Comic Book: Benoit Brisefer

Benoit Brisefer (Steven Strong and Benny Breakiron in English) is a Franco Belgian comic created by Pierre Culliford a.k.a. Peyo (The Smurfs, Johan and Peewit), and drawn with the assistance of François Walthéry (author of Natacha) and scenaristic input from Ivan Delporte.

The comic, about the adventures of a young boy with super strength, ran from 1960 to 1978, with increasing schedule slips as time went on due to The Smurfs taking up most of Peyo's time. It was revived from 1993 to 2004 by Peyo's son.

Papercutz recently published four books in the series in English — The Red Taxis, Madame Adolphine, The Twelve Trials Of Benny Breakiron, and Uncle Placid.

A live-action film based on the character's first story has been released in France on December 17, 2014, distributed by Walt Disney Studios.

A complete list of albums can be found below the tropes.

Contains examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel/Weaksauce Weakness: Benoit loses all his strength whenever he catches a cold. In "Le Fétiche", the villains are aware of his weakness and deliberately try to get him sick in order to abduct him safely.
    • Eglantine's weakness is the smell of roses.
  • Adults Are Useless: Boy, are they ever.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Madame Adolphine II.
  • Alliterative Name / Alliterative Title: Benoit Brisefer.
  • Beard of Evil: The Big Bad of "Tonton Placide".
    • The blackmailer in "Le Cirque Bodoni".
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Benoit; he might be the nicest boy in the world, but unless he has caught a cold, you don't want to make him angry. Especially visible in "Les Taxis Rouges". Fortunately, he is responsible and it takes a lot to actually make him mad.
  • The Big Guy: Benoit's uncle is a bodyguard and has a frame to match.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Averted. The bear in the Bodoni Circus is harmless.
  • Bigger Stick: Played for laughs. Madame Adolphine is raging a turf war with a rival gang. From the first panel, we go from a knife attack, followed by firearm attacks of progressively heavy caliber. This cumulate to the last panel with some of thugs trying to buy a howitzer from a museum.
  • Black Bead Eyes
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Attempted by embattled gangsters in "Lady d'Olphine", who try to purchase a heavy WW2-era howitzer from a local museum.
  • Brought Down to Normal: happens to Benoît whenever he catches a cold.
  • The Cameo: De Mesmaeker from Gaston Lagaffe makes a cameo in "Tonton Placide". And yes, he loses his contracts.
  • Cassandra Truth: nobody ever believes Benoît when he tries to tell them he's superhumanly strong, mostly because he has trouble explaining himself and his adult friends are are always absent or incapacitated when Benoit uses his strength.
  • Car Chase: The climax of "Lady d'Olphine", complete with destroyed Fruit Cart.
  • Circus Brat: Mona Bodoni.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Except when in school or travelling with his uncle, Benoit's life is free of any adult supervision.
  • Cool Uncle: Placide, Benoît's uncle whom he idolizes. He is a police bodyguard who protects visiting foreign officials and celebritie.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The management of Big Petroleum Company.
  • Deceptively Human Robot: Madame Adolphine II is a robot designed to look like an old lady also named Madame Adolphine.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Later in the series, a young girl named Eglantine is introduced and she has the same powers as Benoit.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: The reason why other kids wouldn't play with Benoit, because he constantly breaks their toys. They mistakenly think he's clumsy.
  • Fat Camp: Ran alongside the Summer Campy in one story.
  • The Film of the Book: The Benoit Brisefer: Les Taxis Rouges live-action film released in 2014.
  • Freak Lab Accident: How Eglantine gained her powers. We're never revealed if Benoit's powers were gained the same way.
  • Free Range Child
  • Flushing Toilet, Screaming Shower: Minus the "toilet" part: in "Le Fétiche", one of the villains' attempts to get Benoit to catch a cold (and thus loose his strength) involves them sabotaging the school gym showers by cutting off the warm water supply and adding ice cubes to the cold water. The result is a massive scream and all of the boys catching a cold EXCEPT Benoit since he wasn't in the shower yet
  • Full-Circle Revolution: Benoit ends up in a Banana Republic where the generals of the army, navy and air force are in a permanent three-way struggle for power, with the palace changing hands every two days or so, not helped by the general incompetence of the soldiers. The citizens have grown used to this ("How much are the watermelons?" "Fifty pesos." "They've gone up again." "Those don't have bullet holes in them").
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: When Benoit got hungry, a Devil!Benoit pops up and tempt Benoit into using someone else's money to buy chocolate. Benoit almost does, but refuses at the last moment. When Devil!Benoit wouldn't stop pestering him, Benoit knocks him out.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Benoit.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Big greedy showbiz owner, Choesels. He was Bodoni's rival in the business. Choesels wanted nothing more than have Benoit on his show and wouldn't take no for an answer. He had an associate blackmail Bodoni in return for Benoit joining Choesels's circus. At the end of the story, his schemes fell apart and he lost a great deal of money to the blackmailer. Then Bodoni and Benoit enter his office. Choesels gets angry and think they're here to gloat. In truth, they were here to return his stolen money, even thought they never had any obligation to do so. Choesels was so moved by the gesture that he decided to make peace with Bodoni. They then enter in a partnership, creating the Bodoni-Choesels circus.
  • Home Base: Vivejoie-La-Grande, Benoît's home village.
  • I Broke a Nail: A rare male version, played for laughs, occurs when Benoit punches his way through a boulder to escape a collapsed mine.
    Benoit: Crud. I broke a nail.
  • In a Single Bound: Benoît can leap great hights and distances.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Benoît is a very nice well behaved boy.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: The series never explained where Benoit's strength came from.
  • Invisible Parents: No mention is ever made of Benoît having parents or guardians of any kind. His uncle Placide appears to be the closest he has to a relative.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Between Benoit and M. Dussiflard. And with M. Vladlavodka. And with Mrs Adolphine. Benoit is just a sweet kid.
  • Karma Houdini: Demonia and her goons get away from police at the end of the story. OK, so they got a flat tire, but they're still at large...
  • Kid Hero: Benoit of course.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Black short pants, a white shirt, a red blazer, a blue scarf and a black beret are the only clothes Benoit is ever depicted in.
  • Meaningful Name: Brisefer means "ironbreaker". Revealed in his current English name Benny Breakiron.
  • Mugging the Monster: the various villains in the series frequently underestimate Benoit because he looks like an ordinary young boy, and find out the hard way he is anything but.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Demonia, the Big Bad in "Le Fétiche".
  • Nice Hat
  • No Antagonist: Eglantine's secret: Benoit meets a girl with powers similar to him and has issues with his friends on a holliday camp. This counts as a Breather Episode and Oddball in the Series.
  • Once per Episode: Benoit catching a cold and losing his strength.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Benoit, again. Also Eglatine.
  • Plot Allergy: Eglantine, Benoit's Distaff Counterpart, is extremely allergic to roses. Not only do they take away her strength, but they also make her dizzy.
  • Police Are Useless: Whenever Benoit tries to report wrongdoing to the local police precinct, he is ignored and escorted out.
  • Punny Name: Vladlavodka (V'là d'la vodka) could be translated as Havesomevodka.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Madame Adolphine II, a.k.a. Lady d'Olphine. a robot created by Vladlavodka based on the real Madame Adolphine.
  • Robot Me: Madame Adolphine II, a.k.a. Lady d'Olphine again, since she is a robotic double of the real Madame Adolphine.
  • Robotic Reveal: Madame Adolphine.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Lady d'Olphine opens a gift that exploded in her face.
    • In the album Tonton Placide Benoit is travelling by train. Some criminals deboult it so that the last wagon comes loose and slides back down the rails. Benoît immediately decides to take action and shouts: "This ain't "The Adventures of Tintin", in reference to Tintin and the Temple of the Sun.
  • Smooch of Victory: Mona gives a big one to Benoit for saving her life and the circus from bankruptcy.
  • Status Quo Is God: In "Le Cirque Bodoni", Benoit's super strength was disclosed to the media as a publicity stunt. In later adventures, it was once again a secret.
  • Summer Campy: Benoit end up in the same camp as Eglantine. She is not amused.
  • Super Serum: Eglantine's strength came from her accidently drinking an experimental plant growth formula, unlike Benoit who was apparently born with his powers.
  • Super Strength: Benoit's superpower, unless he catches a cold.
  • Super-Strong Child: Benoit, again. And Eglatine of course.
  • The Taxi: Benoit's best adult friend, M. Dussiflard, is a taxi driver, and his first adventure involved a criminal gang fronting as a taxi company.
  • Tightrope Walking: Mona Bodoni from "Le Cirque Bodoni" specializes in this. It helps her and Benoit escape a group of criminals after Benoit catches a cold and loses his strength.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Mister Chnik, the irate Finance Minister of Furengrootsbadenschtein. At the end of the mission, despite Placide and Benoit saved his life countless of times, he keeps yelling at them, calling Placide incompetent and promise to lodge a formal complaint. Sure, the ride was bumpy and unusual, but the gangsters after him were far from being conventional.
  • Vacation Episode: "Le Secret d'Églantine" is set at a summer camp.
  • Voodoo Doll: The title artefact in "Le Fétiche" is a magic doll from Africa which can be used to afflict people with an incurable disease.

List of albums:

  1. "Les Taxis rouges" (the red cabx)
  2. "Madame Adolphine" (Mrs Adolphine)
  3. "Les Douze travaux de Benoît Brisefer" (The Twelve Tasks of Benoît Brisefer)
  4. "Tonton Placide" (Uncle Placide)
  5. "Le Cirque Bodoni" (Bodoni Circus)
  6. "Lady d’Olphine" (Lady d’Olphine)
  7. "Le Fétiche" (The Fetish)
  8. "Hold-up sur pellicule" (Hold-up on Film)
  9. "L'île de la désunion" (The Island of Disunion)
  10. "La Route du sud" (The Southern Road)
  11. "Le Secret d'Églantine" (Le Secret of Eglantine)
  12. "Chocolats et coups fourrés" (Chocolates and Underhand Tricks)
  13. "John-John" (John-John)

Alternative Title(s):

Benny Breakiron