Asterix and the Big Fight ★★★☆☆

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Title: Asterix and the Big Fight
Series: Asterix #7
Authors: Goscinny & Uderzo
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 53
Words: 3K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org

The Romans having been humiliated many times by the rebel Gauls, Felonius Caucus, advisor to Centurion Nebulus Nimbus, suggests a single combat between Vitalstatistix, chief of Asterix’s tribe, and the Gallo-Roman Chief, Cassius Ceramix of Linoleum. According to ancient Gaulish customs, the loser would forfeit his entire tribe to the winner. When Ceramix argues that Vitalstatistix would surely win with Getafix’s magic potion of invincibility, Caucus sends a patrol to capture Getafix before the challenge is confirmed. Whilst attempting to scatter the attackers, Obelix accidentally strikes Getafix with a menhir, the impact of which causes amnesia and insanity.

Following Cassius Ceramix’s challenge, Asterix and Vitalstatistix attempt to restore Getafix’s mind by experimenting in potions; but this produces only a whimsical sub-plot, in which the Roman soldier Infirmofpurpus, captured by Obelix as a test subject, is temporarily rendered weightless. Thereafter Asterix and Obelix consult Psychoanalytix (original French name is Amnesix), a druid who specializes in mental disorders; but when asked to demonstrate what caused the problem, Obelix crushes Psychoanalytix with a menhir, leaving him “in the same state as Getafix”. As the two crazed druids concoct a number of skin-coloring potions, Asterix tries to get Vitalstatistix into good physical shape for the fight, mainly by jogging. Meanwhile, the Romans plan to arrest Ceramix after the fight, lest he thereafter challenge their control of Gaul.

As the fight begins, Getafix accidentally makes a potion which restores his mind, and retains sanity despite being hit by another menhir (thrown by Obelix in an attempt to cure Getafix by repeating the cause of the original accident). Getafix quickly proceeds to brew a supply of magic potion. Meanwhile, the fight has turned into a bore: Vitalstatistix, exploiting his superior physical condition, is running circles around the ring while Ceramix tries in vain to catch him. After hearing of Getafix’s recovery, Vitalstatistix defeats his exhausted opponent with a single blow. The Romans do not accept this victory, but are crushed by the Gauls, who had drunk Getafix’s magic potion. When Ceramix is reduced to amnesia by a third menhir that was thrown by Obelix during the battle, Vitalstatistix declines his right to take over Ceramix’s tribe, and sends him home in honour. Psychoanalytix returns to business despite his amnesia, but remains professionally successful despite “side effects” of his medicines. Ceramix, now in the same mental state as Psychoanalytix, becomes “the most courteous chief in Gaul” and the probable originator of French courtesy. His tribe returns to Gaulish ways and the fight against Rome, while Vitalstatistix’s tribe celebrate their victories.

My Thoughts:

While the story itself was no worse than the previous one, I knocked off a star for all the horrible word plays that simply infested this volume. It felt like every other page was an over the top bad joke on purpose. Just read the middle where the soldiers are talking:

Once or twice in the book I can deal with. But almost every other page? Too much.

The story is pretty amusing though. Getafix the druid gets knocked on the head by one of Obelix’s menhirs and loses his memory. The romans decide to take advantage of the situation and shenanigans ensue. It was hilarious. Then Obelix has the bright idea of hitting Getafix with another menhir to fix what he originally broke. Of course, Getafix has just fixed himself with a potion by accident. So there he is, back to normal, when a menhir comes sailing out of nowhere and buries him in the ground. Again. I laughed my head off. Silly situations like that really do amuse me 😀

Mrs B was looking over my shoulder occasionally and pointed out that the good guys all had mustaches and you could always spot a bad guy because he didn’t. Now I’m going to be looking out for that in future volumes. Makes me wonder what Goscinny and Uderzo had against clean shaven’ness? I mention that because I had a mustache in highschool and have a picture of it. Mrs B says it is very “awkward” looking, which is very generous of her 😀

Rating: 3 out of 5.

15 thoughts on “Asterix and the Big Fight ★★★☆☆

  1. I come to Asterix for the word play.
    And based upon my limited observations, the translators do a terrific job re-creating the word play in other languages.

    As for the moustaches, isn’t it just because Gauls wore moustaches and Romans went clean-shaven?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, overall I think Hock&Bell did a good job of making the jokes relatable to the US audience. But this wasn’t relatable, it was just horrible! 😀

      Other nationalities are involved, I think, which is why I’m going to keep an eye out in future books.

      Liked by 1 person

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