New to the World Cup of Asterix? Read this introduction to find out what it's all about. Today's contest will be judged by Apprentice host Donald Trump.
Asterix and the Goths
Getafix wins 'Druid of the Year' and is captured by Goths. Asterix and Obelix follow them into Germany to enact a rescue.
Visually, the quality is a distinct step down from later efforts and there are far fewer gags. The first funny panel comes on page 10:
Asterix, Obelix, and Getafix are fairly well-rounded, but the minor characters in the village haven't been fleshed out. There's a bit of characterisation in a Goth who appreciates flowers and a border guard who can't work out what constitutes an invasion.
Asterix and Obelix discover that the Romans believe them to be Goths, so they disguise themselves as Romans. The story, which had been plodding along, livens up when their disguise is discovered and a Roman General gives orders to find two men 'dressed as Romans' - with predictable results.
The momentum never really builds, though. By far the best page comes near the end, when we see the results of Getafix's plan to turn the Goths against each other ('the Asterixian Wars').
All in all, a disappointing book.
Asterix and the Class Act
This is a collection of short stories and today was the first time I'd ever seen most of them. My first impression was 'Christ! This lower case 'i' shit again!' Why could no-one talk Uderzo out of doing it?
Story one (The Class Act) has Asterix and Obelix gathering the village children and making them go to school. But when Obelix can't answer a hard history question he is forced to take remedial maths. And that is the end of the story.
What. The. Very. Fuck.
The next tells the tale of the birth of Asterix and Obelix. It's fine. Next comes a forgettable rehash of all the most basic things an Asterix fan knows. Pointless. There's a tale of an eagle versus a cockerel, which is actually pretty good even though I hate Uderzo's obsession with talking animals. It's the symbol of the Roman Empire versus the national fowl of France.
Then we've got Obelix stalking village babe Panacea trying to steal a kiss from her - but he ends up kissing everyone else. Including Asterix. (Look for a future article about their homoerotic relationship.) One common complaint about the Asterix series is the blatant misogyny that runs through it. Asterix and the Class Act contains an apologetic 'we like women really' story. Except the women of the village just parade around in dresses and bitch at each other while the men take action. Worst defence against a charge of misogyny ever, barring Donald Trump's. ('She asked me those questions about me hating women because she was on her period.')
And so it goes. Basically it's terrible and I'm glad this never entered my local library when I was a kid.
So, as America's favourite game show host slash president - Donald Trump - would say, 'Asterix and the Class Act, you're fired.'
But wait! There's more. Trump's wig has something to add: 'Asterix and the Goths, you've done well to get here, but you aren't World Cup quality. So you're fired, too.'
Holy cow! DOUBLE ELIMINATION!