The next entry in my Tintin Reading Challenge is King Ottokar’s Sceptre. (Previous entry is The Black Island). While I’m still running behind, I’m confident I can finish them all in 2015! And so, here’s my review:
I felt Ottokar’s Sceptre was ‘only’ good rather than great.
It’s not that there are any clear faults – and we’re treated to another absent-minded professor, as Herge continued to warm up for Calculus’ eventual appearance – but the adventure was missing some tension for me. It might have been a case of expectations not quite being met, as I wanted a little more depth to the mystery of how the sceptre is stolen I think, more detail to that plot.
The premise I really enjoyed – the theft of a royal sceptre as a per-cursor to war between ‘Syldavia’ and ‘Borduria’ with Tintin having to thwart various war-mongers and duplicate professors, but I think the scale of the conflict implied didn’t really come off in the space of a single volume.
There were some great mountain-based panels at the Syldavia border but again, for me, the range of colour and settings appeared a little repetitive this time around. Perhaps Herge put more effort into creating the warring countries in the story as stand-ins for Germany and Austria?
Still, no Tintin adventure is terrible and this one is notable for the first appearance of Bianca Castafiore and her…powerful voice.
Next up: The Crab with the Golden Claws.