I’m taking the wife and kids to France for a vacation, so the Classic Comics Corner will be on hiatus for a few weeks. I thought this would be a good time for me to discuss some of my favourite French comic book characters from American comics:
While Paul D’Arnot did not originate as a comic book character, this ERB creation has played a strong role in just about every Four Colour incarnation of Tarzan. He’s a capable soldier and a loyal ally to Tarzan and the entire Greystoke clan. They just don’t make men like him anymore.
I can’t think of another Marvel villain more ridiculed that Batroc the Leaper. That’s too bad because, while quite goofy, he adds some much needed panache to the Marvel Universe. I certainly would have never heard of Savate without Batroc.
Mlle. Marie is just plain awesome. She is as tough as nails and certainly the most stylish fighter the French Resistance has ever seen. At a time when very few comics starred female heroines, Mlle. Marie was featured on six consecutive covers of Star Spangled War Stories. She remained relevant deep into the Bronze age, feuding with the Unknown Soldier.
André Blanc-Dumont may be my favourite member of the Blackhawk team. Initially portrayed equal parts aviator and womanizer, he was eventually given a lot more gravitas by Mark Evanier during the 80s. He may be the most complex of all of the Blackhawks.
Finally, I leave you with my favourite figure of French history. The story of Joan of Arc is incredible, and has been adapted to the Four Color world several times, but that’s another column altogether. My favourite of these adaptations is the Magazine Enterprises version of the 1948 film starring Ingrid Bergman. The artwork is beautifully rendered by the vastly underappreciated Ogden Whitney.
With that, I bid you adieu. For more comic book chat, stop by my blog: Seduction of the Indifferent
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