Asterix and the Falling Sky

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Asterix and the Falling Sky
(Le ciel lui tombe sur la tête)
Date 2005
Series Asterix
Creative team
Writers Albert Uderzo
Artists Albert Uderzo
Original publication
Date of publication September 2005
Language French
Preceded by Asterix and the Class Act
Followed by Asterix and Obelix's Birthday: The Golden Book

Asterix and the Falling Sky is the thirty-third volume of the Asterix comic book series, by Albert Uderzo (story and illustrations). It was released on October 14, 2005.

The album is explained by Uderzo as a tribute to Walt Disney, who inspired him to become an artist. It is generally disliked by fans, mostly because Asterix albums tend to be classical, and this album has aliens from outer space and a different, far less detailed drawing style.[citation needed]

Uderzo had been adamant this was not to be the last Asterix album, saying in a Financial Times interview, "No, no, no, it is not the last. Certain journalists believed this because the cover was the mirror image of the first Asterix album. That is indeed the case but it was not at all my intention to suggest it would be the last album." [1]

Plot summary[edit]

Breaking with the more or less historical setting in previous albums, two rival outer space alien ships appear above the Gaulish village.

Before it, Obelix and Asterix were hunting boars, when they found one rigid. As they went back to the village, everyone is also rigid while indulged in a fight. Luckily, Getafix was in his normal state, and says he was just testing the magic potion, causing Asterix to realise the magic potion has made them immune to the effects, and also that Obelix has been giving Dogmatix magic potion. Soon, they found a spaceship resembling a gigantic yellow sphere, from which an alien named Toon emerges. He reveals he forgot to switch off a landing device on his ship, which has led to the village becoming rigid. Soon, when the ship departed, everything was normal again.

The evil aliens Nagma want to know the secret of, and confiscate the "great weapon" the Gauls have (Getafix's potion), that is "known throughout the universe", in order to conquer more planets. However Toon comes to the village, after burning down a Roman Camp, with the mission to destroy the weapon. It turns out the potion causes immunity to many of the alien devices. Nagma was forced out of Earth in his defeat, and Toon erases all memory of his visit due to his embarrassment over him being temporarily enlarged to giant size when he consumed the potion due to it being incompatible with his physiology.

The aliens are styled on the happy-faced Walt Disney and DC Comics superheroes of the American comic book style on one side, and futuristic robot and insect-like Japanese manga style on the other.


Cultural references[edit]

According to Uderzo himself, this book is poking fun at certain American comics and at manga in general. Although he stated that he has no resentment against manga as a genre, Uderzo conceived the nagma alien invasion as a metaphor of the massive import of manga in Europe during the 2000s.[2]

  • The United States is famous for alien encounters.
  • The Tadsilweny's favourite food is hot dogs.
  • Toon says their leader is called "Hubs", an anagram of "Bush".
  • Toon wants to confiscate the village's magical potion because it is a dangerous weapon. This is supposed to be an analogy to when the Bush Administration convinced the world that the Iraqis had secret weapons in the Gulf War and in the 2003 Invasion.
  • Nagma is an anagram of manga.
  • "Tadsilweny" is an anagram of Walt Disney.
  • Akoaotaki, the great sage of Nagmas. Anagram of Takao Aoki, author and creator of the manga Beyblade
  • Toon (from "toon") looks like a purple Mickey Mouse, with small ears. In a scene, he even gets black as a side effect of magic potion, like Mickey. Asterix comments by saying that black suits him well.
  • The design of the mothership of the Nagmas is based on the anime robot Grendizer. In the original French version, the smaller ships that it spits are called "Goelderas", a name which literally means "rat faces", but is written in a way reminiscent of the French name of Grendizer: Goldorak. It is to be known that the Grendizer cartoon series is/was extremely famous and popular in France. (In Spanish the small ships are called "Kara-Ratas", which translates to the same thing although is also misspelled on purpose.)
  • The golden armour of the Nagma leader could be a reference to the golden armours worn by the protagonists of the anime Saint Seiya, which was also famous in France.
  • The "super clones" used by the Tadsilweny are similar to Superman, carry a shining green ring and have the face of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Toon also says that they can become bat or spider super clones. Toon also describes them as "security men" who "keep the peace", in a way similar to the robot Gort from the classic science-fiction movie The Day the Earth Stood Still.
  • Directly translated from French the original title is in fact "The Sky Falls on his Head", which is the only thing the Gauls fear.
  • Centurion Polyanthus - Polyanthus are a cultivated variety of primrose, with several flowers on one stalk, bred in vivid colours.