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Recap / The Yellow "M"

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The Yellow "M" is the sixth album in the Belgian Comics series Blake and Mortimer, and possibly the most iconic in the franchise. It's praised for its story and art work and hailed as a landmark in the history of Franco-Belgian Comics. In 1999 it was named the Best Comic Strip Album of All Time by European comic strip critics.

The plot revolves around a mysterious villain who terrorized London by informing the press in advance of his robberies. As a signature he leaves an M in a yellow circle behind. When the Imperial State Crown is stolen from the Tower Of London Blake and Mortimer are put on the case...

The album cover in itself has become a Stock Parody and Stock Pose in European comics and has been referenced and spoofed so much that it has its own section in the series' "Referenced By..." page.


Yellow "M" tropes:

  • Big Bad: Dr. Septimus
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Olrik.
  • Britain Is Only London: All action takes place in London.
  • Call-Back: Near the end plot elements from "The Great Pyramid" are referenced.
  • Continuity Nod: a discreet one, but Mortimer carries on with the habit of keeping a revolver in his bedroom, as he did in The Mystery of the Great Pyramid
  • Cool Crown: Stolen from the London Tower.
  • Evil Is Not Well-Lit: All crimes are committed in the foggy dark.
  • Faked Kidnapping: Septimus faked his own kidnapping
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Of a sort. Weapons could not be drawn on covers, so on the cover Mortimer is shown reaching into his pocket to (presumably) get one.
  • A Foggy Day in London Town: Prevalent when Blake and Mortimer walk the London streets at night.
  • Kidnapped Scientist: Several doctors and scientists are kidnapped.
  • Advertisement:
  • Mad Scientist: Septimus
  • Man on Fire: The Yellow Sign rams a bus, causing both his car and himself to catch fire.
  • Mind-Control Device: The Mega Wave.
  • Mysterious Employer: The mystery criminal who writes the letter "M" everywhere is mind-controlled by Septimus
  • Mysterious Mist and Ominous Fog: A lot of actions takes place in foggy mist. The reader can anticipate something is about to happen when characters are in this situation.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The yellow 'm' signed on Blake's coat was inspired by the film M by Fritz Lang.
  • Shown Their Work: As usual the backgrounds are beautiful to look at. The house in Park Lane, London, actually exists, only the number on the door is different: 94.
    • There's only one minor mistake to be spotted. The steering wheel in the Austin police car is on the left side, when it should be on the right.
  • Stolen Good, Returned Better: The Royal crown is stolen.
  • Throw-Away Guns: Mortimer fires four shots at the intruder, realizes they have no effect, and throws the gun at him.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Septimus turned evil after his theories were ridiculed by other scientists. Then he brainwashed them into believing he was their god.
  • You're Insane!: Mortimer's eventual reaction to Septimus, who does not take it well.

Alternative Title(s): The Yellow M, La Marque Jaune