Monday, August 27, 2018

Swiss intelligence

Believe it or not, but I found the Swedish translation of this comic in the basement just the other day. Or rather part of the comic album, since the cover and the title page were missing. More annoyingly, the ending was missing as well! Talk about cliff hanger. Some research on the web at least revealed the name of the comic, "Attila", and its creators, Maurice Rosy and Derib. The comic originally appeared in the Franco-Belgian magazine "Spirou", otherwise mostly known for the comic "Spirou et Fantasio". While Spirou's adventures exist in English translations, Attila's exploits doesn't seem to have reached the Anglophone cultural sphere.

Attila is a genetically enhanced dog, with the ability to speak human language, walk upright on two legs and even fly small airplanes. He works for the Swiss counterespionage (sic - I didn't know they even had one). Apparently, Attila can speak all four official languages of Switzerland, LOL. His owner, Bourrillon, is less smart and the comic foil of the stories.

In this adventure, "Attila au chateau", the canine hero's plane crashes during a thunder storm outside an old palace, managed by one Grismouron, the villain of the story. Grismouron is the legal guardian of Odée, a small boy who is the last descendant of an aristocratic family believed to have been in possession of a secret treasure. Grismouron suspects that the treasure is hidden somewhere in the palace, and plans to steal it from the poor boy, the rightful owner. Odée is pretty naïve and fantasy-prone, and believes that Attila comes from "the land of the fairies beyond the clouds", and expresses surprise that the dog uses a walkie-talkie rather than a golden trumpet to communicate with the "fairies" (actually Swiss military intelligence). Of course, it's Odée's dreamy nature that makes him accept the idea of a talking dog in the first place. The plot revolves around Attila, Odée and the hapless Bourrillon trying to find the treasure before its falls into the hands of the sinister Grismouron...

Although I don't usually read comics anymore, I admit I was somewhat thrilled by finding this one (or two-thirds of it, anyway). I mean, I haven't seen this since...what, the 1980's?! Five stars. And pssst...I think the good guys find the treasure at the end!

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