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Tintin: King Ottokar’s Sceptre (Review)

In the lead-up to the release of The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, I’m going to be taking a look at Hergé’s celebrated comic book character, from his humble beginnings through to the incomplete post-modern finale. I hope you enjoy the ride.

It’s amazing what you can miss in enjoying your favourite stories as a child. For me, at the tender age of seven or eight, King Ottokar’s Sceptre was a thrilling tale of palace intrigue with a rather wonderful locked-room mystery at it heart. Returning to it now, it feels like quite a bit more. This is the first time, reading a Tintin book, that it feels part of a particular place or time. Even the possibly-Nazi agent from The Black Island was cast ambiguously enough that the story could have been set at any time in the relatively recent past, but King Ottokar’s Sceptre is something quite a bit different, capturing the sense of fear in Europe on the eve of warfare.

A locked room mystery...

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