Meet Adrenaline: Asterix gets first female hero in 60-year history

A figure of the character Adrenaline. Image Source: Reuters

Gender inclusivity is a must in today’s world. And look who is joining the party?

Our very own Asterix comics!

For the first time in its 60-year-old history, Asterix has a female lead!

Make way for Adrenaline, the rebellious teenage daughter of famous Gaulish king Vercingetorix.

In his 38th comic book adventure Asterix and the Chieftain’s Daughter, Asterix and his sidekick Obelix are doing all they can to protect her from the Romans, who are looking to hunt her down. But they have more problems. They must also face the huge generation gap between themselves and the rebellious teenager who is exploring her adolescent rebellion.

The last three editions of Asterix have been written by Jean-Yves Ferri and illustrated by Didier Conrad, who have done their best to stick to the original.

“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,” Conrad said about Adrenaline.

“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.

About introducing a new female protagonist, Didier Conrad, the original illustrator of Asterix and the Chieftain’s daughter, admitted that the times had changed since the books were first published.

“It’s not really an ‘Asterix’ thing, it’s more of a 1960’s-1970’s comic book thing. In general, there were almost no female characters for purely strategic reasons, for the readers, because there weren’t many girls reading, or at least, if they were, nobody knew about it,” he said.

This latest series has been released in 20 languages with an initial print of over five million copies.

First published in 1959, Asterix comics have been entertaining fans since the past 60 years. It was originally written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. However, Goscinny passed away in 1977 and Uderzo took over the writing. In 2013, the new team of Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad, both of whom have been closely mentored by Uderzo, took over.

The fact that the Asterix comics have been translated into more than 100 languages are a testimony to how loved they are across the globe. The comics have also inspired several movies and cartoons series.

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