26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 1999
Of course we've all grown up with so many fiction characters from DC/Marvel comics, Disney, Archie's`etc., each of them with its own appeal and flavour ...
What sets Tintin apart from all the rest, I feel, the brilliant quality of the artwork. The level of detail, right from the wheels of flight 714 about to land on that tiny island (flight 714), to the shadow effects of walking in a hidden passage to the Inca empire (prisoners of the sun), to the shape of the waves on which Tintin in a coffin is floating (cigars of the pharaoh), or the jaguar in which Tintin chases the gangsters (the calculus affair), the details are just fantastic and the right amount, without creating too much noise and distraction - as is the case with many of the DC comics - iron man, the incredible hulk, etc.
The stories range from contemporary to looking ahead in the future - swing wing planes, rockets to the moon, hidden cameras/espionage. The subject matter is political, and in my opinion slightly controversial at times. Especially the way Herge stereotypes native people in India (Cigars of the Pharaoh, Tintin in Tibet), or in the jungles of Amazon (The Broken Ear). But even here, Herge is way above the shady and simplistic plots of the like of Phantom and Flash Gordon.
The collection is more readable towards the later comics, some of the earlier ones contains situations which are too improbable and rely far too much on luck for Tintin to get himself out of danger.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2003
Watch out, this 3-in-one comes in a smaller size than the regular single adventures. Makes it harder to read and harder to enjoy the graphics.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2009
Unfortunately I had to return the 4 tintin book I purchased from the Amazon. Amazon does not indicate the size of the books when you purchase them. The original sizes of the comic books were 8.5"x12". The new sizes however are reduced to 6.5"x9" and the prints are too small to read.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2012
I am giving these books one star because I believe the ability to actual make out the text and illustrations is a fairly important component to a book. My 9 yr old, who has perfect vision, sits with a microscope to read these books. The magic of the illustrations is lost printed this tiny. I don't typically look at the dimensions of a book before I purchase online - but there is no way I would have purchased these books if I had seen them on a shelf. I'll know better next time.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
In 1929 Georges Remi, who worked under the pseudonym "Hergé," was in charge of producing material for "Le Petit Vingtième," a weekly supplement for the Catholic newspaper "Le XXe Siècle." Hergé decided to create his own comic strip, adopting the recent American innovation of using word balloons. On January 10, 1929, the first installment of "Tintin in the Land of the Soviets" was pubished in "Le Petit Vingtièm," telling the story of a young reporter named Tintin and his pet foxhouse Snowy (Milou) as they journied through the Soviet Union. The character of Tintin was modled on Paul Remi, Georges' brother, who was an officer in the Belgian army. The result was one of the most universally beloved comic book characters in the history of the world, and this book is the fourth volume in a series that collects three of the Adventures of Tintin.
Of course, you have been reading these in order, because if for some strange reason you start with Volume 4 then you begin with the second-half of an adventure that began in "The Secret of the Unicorn" (see Volume 3). Although Hergé offers a bit of a recapitulation in the form of a conversation overhead in a bar at the beginning of "Red Rackham's Treasure," you will really not be up to speed on this one. The main thing is that having collected all the clues regarding the titular treasure, Tintin and Captain Haddock are prepared to go forth and find it. However, almost as important as the search for the treasure is our introduction to the final pivotal member of the Tintin family, as Professor Cuthbert Calculus offers the service of his small shark-proof submarine for exploring the ocean floor. Tintin refuses the offer, but it turns out that Professor Calculus always hears somkething other than what somebody is really saying. Adding to the fun are the Thom(p)sons, who come alone with orders to protect Tintin.
"Red Rackham's Treasure" is mostly a pure adventure story, with Tintin using the small submarine and a deep sea diving suit to look for the treasure of the Unicorn. But there is still some detective work left to be done to decipher the final cryptic clues left by Sir Francis Haddock concerning the treasure's location. I still like Hergé's two-part adventure that sent Tintin to the Moon, but this two-parter is not far behind. This is the last of the Tintin stories Hergé wrote during World War II, and after this point we will definitely see his stories become much more allegorical in terms of post-War Europe. But this time around it is just Tintin, Snowy, and company out having fun beneath the deep blue sea.
Tintin's next two-part adventure is included here as well, beginning with "The Seven Crystal Balls" and concluding in "Prisoners of the Sun." The story begins with Tintin on the train reading how the Sanders-Hardiman Ethnographic Expedition has returned a trip to Peru and Bolivia. The gentleman reading over Tintin's shoulder predicts trouble, drawing a parallel between what happened with the curse of King Tut-Ankh-Amen's tomb and these explorers violating the Inca's burial chambers. "What'd we say if the Egyptians or the Peruvians came over here and started digging up our kings?," asks the gentleman; What'd we say then, eh?" The comment is important, not only because tragedy does strike the seven members of the expedition as they fall prey to the Crystal Balls of the book's title, but because one of the themes that Hergé develops in this particular epic is the respect Europeans should have for other cultures and ways of life.
This point has been implict in many of Tintin's adventures, but it is a dominant element this time around. Assissted by his good friend Captain Haddock, Tintin becomes embroiled in the mystery, which takes a more personal turn when Professor Calculus is kidnapped. One interesting twist in this story is that Snowy actually ends up causing more trouble than the Thom(p)sons. There is a seriousness to what happens in "The Seven Crytal Balls" and "Prisoners of the Sun" that reflects a significant turning point in Hergé's work, laying the ground work for his greatest tales, the two-part Moon story and "Tintin in Tibet."
"Prisoners of the Sun" concludes the epic Tintin adventure as the Sanders-Hardiman Ethnographic Expedition returns from a trip to Peru and Bolivia exploring Inca burial chambers when all seven members fell into comas induced by mysterious crystal balls. Tintin is already involved in the mystery when Professor Calculus is kidnapped and put aboard a steamer bound for Peru. With Snowy and Captain Haddock in tow, Tintin arrives in South America ready to rescue his friend and solve the mystery of the curse of the Incas. This involves a journey through the Andes Mountains and the jungles of the rain forest.
There is seriousness to what happens in "The Seven Crystal Balls" and "Prisoners of the Sun" that reflects a significant turning point in Hergé's work. The point that Europeans need to respect the cultures of other peoples is not only explicitly articulated by Tintin in these volumes, but is reinforced by the attention to details he puts into Tintin's visit to foreign lands. The ability of Hergé to grow as a storyteller over the course of his distinguished career is impressive and these stories deserve the accolades they have received and the affection with which they have been embraced by generations of readers. I have always liked his foray into science fiction with the two-part Moon story, but Hergé never did anything any better than this Incan epic. "Prisoners of the Sun" also has one of Hergé's best running gags: no, not the perpetual confrontations between Captain Haddock and the llamas, but the attempt by the Thom(p)sons to use dowsing to help solve the case.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2006
Volume 4: Red Rackham's Treasure (1944), The Seven Crystal Balls (1948), Prisoners of the Sun (1949). This is fourth instalment of my reviews of each of the seven volumes.
By now, the core members of the Tintin series have been assembled, though further secondary additions will be made. Tintin, the volatile Haddock and the deaf, distracted Calculus, and of course Snowy, Tintin's dog, will be inseparable friends throughout the rest of the series. There are some parallels between Haddock and Snowy, such as a love of booze and vulnerability to temptation, and Haddock's appearance has taken some of the spotlight off Snowy, but the dog still has its day - or days - as the series matures. The Thom(p)sons and the Castafiore adorn the circle of friends, while Dawson, Mueller, Allan and not least, Rastapopoulos, come back at times as foes.
Red Rackham's Treasure rounds out the adventure commenced with the Secret of the Unicorn (see my review for the previous volume). Professor Calculus, who enriches the series no end, makes his inaugural appearance, in which he is the inventor of a mini-submarine. A great adventure with pirates, treasure, submarines, and scaphanders. Oh yeah, and Nestor, too. Wouldn't want to omit him...
The Seven Crystal Balls begins another two-parter, with American Indian mysticism pitted against soulless European rationalism, and the most terrifying sequence I have ever seen in a comic book. Good god, I couldn't sleep after reading that one. After reading this adventure and its sequel, and not before, check out the official Tintin site for a striking analysis of a single panel, so that you can understand the pure richness of Hergé's creation. The sequel, Prisoners of the Sun is a pinnacle in the series, with the heroes' labyrinthine course into and out of trouble, culminating in a magnificent twist on the mysticism vs. rationalism theme set out in the prequel.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2004
Tintin is the best comic ever and here you have three of his adventures together:
Red Rackham's Treasure - In the previous volume Tintin and Captain Haddock put together a 200 year old mystery left by Haddock's ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock. Now they are off to recover Red Rackham's Treasure. But Max Bird, the antiques dealer turned criminal, has escaped from prison. Will he make an appearance?
The Seven Crystal Balls - Tintin and Captain Haddock go to a psychic show. There an Indian fakir puts his assistant into a trance. She forsees a mysterious illness striking a photographer on a recent expedition to recover Incan artifacts. One by one the researchers on the expedition fall into mysterious comas. Near each lies a shattered crystal ball...
Prisoners of the Sun - The previous installment of this story, The Seven Crystal Balls, left Tintin ad Captain Haddock in pursuit of kidnappers on a ship bound for Peru. In Peru Tintin catches a brief glimpse of the professor but is unable to rescue him. He and the captain continue the investigation. Local Indians are uncooperative, until Tintin rescues a local boy and finds sympathetic people who point him toward an Incan curse...
These are all good stories and have jokes for adults as well as children. Additionally The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun constitute a single longer story and have to be read together to know what is going on in each. So if you buy one then you will want to buy the other with it anyway. Be aware that these are printed on smaller size paper than the separately bound stories, which is more economical but makes them harder to read and doesn't do the graphics justice. This is an economic edition for families, but invest in the larger separately bound stories if possible.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 1998
in my opinion among the Funniest Tintins, are these three. Captain Haddock is in inimitable style, and Prof. Cuthbert Calculus, is as deeply unfathomable as his subjects! :) Funny, and Fun if you enjoy the adventures of Tintin and Snowy you'll not stop grinning with these three! awesomely illustrated and penned..really nice.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2010
We love the Tintin books and have worn out several copies as we have a lot of kids, but the 3 in 1 books are not the best quality and tend to fall apart pretty easily. I can accept the smaller size but the binding is not built 'kid tough'. Get the larger single volumes if you want them to stay around longer.
The Belgian artist Herge's cartoon hero Tintin, a young journalist and adventurer, has been popular in Europe since the 1920's and enjoys a limited fan base in the United States. Volume 4 of the Three in One Collection captures some of the best of the adventures, featuring Tintin, his faithful dog Snowy, his old seafaring friend Captain Haddock, the brillant but eccentric Professor Calculus, and the bumbling police detectives Thomson and Thompson. The artwork and storyline are Herge's original; the dialogue has been translated into British English.
The first adventure, "Red Rackham's Treasure", continues a story begun with "The Secret of the Unicorn" in Volume 3. A quick recap at the beginning will allow newcomers to catch up. Tintin and Captain Haddock are off to hunt the treasure of the Captain's ancestor Sir Francis Haddock, believed hidden on an island in the West Indies. Their search is materially aided by the eccentric and hilariously hard-of-hearing Professor Calculus, inventor of an mini-submarine and here introduced to the series. Their search will take the treasure hunters to a tropical island, to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea, and to Captain Haddock's ancestral home. The ending has a clever plot twist.
The second and third adventures are another two-parter. In "The Seven Crystal Balls", a group of archeologists just returned from a mummy-hunting expedition to Peru fall prey to a mysterious malady. Tintin and Captain Haddock investigate the case and the shadowy human agents behind it. When Professor Calculus is kidnapped, the trail leads back to Peru.
In "Prisoners of the Sun", Tintin and Captain Haddock reach Peru in search of Professor Calculus and his kidnappers. The trail seems to dead-end in Callao, Peru, until Tintin befriends a young local boy, Zorrino, who dares to lead them into the Andes. Deep in the Andes, the three will uncover a long-missing civilization and mortal peril. In an exciting conclusion, Tintin will have to outsmart the kidnappers to save Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus.
The Tintin adventures are good harmless fun; the stories have held up remarkably well and the artwork set a functional standard for the genre. Volume 4 and all the volumes of this collection of Tintin's adventures are highly recommended to his fans of any age.