Characters: Lucky Luke

The characters featured in the comic book series Lucky Luke.


Lucky Luke

Played by: Terence Hill in Lucky Luke (1991), Til Schweiger in Les Dalton (2004) and Jean Dujardin in Lucky Luke (2009)
Voiced by: Marcel Bozzuffi in Daisy Town (French), Daniel Ceccaldi in La Ballade des Dalton (French) and Peter Wanngren (Swedish)

The title character, a lonesome cowboy far from home, drifting around the West. Being slow on words, but quick on reflexes, he's known to shoot faster than his own shadow.

Jolly Jumper

Voiced by: Gunnar Ernblad (Swedish)

Lucky Luke's wisecracking horse and only partner to remain at the his side at all times.

Rantanplan/Rin Tin Can

Voiced by: Peter Sj÷quist (Swedish)

A dog known for being among the best prison guard dogs in the West — a reputation that unfortunately is very exaggerated.

  • Animal Talk: Talks mostly to himself, since no humans can understand what he says (then again, he has problems understanding what humans say as well).
  • Big Eater: And quite often, he doesn't even care if what he is eating is food.
  • Breakout Character: Very popular with the readers; he's starred in his own comics, both short gag stories and album-length adventures. In the Hanna-Barbera cartoon he has a larger role than in the comics, and tends to show up even in episodes based on albums where he didn't appear at all. In 2006 he even got his own animated series, and he's a regular character in the 2010 animated series about the Daltons.
  • The Ditz: The only character in the comic stupider than Averell Dalton; he can't seem to get anything right.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Just like Lucky Luke is faster than his own shadow, Rantanplan is stupider than his own shadow.
  • Dub Name Change: He's called Rin Tin Can in several English translations, and Rintindumb in others; and in the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, he's named Bushwack. In Scandinavia he's called Ratata.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: A Running Gag; Joe Dalton couldn't make it clearer that he loathes Rin Tin Can, yet the dog remains firmly convinced he is a nice, caring person.

Calamity Jane

  • Action Girl
  • Badass: Not as much as Luke, but she gets close.
  • Big Damn Heroine: She is introduced in her first starring appearance with this, saving Luke from a bunch of Natives of her own.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: A rare female example.
  • Damsel in Distress: Epically defied all the time.
  • Fiery Redhead
  • Happily Married: She claims to be married to Wild Bill Hickok, a famous real-life gunslinger, until he was killed.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Based on the real life Calamity Jane.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: In her first (cameo) appearance in Lucky Luke contre Joss Jamon, she is mistakenly portrayed as a villainess, also with a completely different design. This was eventually corrected and she was introduced as an ally of Luke in her first leading role.
    • One of the later album deals with her suffering an in-universe example of the trope, when a legend that she is supposedly a witch and demoness who came Back from the Dead as a ghost to haunt a city spreads throughout the west. It however turns out to be a Scooby-Doo Hoax created by a group of bandits who wanted to keep unwanted people away from a deserted town where they discovered a new gold mine. Naturally, Calamity Jane is not amused about her likeness being used as a "scarecrow" (as she puts it).
  • The Lad-ette: A G-Rated version of the trope; notably, her real life self played this trope straight.
  • Lethal Chef: Her cooking skills are so bad that at one point, a cowboy was willing to die rather than eat her cakes.
  • The Not-Love Interest: She is one of the few non-antagonist characters to appear as a Deuteragonist in more than one book (as well as one movie and at least two animated appearances), and the only female character Luke has actually developped interactions with (excluding Ma Dalton). However, their relationship is platonic and they treat each others like good friends with not one hint of romance.
  • Platonic Life Partners: Seems to have become this with Luke.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: And how.
  • Tomboy
    • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Downplayed; she couldn't act less feminine and her tastes are completely boyish, but when she becomes the owner of a saloon in her first story, one of her main ambitions was to create a small area reserved to ladies, where she would serve them tea and cakes. Later in the same story, Lucky Luke manages to have her trained into at least pretending to be a lady, though her true personality is still there and doesn't take long to show up again.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Like her real-life counterpart, she enjoys adding lots of juicy details when telling stories about her life, with a different version each time. She admits this when telling those stories to Luke.
  • Weapon of Choice: Unlike Luke, she usually favors rifles over guns.


The Daltons

Lucky Luke's most featured adversaries and the most iconic outlaws of the series. They are, in fact, not the "real" Daltons (Bob, Grat, Bill and Emmett, who appeared in one early story and were killed off at the end of it), but their identical, if more incompetent cousins.

  • Avenging the Villain: They started their career in an attempt to avenge the real Dalton Brothers' death at the hand of Luke. Their hate of Luke has become more personnal as the story has kept going on, though.
  • Badass Mustache
  • Breakout Characters: The original Daltons were lethal but one-shot villains who died at the end of their album; they ended up so popular that a new set of them were introduced, and ended up becoming as iconic as Luke himself.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Their whole family considers crime as a tradition in the family. They take it to such extreme that their uncle, Marcel Dalton, is considered a Black Sheep just because he is the only honest member of the family.
  • Character Exaggeration: In their first story, they came across as a little different; Joe as the hard-boiled leader, William as a Trigger Happy Gunslinger, Jack as a Master of Disguise, and Averell as a strong and athletic — if dense and food-obsessed — Brute. In subsequent stories, Joe remained mostly the same (though his Hair-Trigger Temper was enhanced quite a bit), Jack and William pretty much lost their individual traits and became full-time Co-Dragons to Joe, while Averell lost his strength and whatever competence he had and became more like a Minion with an F in Evil.
  • Chronic Villainy: Any story about someone trying to redeem the Daltons (the Marcel Dalton story being the most notable example) is doomed to end up as a Shaggy Dog Story.
  • Continuity Snarl: Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, William and Jack swap names. It happens first in their dÚbut story (for the first half, William is the shorter and Jack the taller; then it switches in the second half, making William taller and Jack shorter), and in some stories afterwards. In the 2006 movie and the 2010 animated series, the two brothers' names are likewise swapped.
  • Disappeared Dad: It's not clear what happened to their father, but he clearly isn't around anymore. Belle Starr has Ma Dalton mentioning a Noodle Incident about him using dynamite, suggesting he might be dead.
  • The Dreaded: As incompetent as they can be when they are pitted against Luke, they are dangerous enough to scare the crap of almost everyone else.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: They honestly love Ma Dalton, and at no point do they turn against her. Not even Joe.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: For all the times they argue with each others and Joe abuses his brothers, they always stick together and have each other's backs. In one Book of the Rantanplan spin-off, when Averell gets abducted, Joe is genuinely outraged at the Warden, and they escape for the sole purpose of rescuing him.
  • Friendly Enemy: Inverted; Lucky Luke has few to no animosity toward them and tends to treat them fairly nicely, especially in later albums. When they get sentenced to death, he even tries everything he can to save them, down to trying to convince the President.
  • Greek Chorus: After being introduced with different skill sets, William and Jack soon settled down to become interchangeable middle brothers who function this way between their more fleshed-out siblings Joe and Averell. Which helps to explain why even their creators Goscinny and Morris on several occasions mixed up the two.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Subverted. They're not the real Dalton brothers, but their identical cousins. However, their general incompetence was inspired by the lacklustre record of the real Dalton gang, in particular their incredibly bungled final raid.
  • Idiot Ball/Villain Ball: While Averell is the default holder, it gets passed around a lot among the four of them.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains: Most of the time, it's pretty obvious they aren't that much of a threat, and will probably just as easily foil their own schemes with their stupidity as they will get captured by Luke.
  • Joker Immunity: Averted with the original Daltons, but played straight hilariously with their cousins; no matter how many crimes they commit, or how many times Luke arrests them, they will always be merely sent to jail with a ridiculously high prison sentence (hundreds to thousands of years), where they will usually escape from nearly as soon as they arrive due to the wardens being complete morons; this takes such proportions that it gets more and more lampshaded as the series goes on. In later albums, Luke ends up sick of having to run after them again and again, and calls out the wardens for their incompetence.
    • They actually get sentenced to death in a later album, but take advantage on an old law saving them from the sentence if they get married. Their marriage is cancelled at the end of the book, and it's decided to just send them back in jail rather than apply death sentence again.
  • Nice Hat
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: When first introduced, the new Daltons were portrayed as so incompetent Luke was actually eager to meet them again because he found them entertaining. They eventually took lessons and became as dangerous as the original Daltons, as long as they weren't confronted with Luke himself.
    • And even now, despite their stupidity, they are shown to be actually quite dangerous. They did come close to killing Luke on occasions.
  • Scooby Stack
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Joe is both the shortest and the leader of the gang, while Averell is the tallest and the most dimwitted. However, it is actually a subversion in that Joe may think he's the brains of the gang (rather in the way that Oliver Hardy's character believed himself to be much smarter than Stan Laurel's), but he's actually just as stupid as his brothers, only in a different way. Goscinny himself once pointed out that Joe is merely the most malevolent or evil of the Daltons and that evil does not equal smart.
  • Siblings in Crime: They even provide the trope picture.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitutes: For the original Daltons. Morris regretted killing off the original Daltons, and RenÚ Goscinny had liked the original Dalton Gang story so much that when he took over the writing for the comic, he introduced another quartet of Daltons and billed them as the cousins of the original Daltons.
  • Training from Hell: The Dalton Brothers start out as incompetent villains incapable to do anything right so they grind themselves through a brutal training regime. They end up becoming great riders, deadly shooters and very competent in general, despite their stupidity.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Apart from their height, the four brothers look very much identical. And apart from the moustaches and hair their mother's face looks just like her sons'.
  • Villain Protagonists: In several stories the focus in more on their attempts to outwit Lucky Luke than it is on Luke himself. They've also appeared solo in several stories, and like Rantanplan, have starred in their own animated series in 2010.

Joe Dalton

Voiced by: Johan Hedenberg (Swedish)

The oldest, but shortest, of the brothers and the mastermind of their various schemes and prison breaks.

  • Angrish: Pretty much his most frequent state.
  • Arch-Enemy: What the Joker is to Batman, Joe is to Lucky Luke. At least in his mind.
  • Berserk Button: Any mention of Lucky Luke's name is sure to make him go completely crazy. Same goes for seeing him in person, for the matter.
  • Big Bad: The closest thing the series has to one.
  • Big Brother Bully: To Averell. Though to be fair, his anger and brutality usually is provoked by Averell's stupidity more than anything. Otherwise, it has been shown he does care about all his brothers, Averell included.
  • Book Dumb: In his own mind he is by far the smartest of his brothers, but he is completely uneducated and unfamiliar with anything you'd learn to school. To give an example, he thinks Christopher Colombus was the first authentic American.
  • Butt Monkey: He is often subject to slapstick, things almost never go his way, and he is The Unfavourite to his mother.
  • Catch Phrase: "Lucky Luke! I hate Lucky Luke!"
  • Cosmic Plaything: He is probably as unlucky as Luke is lucky.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Evil Genius: When he is not carrying the Idiot Ball, he is the smartest of the four. By comparison.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: And how.
  • Jerkass: Regularly verbally and physically abuses his brothers, especially Averell, and out of the four he is the most inclined to commit crime.
    • Jerkass Has a Point: When he explains to the Natives the effect the people of Daisy Town will have on them.
      • Also, in the Rantanplan spin-off, he at one point calls out the Warden for failing not only to prevent them from escaping, but also to prevent people from entering in the Penitentiary to abduct prisoners. While the scene is played for laughs, the Wardens do suck at their job.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Has his moments, like when he convinces the Natives to attack Daisy Town.
  • Mister Big: Shortest of the brother and also the one in charge.
  • The Napoleon: Jack even compares the two at one point.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: He often insists on killing Luke himself.
  • The Resenter: Out of all his brothers, he is the one who hates Luke the most.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Joe is both the shortest and the leader of the gang, but it is actually a subversion in that he thinks he's the brains of the gang (rather in the way that Oliver Hardy's character believed himself to be much smarter than Stan Laurel's), but he's actually just as stupid as his brothers, only in a different way. Goscinny himself once pointed out that Joe is merely the most evil of the Daltons and that evil does not equal smart.
  • Trigger Happy
  • The Unfavourite: He has big issue with Ma Dalton liking Averell more than him.

William Dalton

Voiced by: Peter Sj÷quist (Swedish)

The second oldest Dalton brother. In a number of stories and adaptations mistakenly named "Jack."
  • Big Brother Worship: To a certain extent he and Jack admire Joe and follow him out of respect. They have their limits however.
  • Catch Phrase: "Calm down, Joe!" and "Shut up, Averell!" (shared with Jack).
  • The Dragon
  • Genre Savvy: Sometimes points out obvious details that go over Joe's head.
  • Greek Chorus: Between their more fleshed-out brothers, William and Jack function as this most of the time. Which helps to explain why even Goscinny and Morris on several occasions mixed up the two.
  • Gun Nut: To the extent that he treats his guns like his best friends, has a whole hotel room turned into an arsenal and considers death by Russian Roulette as the most poetic and touching way to go.
  • The Heart: Another role he shares with Jack. As such, they constantly need to keep Joe off Averell's throat.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In his confrontation with Luke, having only one bullet left, he tried to defeat him by playing the Russian Roulette with him. Needless to say, Luke, being Born Lucky, easily survived the first round and easily tricked him into believing he was losing so he could take him without killing him.
  • More Dakka: If in doubt and Luke still stands shoot some more!
  • One Steve Limit: Signed as "Dalton, Bill" in his first appearance, but since Bill is also the name of one of his deceased cousins he has since always been addressed and referred to as William Dalton.
  • Trigger Happy: In his first appearance. There are traces of this in later stories such as Daisy Town.

Jack Dalton

Voiced by: Tommy Nilsson (Swedish)

The second youngest Dalton brother. In a number of stories and adaptations accidentally named "William."
  • Big Brother Worship: To a certain extent he and William admire Joe and follow him out of respect. They have their limits however.
  • Catch Phrase: "Calm down, Joe!" and "Shut up, Averell!" (shared with William).
  • Delusions of Eloquence: He believes he is the most sophisticated in the family.
  • The Dragon
  • Greek Chorus: Between their more fleshed-out brothers, William and Jack function as this most of the time. Which helps to explain why even Goscinny and Morris on several occasions mixed up the two.
  • The Heart: Another role he shares with William. As such, they constantly need to keep Joe off Averell's throat.
  • Master of Disguise: In his original appearance. This was sadly dropped in later books.
  • Wicked Cultured: He's the most knowledgeable about things like history and different cultures, sometimes acting as Mr. Exposition to his brothers.

Averell Dalton

Voiced by: Mattias Knave (Swedish)

The youngest, tallest and dumbest (or at any rate most obviously dumb) of the Dalton brothers.
  • Anti-Villain
  • Big Eater: To the point one of his Catch Phrases is "When do we eat?"
  • Butt Monkey: He usually is the one who takes hits when Joe is pissed off.
  • The Brute: He originally was introduced as the physically strongest of the the four. He still displays shades of this occasionally in later books, but for most he is essentially portrayed as just the stupidest.
  • Dark Chick: Gender Inverted version.
  • The Ditz: Big time.
    • Genius Ditz: Occasionally shown to possess unexpected skills, such as being able to craft a fake revolver out of soap.
  • Extreme Omnivore:
    Averell: *crunch* I really like foreign cooking! What's this delicious crust around the frijoles?
    Emilio Espuelas: That's called a terracotta bowl, amigo.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: To the point that when first introduced, he had a "Not Wanted" poster instead of a "Wanted" one. He did act a bit meaner after his training with his brothers, but later books turn him back into a borderline Stupid Good character.
  • Momma's Boy: He has always been Ma Dalton's favourite son.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: One episode of the Rantanplan series has two scientists kidnapping him and using him as a test subject for a formula attempted to make him intelligent. This ends up turning him into an Evil Genius Bruiser who actually was even more dangerous and competent than Joe, to the point the leading scientist ended up turning him back to normal and destroying his formula.
  • Pet the Dog: Literally; he has a soft spot for Rantanplan and is, on the whole, quite kind to him.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: He often interprets Joe's snarky comments about him literally. For example, when they are trying to figure out who is using which fake identity:
    Averell: And who am I supposed to be?
    Joe: You are an idiot!
    Averell: Oh, okay, that's all I wanted to know.
    • Taken Up to Eleven as he spends the rest of the story introducing himself as "Idiot Jones" as if it was his name.

Ma Dalton

Aged mother of Joe, William, Jack and Averell.

  • Affably Evil: Unlike her sons, she is a genuinely nice and kind person... As long as her boys aren't in danger.
  • Anti-Villain: She isn't actually villainous, and any times she will play an antagonistic role, it usually is out of love for her children. Luke actually is in decently good terms with her otherwise.
  • Badass Boast: Once delivered a great one to Lucky Luke:
    "You were nothing but a newborn when I learnt how to use a weapon!"
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Of the Affably Evil variety.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: Surprisingly despite her nice behaviour she is as much a Card-Carrying Villain as the rest of her family. She is proud of raising her sons to be bunch of scoundrels and is more annoyed by their swearing and stupidity.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: She really loves Sweetie, her cat.
  • Mama Bear: And how!
  • Miniature Senior Citizens
  • My Beloved Smother: Is perfectly fine learning her boys were let out on bail, until it turns out Belle Starr paid for it. She immediately goes to get them out of her clutches.
    Ma: A woman! How horrible!
    Sweety: Hsssss!
    Ma: This is outrageous! My little boys aren't old enough to be consorting with women!
  • Never Mess with Granny: Possibly the best well-known example in Franco-Belgian Comics.
  • Retired Outlaw: She combines both tropes though she can occasionally go back to her younger lifestyle.

Billy the Kid

  • Bratty Half-Pint: For all his villainous actions and how feared he is, in the end he really is just as immature as you'd expect from his age.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: So much that people acclaiming him as a hero ended up putting him in a Villainous Breakdown.
  • Characterization Marches On: Much like Calamity Jane, he made earlier cameos with a completely different design, portraying him as a Fat Bastard adult. Eventually this was dropped, and he was reintroduced as a slimier Enfant Terrible Psychotic Manchild.
  • The Dreaded: Exaggerated; in his first appearance, he scared the crap out of people so much that nobody dared complaining about his actions, arresting him or putting him on trial. Later, in one book, he manages to rob people just by leaving a sign stating he is around. This causes people to leave their goods in front of the sign for him to take when he will be back.
  • Enfant Terrible: This version of the character literally started his outlaw career as a child, and is still very young by the time he meets with Luke.
  • Evil Redhead
  • Faux Affably Evil: He was this to Luke at first, due to being amused by the fact Luke wasn't afraid of him. It quickly disappears when Luke gets the better of him.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Based on the real life Billy The Kid, albeit a literal interpretation of his nickname.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Well, he is a real child, but the comic still tends to play up his childish antics as Comedic Sociopathy. He forbids a Saloon owner to sell anything else than lemonades and threatens a man with a gun so he would tell him a bedtime story, amongst other things.

Jesse James

  • Badass Longcoat: Exaggerated in the movie.
  • Beard of Evil
  • Characterization Marches On: Though unlike Calamity Jane and Billy the Kid, his earlier portrayal actually did somewhat look like his final design.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: When he realizes the whole town is watching out for him and his family, he decides to become a Villain with Good Publicity so he can better backstab the inhabitants.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Based on the real life Jesse James.
  • Hypocrite: After he started using the Loophole Abuse.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: He tries to be this, but his approach of it is... a bit too literal.
  • Lean and Mean: Very skinny compared to most characters in the comic, and most definitely a bad guy.
  • Literal-Minded: He took the concept to "steal from the rich to give to the poor" a bit too literally; whenever he gives money to a poor, that person instantly becomes rich in his eyes, causing him to steal from him. He ends up using a Loophole Abuse to share the money with his brother and his cousin, by having them taking turns in playing the "Poor" role.
  • Wicked Cultured: Downplayed; he is a big fan of the Robin Hood book, which is pretty tame by today's standards, but considering he lives in a setting where literature isn't exactly common amongst outlaws, he is perceived as one. Played straight in the movie, where he frequently quotes Shakespeare.