24. Asterix in Belgium
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French title: Astérix chez les Belges
Originally published: 1980

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Description
Strange things are happening in the woods around the village of the Gauls. A Roman soldier, beaten up by Obelix, is still happy he's back. "Better encamped in Armorica than fighting against he Belgians" is what he tells Asterix and Obelix. Even Caesar is impressed by the courage of the Belgians and calls them the bravest tribes of all Gaul. Quiet a shock for our friends. In particular chief Vitalstatistix (Abraracourix) is upset. As nobody wants to join the chief to show the Belgians who's the bravest of the Gaul, he decides to go alone to Belgium (Belgica). But, because Getafix (Panoramix) doesn't like this situation, he orders Asterix and Obelix to keep him company.

In Belgium (Belgica) they see how the Belgians destroy a Roman camp and of course our friends show their courage by destroying another one. Their reception is friendly but some rivalry remains. The Belgian chiefs Beefix (Gueuselambix) and Brawnix (Vanendfaillevesix) decide to do a contest with Caesar as impartial arbiter. Caesar, who has just arrived from Rome, almost explodes when they ask him to be the arbiter. He's going to attack the Belgians instead.

It looks like the Romans are going to win this battle, but with a little help from the Gauls the Romans have to run for their lives. Caesar wants to forget this unpleasant situation as soon as possible and returns back to Rome. Oh... and this story line is very tasteful too!
     
Banquet Pirates Guests
The usual festivities with Cacofonix tied to a tree. We see a small rabbit sadly walking by the scene. The pirates are sunk when Obelix throws a stone back to the Romans, but instead hits the ship. The pirates try to find someone to pay for the damages, and even confront Julius Caesar himself with a piece of wood, all that is left of the ship. After the battle with the Romans Obelix picks the board from the battlefield where it was left. The story has several guests: Anne Cordy, Eddy Merckx, Pierre Tchernia, and Thomson and Thompson. Of course, it features many Belgian specialities.
Allusions and Details
(page 7)
Pierre Tchernia (1928, friend and collegue of Uderzo and Goscinny) as Legionnary.
(page 21)
Annie Cordy (Belgian singer/actress) as the Belgian Chief's wife
Also see: ⇒IMDB And the other lady on the same page? She looks realistic too!?
(page 31)
Thomson & Thompson (Tintin comic caracters from Hergé) as Messengers. Even the text baloons match: they have the characteristic lettering of the Tintin comics.
(page 39)
Eddy Merckx (1945, famous racing cyclist) as Belgian Courier
(page 46)
Mussels, another Belgian speciality discovered in this story.
  (page 39)
This is a famous picture [details to follow]
(page 34)
This is a page heavily loaded with specialities from Belgium: Brussels sprouts (the tiny vegetables Obelix is holding), Brussels lace, and ...
(page 34)
image ... Mannekenpis, a famous statue in Brussels. This statue of a little boy in a somewhat compromising position has since several centuries been a major tourist attraction in the city. Ah, and of course, a barrel of beer.