I read my first Asterix comic sometime in the mid to late 1970’s. I remember this (I remember who had it and where I read it) because it really made an impression on me. Here was a comic that was the perfect cross between the simple (in story and in art) Disney and Archie comics that my grandparents had lying around for their grandkids to read, and the heavy, detailed superhero comics that my friends and I used to read. Asterix was funny, smart, and the main characters were superhero strong and they were Gauls (I had no idea what the heck that meant) who were fighting against the Romans in 50 B.C. (Now that I understood.) There was plenty of humor that teen-me picked up on, and as I read through this, most of that humor hasn’t changed and yet it still made me chuckle.
Publisher Orion is putting out an Omnibus edition of the Asterix comics. This book, Omnibus #1, combines the first three issues of the Asterix comics: Asterix the Gaul, Asterix and the Golden Sickle, and Asterix and the Goths. These three books really give the reader everything one needs to know about Asterix, the character, his powers, his sense of humor, and his friends.
Right in the first book we learn that Asterix’s power comes from a potion made by his druid friend, and that it will wear off from time to time. We also learn that Asterix’s friend, Obelisk, a big, simple-minded oaf with a good heart and very devoted to his friend, is permanently strong because he had fallen into a vat of the druid’s elixir when he was a child. But if he takes a drink of the potion now it would have a dangerous, negative effect on him. We also learn about the dislike of the Romans and how Asterix and his friends are the last hold-outs against the mighty Roman army. Of course, that Roman army are Keystone Kops, B.C. style.
This is not only fun nostalgia, but just good entertainment. If you’ve never read an Asterix comic, this is the perfect place to start and you’ll find it addicting and want to read more, which is good, because we should all take time out to laugh once in awhile.
Looking for a good book? Asterix Omnibus Vol. 1 is a graphic novel reprinting some very entertaining comics. You should check it out.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Asterix Omnibus Vol. 1
author: René Goscinny
artist: Albert Uderzo
hardcover, 144 pages