Asterix and Son
|Asterix and Son
(Le Fils d'Astérix)
|Date of publication||1983|
|Preceded by||Asterix and the Black Gold|
|Followed by||Asterix and the Magic Carpet|
A baby boy inexplicably appears at the porch of Asterix's house one morning. While taking care of him - a horrifying task for two single men - Asterix and Obelix along with Dogmatix, set out to discover who left the baby there and, by extension, who his parents are. The only major clue they have as to both mysteries is a lead left with the baby's wrappings. Curiously, they find that the Romans seem to be very inquisitive about the child, too - and all in the interests of Marcus Junius Brutus, Caesar's adopted son. Asterix finds out that some people suspect the baby is his illegitimate child, leaving him mildly shocked. As the Romans are using deceptive methods to try getting the baby, it is decided that the baby needs protection from the Romans.
While in the village, the baby twice drinks a great deal of magic potion (first by accident when Obelix inadvertently uses a half-empty potion gourd as a feeding bottle: the second time, he falls in a nearly-empty cauldron, prompting Obelix to remark that he 'really take[s] to [the baby]), after which he becomes a "terrible little monster" to every door in the neighbourhood and every spy sent to capture him, including a legionnare disguised as a peddler selling rattles, and a centurion disguised as a nursemaid, driving both up the centurion's tent pole. Finally, Brutus, who is keeping his presence secret from Caesar, takes matters into his own hands, attacking the village with his own legions and burning it to the ground, while he himself goes after the baby. He demands the baby from the women, who think he still has superhuman strength, but it turns out the potion has worn off, and Brutus manages to kidnap him temporarily - with the help of the ever-present pirates -, but soon Asterix and Obelix catch up with him and give him a lesson in why they are considered the terror of the Romans, while the pirates leap overboard.
Just as the Gauls try to make Brutus reveal the truth, the unexpected arrivals by Caesar, and then Cleopatra resolve the child's mystery; he is none other than Ptolemy XV Caesarion (born 23 June 47 BC), the son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra VII of Egypt. Brutus had been attempting to kill the baby while Caesar was away on campaign so that he could guarantee his accession to the throne, so Cleopatra had the boy sent to the village to protect him on the grounds that the village was the one place she could guarantee the child's safety from Brutus's soldiers. Brutus is sent away by Caesar.
The story ends with the banquet on Cleopatra's royal barge where even Caesar joins in, having promised to rebuild the village in thanks for the Gauls' efforts to protect his son.
- Brutus and the prefect of Gaul may be caricatures of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, and the prefect cross-dressing is then a reference to the movie Some Like it Hot, in which they star.
- The final banquet not being set in the Village was reportedly extremely criticized, even if it's nicely symbolic and fits into the story arc.
- This is the only time the Romans successfully attack and destroy the village, but, to reward Asterix for keeping his son safe, Caesar ended up rebuilding it.
- Like Asterix in Switzerland, this album presents a rare dark tone as it touches on the possibility of an innocent's murder. With the destruction of the village, Impedimenta's tearful failure at protecting the child, and the apparent upper hand of the Romans, the story swings away from comedy and briefly takes on a refreshing, if uncharacteristic, air of suspense.
- Before Caesar sends Brutus to upper Germania, he says Et tu, Brute?, which were the words he spoke before his death in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.
In other languages
- French: "Le fils d'Astérix"
- Catalan: El fill d'Astèrix
- Croatian: Asterixov sin
- Czech: Asterixův syn
- Dutch: De zoon van Asterix
- Finnish: Asterixin poika, also translated to Rauma dialect as Asteriksim boikkane mukul ("Asterix's boy tot")
- German: Der Sohn des Asterix
- Greek: Ο γιος του Αστερίξ
- Indonesian: Bayi Asterix
- Italian: Il figlio di Asterix
- Norwegian: Asterix & sønn
- Portuguese: O filho de Astérix
- Polish: Syn Asteriksa
- Russian: Сын Астерикса
- Serbian: Астерикс и син
- Swedish: Asterix & Son
- Turkish: Asteriks'in Oğlu