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G. W. Thomas Presents
THE GHOSTBREAKERS

ADELE BLANC-SEC (1976-1998) by Jacques Tardi
 

Adele and the Beast
(Adèle et la bête)
 
 

In November 1911, a telepathically resuscitated pterodactyl terrorizes Paris.  Hoping to profit from the panic, a less-than-noble Adèle Blanc-Sec and her henchmen Albert and Joseph kidnap Édith Rabatjoie, who has an ingenious plan to capitalize on the hype with a peculiar flying machine.  But treachery and deceit abound, and soon Adèle is dodging bullets and crocodiles, not to mention the pterodactyl itself.
 

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The Demon of the Eiffel Tower
(Le démon de la tour Eiffel)
 
 

The story picks up almost immediately after Adele and the Beast leaves off.  A valuable statue of the Assyrian demon Pazuzu has been stolen, and the performance of the bizarre ancient play The Last Days of Babylon brings to Paris a cast of religious fanatics who meet in a secret vault beneath the Seine River.  Along the way she teams up with Simon Flageolet and remains just a few steps ahead of Inspector Caponi. How would Adèle ever guess that she would end up as their prized offering to Pazuzu atop Paris's great sacrificial ziggurat - the Eiffel Tower!
 

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The Mad Scientist (Le savant fou)
 
 

It is now early 1912.  In a cold, dark, snow-blanketed Paris, Adèle meets a group of scientists determined to revive a pithecanthropus - an ape man - brought back intact from a deep-freeze on the Siberian plains.  Little does she know, one of the scientists has his own plans for the cave man.  He kidnaps the cave man, names him Alexander (after Alexander the Great), and beings converting him into a crazed war-machine, a soldier of tomorrow.  But is Alexander the Ape Man up to the task?
 

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Mummies on Parade (Momies en folie)
 
 

Someone has been hanging human sacrifices on Paris's most revered historical monuments.  The victims all have one thing in common: they have all been mummified!  Now in the midst of typing up her memoirs, Adèle is visited by a scientist named Félicien Mouginot, who specializes in the study of life after death.  Not long after his mysterious visit, Adèle's Mummy, brought back from Egypt by a great grand-uncle, disappears, and soon all the mummies in the Louvre museum follow suit.  Baffled, Adèle and Mouginot search Paris for a trace of the missing mummies.  Their search leads them to a pyramid in the Parc Monceau, and all carnage breaks loose!  Killed at the end, Adèle winds up on ice in a suspended animation tank in Mouginot's laboratory, where he hopes one day to bring her back to life...
 

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The Secret of the Salamander
(Le secret de la salamandre)
 
 

Throughout the First World War, Adèle Blanc-Sec lies cased in ice, forgotten in Mouginot's laboratory.  During this time, a simpleminded soldier named Lucien Brindavoine meets up with a talking statue in an abandoned bunker, and is instructed to go recover her from death's door.  It is the voice of Adèle's faithful Mummy, speaking to him all the way from his new home within the Great Pyramid of Egypt!  Meanwhile, the grotesquely decrepit American industrialist Otto Lindenberg is also interested in the study of life after death.  Soon enough, he and Brindavoine cross paths, and work out the secret of "Megalobatrachus japonicus" - the Great Salamander.  Thanks to Brindavoine, and with no small loss of life on the part of others, Adèle is restored to life after four years in deep-freeze.
 

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Le noyé à deux têtes
(The Drowned Man with Two Heads)
 
 

It is 1918, and World War I has ended.  Upon returning home for the first time in four years, Adèle Blanc-Sec finds a two-headed dwarf in her medicine chest, with a message in its mouth.  Shortly thereafter, a two-headed man is pulled from a Paris canal with strange suction-cup marks on his body and a letter to Adèle in his pocket, and a monstrous red octopus begins to terrorize pedestrians along the canals and waterways of the city.  This story is a dark yet imaginative commentary on war, patriotism, and their combined effect on human nature.
 

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Tous des monstres!
(Monsters All!)
 
 

It is November 1918.  Adèle is trying to publish her memoirs, the red octopus still terrorizes the city, and Dieuleveult - her old nemesis from earlier adventures, reappears with plans to peer into the dark thoughts of men.  What he finds are, of course, monsters all...
 

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Le mystère des profondeurs
(The Mystery of the Depths)
 
 

It is now March 1922.  Adèle has a toothache.  Strange pink crustaceans have begun appearing in her washbasin, as well as in the holy water font at the nearby church.  After several tortuous twists, a strange sequence of letters leads her to an underground cave inhabited by her long lost sister, Mireille Pain-Sec!  Perhaps the most extraordinary episode of all...
 

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 French English
Adèle et la bête (1976)
story & art: Tardi;
color & inking: Delobel;
48 pp, hardbound, full color. Adele and the Beast
serialized in Cheval Noir #1-4, (Aug 89 - Feb 90), B&W;
anthologized by NBM Publishing, 1990, softbound, full color.
Le démon de la tour Eiffel (1976)
story & art: Tardi;
color & inking: Delobel;
48 pp., hardbound, full color. The Demon of the Eiffel Tower
serialized in Cheval Noir #5-8 (Mar 90 - Jun 90), B&W;
anthologized by NBM Publishing, 1990, softbound, full color.
Le savant fou (1977)
story & art: Tardi;
color & inking: Delobel;
48 pp., hardbound, full color. The Mad Scientist
serialized in Cheval Noir #15-18 (Feb 91 - May 91), B&W;
anthologized: N/A.
Momies en folie (1978)
story & art: Tardi;
color & inking: Delobel;
48 pp., hardbound, full color. Mummies on Parade
serialized in Cheval Noir #19-23 (Jun 91 - Oct 91), B&W;
anthologized: N/A.
Le secret de la salamandre (1981)
story, art, color & inking: Tardi;
48 pp., hardbound, full color. The Secret of the Salamander
serialized: N/A;
full-length (48 pp) release from Dark Horse Comics, 1992; B&W.
Le noyé à deux têtes(1985) *
story, art, color & inking: Tardi;
48 pp., hardbound, full color. N/A
Tous des monstres! (1994) *
story, art, color & inking: Tardi;
48 pp., hardbound, full color. N/A
Le mystère des profondeurs (1998) *
story, art, color & inking: Tardi;
48 pp., hardbound, full color.

Thanks to JM & Randy Lofficier
Check out their site
Cool French Comics
 
 
 

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