Before I ever picked up the pages of Justice League International, in that comic stand across the ice cream shop. In times before the gloozy covers of 2000AD magazines caught my attention, I discover my uncle’s magazine stash (no not that type), but his collection of Asterix, Diabolik, Lone Sloane and few more stacks of Heavy Metal. So to say doing this review was return to moments of nostalgia, where happier days seen in abundant.
Story: The Romans have subjugated Britain and it ancient denizens, the Gauls, well not all them. One small, hardly visible, Armorica village, lives a group of indomitable Gauls who are thorn in the side of the Centurion, Crismus Bonus. Finally the Centurion has enough after his unit is completely trashed by Asterix, and he set for a plan of sending a spy to the Gaul village. Choosing Caligula Minus, a tinny coward to mascaraed as a Gaul, giving him the name Caliguliminix. His mission, to spy on the Gaul and discover why and how they are impossible to defeat. But Crimus Bonus has other plans, he wishes to obtain a sample of the potion in order to crush the Gaul and overthrow Julius Caesar. It up to Asterix, our hero to project the secret of the magic potion.
Getafix, producing the magic potion to give our characters strength. Just look at the use of shadows in the above pages, it amazing!
Art: Check out how unique and vibrant this colors are for 1960s comic. And characters actually look as if they are moving not just jumping from panel to panel in a static way, which something many other artist where doing back then. That in itself is amazing. Backgrounds are solid, nicely painted with colors that attract but not too heavy. Sure fights can be a bit cartoony, but quite enjoy that from them. All in all, this art aged like wine.
The very first pages of the comic and also shows it cartoony side.
Dialogue: This comic original language is French, so unless you had the pleasure reading in it natural state it hard to explain some subtle things which are lost in translation. I obviously read my in Spanish, then when to German and finally to English and must say the English translation is excellent.
Continues in: The Adventure of Asterix Vol 2: And the Golden Sickle
Conclusion: It hard not to by bias about this wonderful book. Not only as a child did I read this, but also reminds me of my homeland which I long left behind. Man, you have no idea how many times I gave myself a name with “ix” in the end while playing the part of the Gaul, once I even when as far braiding my long hair. Didn’t turn out too well. But tell you this much, I always wanted mustache and facial hair cause this book. Never could grow good proper looking one.
And that had absolutely nothing to do with the review.
Fine let go to the review: The story can be consider a bit childish but not predictable, the small twist in turns are not it all what we expect. While its difficult for Asterix to seem in any real danger, its his wits and cunning that mostly get him out trouble when his out the potion. And its not without great difficult that we see things slowly unravel. However I will admit the ending came bit abrupt but that understood with how little pages they were working it. All in all, I say you folks out there specially the one in the States, should give a try.