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THE SANTA FE JAIL by Lars Jakobsen


From the Mortensen's Escapades series, volume 2

by Lars Jakobsen & illustrated by Lars Jakobsen & translated by Lars JakobsenRobyn Chapman

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8225-9421-5
Publisher: Graphic Universe

A disappointing second outing finds the titular time-traveling secret agent darting his way through a tangle of nefarious schemes so messy and incoherent that readers have no chance of following him.

A researcher (seemingly) kidnapped in 1973 for nebulous reasons…a mysterious meteoric metal mined in Tanzania in the 1920s and stolen by Nazis for never-explained purposes in 1942…a short hitchhike with the historical French “Black Cruise” through the Iringa rain forest in 1925…a discovery in conveniently untouched former Nazi offices in 1950 Denmark…a car chase and a double ambush in New Mexico….Switching decade and locale with a page turn or, sometimes, just between one panel and the next, Jakobsen pitches his ever-natty hero into and, with equal ease, out of one heavily contrived, tenuously related situation after another. Muddying the waters further, he also folds in supporting characters who either look too much alike to keep straight or are unrecognizable (with the exception of Einstein) caricatures of a suddenly-revealed “League of Extraordinary Scientists.”

Dedicated spy-thriller and sci-fi fans would probably be able to fill in the blanks, but it’s not worth the effort. (historical notes on rain forests, Nazi plunder and other related topics, with period images, appended) (Graphic science fiction. 10-12)