Recap / Asterix and the Secret Weapon

The women of the village decide that their bard, Cacofonix, is not a suitable teacher for their children and invite a new bard to replace him. That bard turns out to be Bravura, a pants-wearing, drum-playing, outspoken female bard from Lutetia, who has very clear ideas of the current state of women in the village. Specifically, she wants to empower the women in the village and does not truck with the old-fashioned "gallantry" of the male villagers. She enrolls the women of the village in afternoon courses on feminism and soon the village is in uproar over this new development, with women making their own pants, speaking up to their husbands (who were mostly already shown as henpecked or at least very gallant before) and finally casting out Vitalstatistix and electing his wife Impedimenta as the new chief.

When Astérix speaks out against the chaos, Bravura proposes We Can Rule Together to him and attempts to kiss him. Shocked, he hits her out of reflex. Though he immediately regrets this and apologizes, he also is cast out of the village. Several others join him, partly out of camaraderie and partly because life has become unbearable in the village.

Meanwhile, Julius Caesar is hatching a new plan to get rid of the pesky Gaul village once and for all. His new secret weapon is being shipped in right now: Female legionnaires, to take advantage of the fact that everyone knows Gauls Would Not Hit a Girl.

When Astérix tries to warn the remaining villagers of this new threat, he is laughed off. Bravura goes out to the landing army, greeting the legionnaires as sisters. This is not received well. However Astérix, impressed by Bravura's prowess in fighting, proposes a truce and the two start hatching a plan.

When the Roman army arrives a while later to attack the seemingly undefended village, they are instead welcomed in with open arms: The Gaulic women have set up the village as a mall with the newest fashions from Lutetia, accessories and shopping possibilities. Forgetting what they came here for, the female legionnaires set out to shop, while in the background the men destroy the fortified camps once again. In the end, they reinstate Cacofonix as a bard, chasing the legionnaires out of the village with his singing. Astérix and Bravura bury the hatchet, and Caesar is the laughing stock of Rome when the story comes out.

This album has examples of:

  • All Women Love Shoes
  • Celibate Hero: Astérix.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Bravura is constantly sexually (well, as much as she can in a kid's series) assaulting Astérix and nobody bats an eyelash, but when he finally lashes out, he's exiled. Getafix is the only person who objects to this, and even then his objections are based more on how important Asterix is to the village's defence than the decision actually being unfair. Cacofonix also receives a black eye from a woman in the village, although he already has a long history of being beaten up by the other villagers anyway.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: Part of the plan involves Cacofonix chasing out the animals from the forest to scare the female legionnaires. The singing probably did its part, as well.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: Bravura to Astérix.
  • Fired Teacher: Cacofonix.
  • Legionnaires Out Shopping
  • Men Use Violence, Women Use Communication: Zig zagged. Men wouldn't use violence on women, but the female legionnaires aren't above using violence against their female counterparts. However, the plot is resolved by the women going shopping together, while the men raze the camps. And then chase out the women by singing.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Asterix after he hits Bravura.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: Because apparently, all it takes for a trained troop of legionnaires to forget discipline is to remind them that All Women Love Shoes, and therefore, like to shop. Vanity Is Feminine, indeed.
  • Not So Different: While Bravura's music isn't anywhere near as awful as Cacophonix's, it's obvious from the reaction of the villagers that hers isn't particularly good either.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Asterix puts up with a lot of Bravura's crap, but when she kisses him without his permission, he snaps and punches her, only to regret it.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: Or so the villager's women think after a few evening courses.
  • Straw Feminist: Bravura has a lot of such moments.
  • The Unfair Sex: A plot point is that the Gaul code forbid men to hit women.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Cacofonix gets to pound away at Fulliautomatix.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Getafix calls Impedimenta out for being this when she tries to banish Asterix for hitting Bravura:
    Getafix: Oh, so the person who's destroyed the harmony of the village is on the council, while the one who has done so much to safeguard our liberties is banished?
  • We Can Rule Together: Bravura to Astérix.
  • Would Not Hit a Girl: The Gaul code of chivalry forbids men to hit women. Not, however, the other way round.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Astérix, though he didn't mean to.