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The Adventures of Tintin: The Calculus Affair (Review)

To celebrate the release of The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn in the United States later this month, I’ll be taking a look at some of nineties animated television show. Check back daily!

Note: This is our review of the animated episode, check out our review of the book here.

We’re just finished the more fantastical series of Hergé’s adventures, where he took his lead (and supporting cast) to the bottom of the ocean, to the heart of a lost Inca society and even to the moon itself. The animated series proved quite adept at handling these stories. The fact that Hergé’s two-part adventures translated to four-part feature-length episodes was just icing on the cake. However, I find myself wondering how the team will handle The Calculus Affair. It’s a relatively mature adventure, and it represents a point where the series became considerably more self-aware and reflexive. Given some of the changes made to earlier stories, I can’t help but wonder how the series will deal with these very different themes and ideas.

Tintin must have ticked off some important people in his time...

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Tintin: The Calculus Affair (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.

The Calculus Affair is an interesting little story that is one part suspense thriller, and another part mystery. In short, it’s almost the perfect cocktail to brew up a Cold War espionage thriller, which was exactly what Hergé was going for. It wouldn’t be too difficult to rework the adventure as a James Bond movie (in fact, it even features a sequence with our lead piloting a tank), but Hergé does a lot of work to ensure that the story never gets too heavily bogged down. Much like King Ottokar’s Sceptre, the story stands quite well as an examination of the time when it was written.

Another fine mess!

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