the story to a halt in parts. Definitely a product of its time as there are basically only white men as characters. I don't recall even a single female character with a line of dialogue. That aspect doesn't age particularly well. Didn't wow me, or make me curious to explore the series further.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lillian Francis

    Picked this up because the cover art reminds me of Tintin. ETA: Finished. The art style is very similar to Tintin but the story has none of the humour that made Tintin so appealing. The mystery is typical 40s/50s mad scientist gubbins which could do easily have appeared in Saturday Morning Serials of the time. Some of the panels are very wordy for a graphic novel, and I think some of the translation was a tad too literal. And I was concerned at the number of London Bobbies toting guns. Fun and I'd Picked this up because the cover art reminds me of Tintin. ETA: Finished. The art style is very similar to Tintin but the story has none of the humour that made Tintin so appealing. The mystery is typical 40s/50s mad scientist gubbins which could do easily have appeared in Saturday Morning Serials of the time. Some of the panels are very wordy for a graphic novel, and I think some of the translation was a tad too literal. And I was concerned at the number of London Bobbies toting guns. Fun and I'd definitely read more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Green Jazz Blues

    Well! I thought this was going to be similar to the idea of the old psychological trick which has repeatedly been recounted in such stories as "Clifton - The Laughing Thief." Boy! Was I ever wrong! This story is not like that at all. It's quite a nice little mystery. Starting with some rather spectacular robberies including the Crown, the feats of the mysterious "Yellow M" then turns to kidnapping which prompts Mortimer to question, Why the change? Some spectacular science fiction involved here an Well! I thought this was going to be similar to the idea of the old psychological trick which has repeatedly been recounted in such stories as "Clifton - The Laughing Thief." Boy! Was I ever wrong! This story is not like that at all. It's quite a nice little mystery. Starting with some rather spectacular robberies including the Crown, the feats of the mysterious "Yellow M" then turns to kidnapping which prompts Mortimer to question, Why the change? Some spectacular science fiction involved here and a top rip roaring read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ronan Mcdonnell

    The book was a mix of 3 things for me. 1. The artwork is stunning at times. The foggy London docks are night were particularly well rendered. 2. Ruarc read it and adored it. I wanted to share that. It has a lot of dense text, especially for a comic book. I'm amazed he read it, and not sure how much of it he took in. Most, by all accounts. 3. The writing was at times hamfisted and unsophisticated. But that's kind of the allure in a mid 20th century BD. It was fun. Certainly the dark Victorian mood o The book was a mix of 3 things for me. 1. The artwork is stunning at times. The foggy London docks are night were particularly well rendered. 2. Ruarc read it and adored it. I wanted to share that. It has a lot of dense text, especially for a comic book. I'm amazed he read it, and not sure how much of it he took in. Most, by all accounts. 3. The writing was at times hamfisted and unsophisticated. But that's kind of the allure in a mid 20th century BD. It was fun. Certainly the dark Victorian mood of brooding docks, fog and gentlemen's clubs was evocative.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rocky Sunico

    My first venture into the world of Blake & Mortimer was a slightly rough one as the art style naturally evokes memories of Tintin but the characters are very different. Maybe this isn't the best example of what Blake & Mortimer can bring to the table since the larger story was pretty busy. But then again, it was a fairly impressive mystery with a lot of clever twists and turns and all brought to life with some beautifully detailed art. I've purchased many of the ComiXology compilations in an effo My first venture into the world of Blake & Mortimer was a slightly rough one as the art style naturally evokes memories of Tintin but the characters are very different. Maybe this isn't the best example of what Blake & Mortimer can bring to the table since the larger story was pretty busy. But then again, it was a fairly impressive mystery with a lot of clever twists and turns and all brought to life with some beautifully detailed art. I've purchased many of the ComiXology compilations in an effort to finally read these comics, so let's see how this adventure goes.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rory C

    Would children in this day and age enjoy this? I found myself asking this question a lot while reading this. There certainly is lots of exposition, and it is essentially a story of middle aged men dashing around and not achieving much. Thanks goodness for Mortimer in this duo. The art, layout and draughtsmanship on display is superb though. I was not exposed to Tintin growing up, I was more an Asterisk kid, so maybe that may have made a difference. I did quite enjoy the old school charm of it all. Would children in this day and age enjoy this? I found myself asking this question a lot while reading this. There certainly is lots of exposition, and it is essentially a story of middle aged men dashing around and not achieving much. Thanks goodness for Mortimer in this duo. The art, layout and draughtsmanship on display is superb though. I was not exposed to Tintin growing up, I was more an Asterisk kid, so maybe that may have made a difference. I did quite enjoy the old school charm of it all. But do kids today enjoy it?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sean O

    I've never read "Blake & Mortimer" but this gave me a nice taste. It was a pretty good mystery story that only got a little preposterous at the end. Very nice "clean line" artwork and there is a lot of attention to background details. The locations look a lot like "London in the 50s." I particularly like the characters. They're all men, either dashing or stout, and they all look pretty British. It was kinda obvious who the bad guys were, just look for the guy who is drawn kinda evil. Regardless, i I've never read "Blake & Mortimer" but this gave me a nice taste. It was a pretty good mystery story that only got a little preposterous at the end. Very nice "clean line" artwork and there is a lot of attention to background details. The locations look a lot like "London in the 50s." I particularly like the characters. They're all men, either dashing or stout, and they all look pretty British. It was kinda obvious who the bad guys were, just look for the guy who is drawn kinda evil. Regardless, it was a fun read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bert van der Vaart

    I just re-read this splendid Graphic Novel--first published in 1956. It is a great blend of mid-20th century London life where scientists develop new technology with the potential for megalomaniacal schemes in the context of a very conservative and skeptical establishment. Into this the combined duo of Professor Mortimer and the dashing Captain Blake team to do some superior sleuthing, and in Sherlock Holmes fashion, do what Scotland Yard cannot. A great read to keep one's French up. I just re-read this splendid Graphic Novel--first published in 1956. It is a great blend of mid-20th century London life where scientists develop new technology with the potential for megalomaniacal schemes in the context of a very conservative and skeptical establishment. Into this the combined duo of Professor Mortimer and the dashing Captain Blake team to do some superior sleuthing, and in Sherlock Holmes fashion, do what Scotland Yard cannot. A great read to keep one's French up.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Theaker

    Blake and Mortimer investigate a mysterious masked marauder, his mark a yellow M. I found these books nigh-on impossible to read in print, with their huge blocks of tiny italicised text, but reading this in the Izneo app, one panel full-screen on the iPad at a time, was great fun. Superbly detailed.

  20. 4 out of 5

    João Pires

    I enjoyed every page of this storie. I'm not reading Blake & Mortimer in the right order, but it isn't a problem in following the stories. At some point you start ti guess what is happening (because of that I didn't give the 5 stars) but you cant stop reading it. It is very addictive. I enjoyed every page of this storie. I'm not reading Blake & Mortimer in the right order, but it isn't a problem in following the stories. At some point you start ti guess what is happening (because of that I didn't give the 5 stars) but you cant stop reading it. It is very addictive.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Arjun Rajkumar

    Art work was good.. decent rek

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bc Beats

    A little wordy at times, and the plot perhaps unnecessarily complicated, but an enjoyable read nonetheless. The art, as with all books in this series, is outstanding.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Oliver

    Absolutely excellent. I have loved Tintin throughout my life, despite some of it's... questionable plots. These are as good, if not better! Absolutely excellent. I have loved Tintin throughout my life, despite some of it's... questionable plots. These are as good, if not better!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Faisal

    Presented in a wonderful art style very reminiscent of Tintin, which is no real surprise as EPJ worked with Herge on that strip. This is very much a "spiffing" and derring-do adventure story set in a 1950s London that takes you back to the films of the 30s/40s/50s that used to be ever present when there was only four TV channels to choose from :-) Unlike the comics of today the book is super verbose and definitely not a quick read. This might put some people off but for me it added to the vintag Presented in a wonderful art style very reminiscent of Tintin, which is no real surprise as EPJ worked with Herge on that strip. This is very much a "spiffing" and derring-do adventure story set in a 1950s London that takes you back to the films of the 30s/40s/50s that used to be ever present when there was only four TV channels to choose from :-) Unlike the comics of today the book is super verbose and definitely not a quick read. This might put some people off but for me it added to the vintage charm.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Miles

    A good, fun adventure story written and drawn by Edgar P. Jacobs, an understudy to fellow Belgian Herge (creator of Tin Tin). Like Herge, Jacobs draws in a very clean and elegant style. The Yellow M involves an evil villain who is terrorizing London, announcing his crimes before they are committed, and leaving the mark of a Yellow M wherever he goes. Scotland Yard is mystified, and the tag team of Captain Francis Blake and Professor Philip Mortimer are called in to help out with the investigatio A good, fun adventure story written and drawn by Edgar P. Jacobs, an understudy to fellow Belgian Herge (creator of Tin Tin). Like Herge, Jacobs draws in a very clean and elegant style. The Yellow M involves an evil villain who is terrorizing London, announcing his crimes before they are committed, and leaving the mark of a Yellow M wherever he goes. Scotland Yard is mystified, and the tag team of Captain Francis Blake and Professor Philip Mortimer are called in to help out with the investigation. It doesn't take long for the reader to figure out who is behind all of the crimes, but the story remains fun and fast-paced as Blake and Mortimer try to hunt the villain down. The "science" behind the story does not hold up well, but if you are willing to suspend disbelief and go along for the ride, it can still be an entertaining journey. One minor issue is that the book had to be translated from its original French. As a result, some word balloons get crowded, when the English requires a longer caption. At times, Jacobs also has a tendency to have his characters talk at length, without interruption. These tendencies tend to slow down the action and are a slight distraction for someone accustomed to more recent comics and graphic novels.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Arnott

    The artwork is magnificent and if you didn't know better you'd swear it was drawn by Herge (of Tintin fame). However, I found the story a little too dated to enjoy that much and the 'antique' feel is not helped by the author's cliched view of life in England (it was written in the 1950s but could easily have been set 20 years earlier). The plot, while interesting, plods along predictably. It might have been a lucky guess, but I spotted who the villain was on his first appearance. Unlike the Herge The artwork is magnificent and if you didn't know better you'd swear it was drawn by Herge (of Tintin fame). However, I found the story a little too dated to enjoy that much and the 'antique' feel is not helped by the author's cliched view of life in England (it was written in the 1950s but could easily have been set 20 years earlier). The plot, while interesting, plods along predictably. It might have been a lucky guess, but I spotted who the villain was on his first appearance. Unlike the Herge books, the story lacks any sort of humour and the characters do not inspire any affection. I was also irritated by the text box that appears at the head of every panel telling you exactly what's going on in the drawing below - so if you had a picture of Blake running up some stairs the text box would say something like 'Blake quickly ran up the stairs'. Reading this pointless text made the story go very slowly, and I soon learned to ignore it. The pace was also spoiled by some truly gargantuan speech bubbles crammed with reams of exposition. I might try another Blake and Mortimer title in the future, but I'm in no hurry.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Hare

    A rather boring, dated mystery with just a touch of light science-fiction. The illustrations by Edgar P. Jacobs are indeed lovely, but strike me as stoic which is undoubtedly a slander against such a fine artist. This work was first published in 1953 and certainly feels like a story from a bygone age, but not in a good way. It's incredibly slow, with an exhausting amount of dialog and narration that brings to mind the radio serials of of my youth. The illustrations are the best part for Jacobs h A rather boring, dated mystery with just a touch of light science-fiction. The illustrations by Edgar P. Jacobs are indeed lovely, but strike me as stoic which is undoubtedly a slander against such a fine artist. This work was first published in 1953 and certainly feels like a story from a bygone age, but not in a good way. It's incredibly slow, with an exhausting amount of dialog and narration that brings to mind the radio serials of of my youth. The illustrations are the best part for Jacobs has a draftsman-like attention to the details of scene layout, decor, and costume. In fact, the costumes are what I enjoyed most. His heroes—and his villain—are smartly tailored, dapper men of action, which I certainly enjoy in films, but apparently not so much in my comics. This comic is a very good example of how much the medium has changed over the years and is a worthy addition to any collector's library on that basis alone.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    I really, really wanted to love this book. It's written by an understudy to Tintin's Herge, it's a mystery/adventure story, and the art is beautiful. BUT. The type runs out of space in the word balloons, which were created for the original french text, and the word balloons often take up a distracting amount of space. The story is odd. There are some interesting developments to the plot, but the science is ludicrous. I'm not sure why I can't forgive it. Plus I don't find any of the characters ch I really, really wanted to love this book. It's written by an understudy to Tintin's Herge, it's a mystery/adventure story, and the art is beautiful. BUT. The type runs out of space in the word balloons, which were created for the original french text, and the word balloons often take up a distracting amount of space. The story is odd. There are some interesting developments to the plot, but the science is ludicrous. I'm not sure why I can't forgive it. Plus I don't find any of the characters charismatic. I don't care what happens to them. Also, if I am visiting a man and he leaves the room to loudly beat his servant, I would move to stop him! And call the police! Especially if the man tells me the servant is mentally challenged! Some hero. I will try another book from the Blake and Mortimer series and hopefully it will hook me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    For the first few pages, I was worried that this would be little more than a detective story, and a bit of a let-down from the usual Blake and Mortimer adventure. I was wrong. Instead, the story contains some rather surprising (and surprisingly violent) turns of events, breathless chases across a fog-bound London, a good dose of the paranormal (sort of), and clever (and not contrived) tie-ins to the previous adventure in Egypt. Just an all-around fun read. If you only ever read one Blake and Mor For the first few pages, I was worried that this would be little more than a detective story, and a bit of a let-down from the usual Blake and Mortimer adventure. I was wrong. Instead, the story contains some rather surprising (and surprisingly violent) turns of events, breathless chases across a fog-bound London, a good dose of the paranormal (sort of), and clever (and not contrived) tie-ins to the previous adventure in Egypt. Just an all-around fun read. If you only ever read one Blake and Mortimer, this would probably be a good one to pick. But if you're interested in the whole series, reading the "Great Pyramid" two-parter first will make this story more rewarding.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    What ho chaps? A rather dashing tale of skulduggery with Blake and Mortimer investigating the dastardly Yellow 'M' who is terrorizing post-war 1940's London, kidnapping people all over the place and even stealing the crown jewels! Well we can't put up with that, and luckily neither can our heroes, but they have a jolly hard time sorting things out. All's put right in the end though, so we can rest safe in our beds. (Published recently as number 1 in series, but is out of sequence, as it contains What ho chaps? A rather dashing tale of skulduggery with Blake and Mortimer investigating the dastardly Yellow 'M' who is terrorizing post-war 1940's London, kidnapping people all over the place and even stealing the crown jewels! Well we can't put up with that, and luckily neither can our heroes, but they have a jolly hard time sorting things out. All's put right in the end though, so we can rest safe in our beds. (Published recently as number 1 in series, but is out of sequence, as it contains a few references to previous tales. Correct listing is included in the back of the book).

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