Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tintin : Flight 714

The penultimate (completed) Tintin adventure is maybe one of the darkest of the lot, thus it maybe is an unusual way to start a retrospective review of all of the Tintin books on this blog but i've got to start somewhere!

Tintin, Snowy, Haddock and Calculus end up on a private jet which is hijacked and landed on a remote island in the West Pacific by a group of hoodlums intent on relieving one of the world's richest men (a superbly arrogant and vile Carreidas) of some of his fortune. The island they land on has more secrets than even the bad guys banked on though...

Flight 714 is a dark story though not without much of the humour that you often get with later Tintin and its ensemble cast, it is even a bit post-modern at times with recurring jokes from earlier in the series. The violence is rawer, less comical than the early Tintin days but i find the emotion that brings up makes Flight 714 a very engaging read.

Flight 714 has been criticised though for its deus ex machina resolution involving extraterrestrials but i have no problem with this, the story was written at a time when ancient astronauts as popularised by Erich Von Daniken were very popular and alien abductions and sightings were very common. This book really caught the late 60s zeitgeist but in subsequent years Von Daniken's ideas have become discredited though this doesn't detract from the excitement such fantastic ideas cause if they were true, nor indeed the quality of Flight 714.

It has some of the best examples of artwork in any Tintin story, some of the scenes such as the jet landing, can only be described as cinematic and breathtaking. It is not perfect though, some of the small universe syndrome Tintin suffers from crops up again, as bad guys we've seen quite a few times already in early books return again. The story also seems to finish fairly abruptly. These are only minor points, while it might be less accessible than some earlier Tintin books Flight 714 is truly a high point...

This review originally appeared on my Take A Clean Sheet Of Paper comic blog.

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