One night a pterodactyl hatches in a museum in Paris and flies off to create chaos. Meanwhile a mysterious woman is en route to Paris with some strange luggage and a different quest in mind - extortion. Throw in some ancient demons and more double crossing than you can shake a stick at and you've got "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec".
This 1976 reprint really disappointed me. Fantagraphics put this book out and as usual did a stand up job publishing it - the book is beautiful and would look amazing on your bookshelf. But the contents? Let's see - horrible writing with no hint of characterisation and too many panels overloaded with dialogue, clichés, and needless exposition make this a startlingly dull read.
That doesn't compare to the artwork though. Jacques Tardi has maybe 3 different character faces which mean the reader can't keep up with the labyrinthine plot of backstabbing because all of the characters look the same. The men all look the same - Caucasian, thin, dark hair and spindly moustaches and beards, some with glasses, some without. Adele Blanc-Sec and the woman she is blackmailing look almost identical and they are seemingly the only women in Paris.
The general artwork is quite good but the colours are very dull which, added to the dull dialogue and very plain set pieces, really puts the reader to sleep. The plots become overly convoluted and the real reasons you're reading this remain a mystery throughout - who is Adele Blanc-Sec and why does she do what she does? It's never explained but halfway through the second story I couldn't care less. You see for all of it's attempts at being "extraordinary", the stories are very ordinary. The inclusion of fantastical elements like dinosaurs and monsters only serve to accentuate this, that even these things can't elevate the unremitting boredom of the book one iota.
There was some nonsense about treasure, some interchangeable men who backstab each other and chase after said treasure, Adele meanwhile is somehow ... you know what? Even trying to explain the overly plotted tedium of this book is too much for me. I'll end now by saying if I can't even finish a 90 page comic book, boy is it not worth picking up. I think I'm going to watch a fan circulate instead.