The beginning of Tintin's adventures in space
19 February 2012
This used to be one of my favourite albums (namely because it involved Tintin and his friends travelling to the moon) but I am starting to grow a little less fond of the later of Herge's work simply because his earlier works seem to be a lot better, however this does not mean that this (or any of the others) are bad since they are still classic Herge (is anything of Herge's not classic) with his twisted sense of humour (particularly when the Thompson twins are brought into the base dressed in Greek costumes).
This story is about the race to the moon, however it appears that it is only Tintin and his friends who are preparing for the trek. Obviously preparations to send man to the moon took a lot longer than this comic (it was 9 years between when Kennedy said that they plan on putting a man on the moon and when it actually happened – I notice Bush tried to do the same thing with Mars) and I guess that the whole project took about two years (and with the failure of the initial rocket, I suspect that they would actually attempt to build another one rather than going straight to a manned rocket).
Throughout the comic there are references to a foreign power, and while we may think immediately that it is Syldavia's next door neighbour (the entire comic is set in the fictional country of Syldavia) having just reread it I am more convinced that Herge is suggesting that it is the Soviet Union. The cold war was now in full swing, and the United States were beginning to purge their country of suspected communist spies (Reds under the beds). I have also noticed that Tintin's origins are vague as well, as they refer to 'the government' but do not actually suggest which country it is (it is Belgium, and it would have been better, in my books, for them to continue with this, but the editors did not). (view spoiler)[Also, I have noticed that Herge drops hints as to who the traitor is going to be (Wolf). We find that out near the end of the second part (Explorers on the Moon), however Herge does his best to be consistent, and to drop hints of the identity of the traitor throughout the albums. We know that there is a double-agent high up in the executive of the base, and when information is passed through to the spies outside the base, we notice that the people who are there are Captain Haddock, the Thompson Twins, and Wolf. Wolf's story sounds very dodgy, and made me realise that it is he who is the traitor (though we do not find that out until a lot later). (hide spoiler)]