Asterix and the Golden Sickle
|Asterix and the Golden Sickle
(La serpe d'or)
Cover of the English edition
|Main characters||Asterix and Obelix|
|Published in||Pilote magazine|
|Date of publication||11 August 1960–1961|
|Translator||Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge|
|Preceded by||Asterix the Gaul|
|Followed by||Asterix and the Goths|
Asterix and the Golden Sickle is the second volume of the Asterix comic book series, by René Goscinny (stories) and Albert Uderzo (illustrations). It was first serialized in Pilote magazine issues 42–74 in 1960.
Disaster strikes in the Gaulish village when Getafix the druid breaks his golden sickle, on grounds that without one, he cannot attend the annual conference of druids, or cut mistletoe for the magic potion which keeps the Roman armies at bay. Asterix therefore Obelix set out for Lutetia (present-day Paris) to buy a new one from Obelix's cousin, the sicklesmith Metallurgix. On the way there (and later, in returning to their village), they encounter bandits, but easily defeat them, and learn from a fellow-traveller that "sickles are in short supply in Lutetia". In Lutetia itself, they find that Metallurgix is missing; and when they inquire of his neighbors, one of these gives a description of them to the spy 'Clovogarlix', who in turn directs them to his superior Navishtrix (Metallurgix's chief competitor) to buy a new sickle at a high price. They refuse, and defeat Navishtrix and his followers; but are pardoned by Roman Prefect Surplus Dairyprodus, and learn from a Centurion that Metallurgix may have been kidnapped by his competitors. From a drunkard imprisoned by Dairyprodus, they learn that these are based at a portal dolmen in the Boulogne forest. In the competitors' underground store-room, Asterix and Obelix find a hoard of Golden Sickles, but are attacked Clovogarlix, Navishtrix, and their minions. Upon defeat, Navishtrix escapes, and Asterix and Obelix follow him to Surplus Dairyprodus, who confesses having sponsored the illegal monopoly for his own amusement. The Centurion thereupon releases Metallurgix and imprisons Dairyprodus and Navishtrix; whereafter Metallurgix, in gratitude at having been freed, gives Asterix and Obelix the best of his sickles, free of charge. With this, they return to their village and celebrate their achievement.
This is the first time Obelix has a major role in the story and highlights his keenness to fight at every opportunity. It is also the first journey away from the village for Asterix and Obelix. There was a planned film adaptation of this book, but it was never released.
- When Asterix & Obelix hear that Lutetia is a "very beautiful but dangerous" city, this may be a reference to the 20th-Century Paris.
- This may be the first story in which Cacofonix is tied up away from the banquet, to prevent his singing.
- This is the first time Asterix and Obelix have a mystery to solve, and one of the rare times Asterix uses his sword.
- Obelix demonstrates his ability of opening doors with his finger.
- The prefect (and chief villain) is a caricature of the actor Charles Laughton.
- Due to a mistake by Uderzo, the final pages were drawn in comic strip panels, which resulted in a printing error (the panels are smaller and the margins are larger than normal) in all versions.
- Lutetia (future Paris) satirizes the big city, in contrast with the countryside (Asterix's village)
- "The great ox-cart race, the Suindinum 24 hours" is a reference to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, France. Suindinum is the old name of Le Mans.
In other languages
- Arabic: أستريكس والمنجل الذهبي
- Bengali: 'এসটেরিক্স ও সোনার কাস্তে
- Bulgarian: Златният сърп
- Catalan: La falç d'or
- Croatian: Asteriks i Zlatni srp
- Czech: Asterix a Zlatý srp
- Danish: Asterix og trylledrikken
- Dutch: Asterix en het gouden snoeimes
- Estonian: Asterix ja Kuldsirp
- Finnish: Kultainen sirppi
- French: La Serpe d'or
- West Frisian: De gouden sichte
- German: Die goldene Sichel
- Greek: Το χρυσό δρεπάνι
- Hungarian: Az aranysarló
- Indonesian: Asterix dan Sabit Emas
- Italian: Asterix e il falcetto d'oro
- Latvian: Asteriks un zelta sirpis
- Norwegian: Asterix og styrkedråpene
- Polish: Złoty sierp
- Portuguese: Asterix e a Foice de Ouro
- Romanian: Asterix si Cosorul de Aur
- Scots: Asterix and the Gowden Heuk
- Serbian: Астерикс и златни срп
- Slovak: Asterix a zlatý kosák
- Spanish: La hoz de oro
- Swedish: Asterix och guldskäran
- Turkish: Asteriks Altın orak
- 한국어 : 아스테릭스, 황금낫을 찾아랏!
- The complete guide to Asterix by Peter Kessler ISBN 0-340-65346-9