Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Jack of clubs

“Arlequin” is a Franco-Belgian comic developed by Jean van Hamme and Dany. It doesn't seem to have been translated to English. To Swedish, by contrast, this particular adventure has been translated three times, each time under a different name! So far Swedish translators have christened Arlequin (the main character) Harlekin (Harlequin), Jokern (The Joker) and Klöver Knekt (Jack of Clubs). OK, at least the guy's popular.

“Arlequin” is a kind of James Bond parody. The plot doesn't withstand closer analysis. Frankly, it doesn't make much sense. But then, Hollywood flick often don't make sense, so why bother? Suffice to say, it revolves around a mysterious secret agent, one Arlequin, who is so deep undercover that not even his bosses know his true identity. A master of disguises, chases and impossible escapes, his recurrent gag is to leave behind a jack of clubs playing card when completing a mission.

In this adventure, “The Elephants Fly at Dawn”, Arlequin has to protect the ruler of the oil rich (and non-existent) emirate of Kowmen from the treacherous designs of an American oil company and its thugs. Somehow, the bad guys have managed to apprehend the French super-agent, replacing him with a body double. The real Arlequin is held incommunicado at a secluded location, but when our hero decides on a daring escape, it soon becomes obvious who's calling the shots…

Five stars, of course. Yes, this was sort of fun to read when I was a kid, LOL. In the “Klöver Knekt” version, if you must know.

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