Adele Blanc-Sec, the frowning focus of Jacques Tardi’s illustrated stories, is an anti-heroine and antidote to Tintin and Sherlock. The temperamental writer’s odd post-Victorian adventures, created in the mid-’70s, predate Moore and O’Neill’s Mina and "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" and Vanessa in the Penny Dreadful TV series. Her supernatural and surreal adversaries and situations anticipated gaslamp fantasies as well as the revisionist fusion of steampunk.
This film translation by Luc Besson’s (The Fifth Element) perfectly captures all the period detail, mysterious plotting, bent slapstick, and repressed eroticism of the serial comics. If the projected triology fails to appear, we at least got a fine present with this one.