The SHOOTING STAR. The Adventures of Tintin. Translated [from the French] by Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper & Michael Turner.
Tintin's first science fiction adventure is a great one, although Hergé's better with the fiction than with the science! Nonetheless, the story is exciting and atmospheric, particularly the initial "Armageddon" sequence. There's a real feeling of desperation at the impending destruction of civilization. Was this an expression of Hergé's angst at the Nazi occupation of Belgium? However that may be, it's certainly his most effective piece of work in Tintin's adventures to this point. The story has resonances with H.G. Wells's The Food of the Gods The Food of the Gods and Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Mysterious Island The Mysterious Island: giant growths of vegetation and animals; scientific expeditions in search of strange lands, etc. I don't know that Hergé had these books in mind, but I'd be surprised if he wasn't at least aware of the works of Wells and Verne, and the correspondences are there.Although only introduced in the previous album, The Crab With The Golden Claws, Captain Haddock already seems to be a well-established part of Tintin's world and he adds an extra dimension of unpredictability to the adventures. Hergé relegated Thomson and Thompson's roles to a single-panel cameo, which was a good decision as it gave him the opportunity to get the Captain well bedded-in.I did feel, however, that Tintin's use of whisky to manipulate the alcoholic Captain was morally suspect, but I guess we're dealing with a story written in simpler times as far as attitudes to substance abuse is concerned.