PARIS • Asterix, the indomitable pint-sized Gaul forever outfoxing the Romans, returns this week for his 38th comic book adventure, Asterix And The Chieftain's Daughter, featuring a female hero for the first time in its 60-year history.
In a move to update the books, which have been entertaining readers since 1959 and spawned multiple movie spin-offs, the action in the new edition revolves around a character called Adrenaline, the teenage daughter of famous Gaulish king Vercingetorix.
With her long, red, braided hair, black trousers and rebellious teenage disposition, Adrenaline will keep Asterix and his oversized sidekick Obelix busy chasing after her to ensure her safety.
The last three editions of Asterix have been written by Jean-Yves Ferri and drawn by Didier Conrad, sticking closely to the original format.
"We didn't want to develop a character who would be based on her seductive side as we usually do with female characters in Asterix. Most of the time they are young attractive women who seduce Obelix and their role stops there," said Conrad.
In the latest edition, Asterix and Obelix must protect Adrenaline, who is being hunted by the Romans, while also being confronted by the inter-generational gap between them and the chieftain's daughter.
"In terms of the vocabulary, it was quite amusing because I had to create a sort of teenage language for the time. We don't have a lot of documentation about that. So the idea was to use certain expressions like teenagers do," said Ferri, the scriptwriter.
Five million copies of Asterix's 38th adventure were printed. The edition was released on Thursday.
The Asterix books have become a mainstay in the publishing industry, with more than 370 million copies sold worldwide.
As well as being translated into more than 100 languages, the books have inspired a dozen movies and cartoon series, making the series a global phenomenon.