Title: Asterix and the Golden Sickle.
Writer(s): René Goscinny.
Illustrator(s): Albert Uderzo.
Release Date: June 16th, 2004 (First published 1961).
Genre(s): Comics, Historical Fiction.
My Overall Rating:
Previously in the Asterix series:
Asterix the Gaul by René Goscinny.
Isn’t it wonderful when you achieve your objectives and, collaterally, accomplish other things that you never intended to do in the first place? The serendipitous nature of these opportunities is beyond rewarding and somehow just feels like you’ve accidentally reestablished the ethical and moral order of things. For Asterix and Obelix, their latest adventure sends them off on an adventure filled with brigands, drunks, and wolves, hoping to help their druid but also, involuntarily, untangle a mystery that no one had yet discovered. Originally published in 1962, the second album in the Asterix comic book series is written by René Goscinny and drawn by Albert Uderzo.
What is Asterix and the Golden Sickle about? Tragedy strikes the village! The druid Getafix has broken his golden sickle and nothing in the world is right anymore. Without it, he cannot cut off and thus give the ingredients the magical enchantment that they require for the mysterious magic potion that gives Asterix and the villagers their incredible powers. Asterix and Obelix hence accept the druid’s quest to go to Lutetia (now Paris) to purchase a new golden sickle before Getafix has to leave for an annual druid gathering. What follows is a journey deep into the criminal underworld of the maddeningly active city of Lutetia where they must outwit Navishtrix, Clovogarlix, and the sickle-trafficking gang.
“Par Bélénos, Toutatis et Bélisama! J’ai cassé ma serpe d’or!”— René Goscinny
It goes without saying that there isn’t necessarily any need to read these volumes in any particular volume so far. As soon as you’re aware of the general plot, the core characters of the small village of Gauls, and the humouristic tone of the series, you’re set to embark on amusing adventures that lead you to a rainbow of places. This time around, the narrative is oriented around a simple objective: a new golden sickle. As both Asterix and Obelix go looking for a seller, they get pushed and pulled in countless directions, revisiting prison thrice, although you always know that they can’t be kept in there anyway, until they’re led straight to the people that can help them acquire what they need. Similar to the previous volume, the humour mostly lies in the banter itself but also in the mindless violence that is so easy for Asterix to resort to and so innocently effortless for Obelix to ignorantly utilize when they need it the most.
Once more, Albert Uderzo’s artwork is irreproachable. There’s nothing much that changes from what he’s showcased so far, with expressive characters who convey dynamic movements with brio, with colourful panels that capture a playful and energetic ambiance, and with engaging and aggressive thought bubbles that complement the emotional state of the numerous characters. A lot of this comic book series’ success has to do with the simple, silly, and splendid artistic vision that he’s given to René Goscinny’s comedic and adventurous narrative. Again, the cinematic quality of these stories and the facility with which readers will be able to imagine it all make these super short albums delightful to pick up and enjoy for what they are.
Asterix and the Golden Sickle is another fairly entertaining adventure sending Asterix and Obelix on a quest that leads them straight into the middle of a sickle-trafficking scheme.