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Comic Book / Alix

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Alix, right, and Enak, left.

Alix is a French-Belgian comic series created by Jacques Martin in 1948. It may be considered the serious, historically accurate counterpart to the more famous Asterix, which it actually predates. It is a classic example of the ligne claire school popularized by Hergé.

The title character is a young Gaul from the 1st century BCE who, after being captured and enslaved, is adopted by a rich Roman and becomes a Roman citizen himself. He goes through various adventures that take him all over The Roman Republic and beyond—at one point, all the way to Han Dynasty China—and becomes a friend of Julius Caesar. His sidekick is a teenage Egyptian boy, Enak, and his nemesis is a scheming Greek named Arbaces.

In 2012, a sequel series came out titled Alix Senator. As the name implies, it takes place several years later, with Julius Caesar long dead, Alix now a Roman Senator, and Enak having disappeared long ago.


See the recap page for the list of albums and tropes in specific albums.

Tropes in the original series as a whole:

Tropes in specific albums of the original series:

Tropes in albums that have a specific page can be found on that page (see the recap page for the list of album pages).

  • Asshole Victim: In Le Cheval de Troie, Hermia is very unpleasant toward pretty much everyone, especially with his brother-in-law Horatius. She's not shy about boasting her intention to have her daughter Daphne marry Horatius just for the sake of inheriting his wealth. No one will feel sorry for her death when Horatius set the whole Temple of Hera ablaze to kill himself and everyone in it.
  • Big "NO!": In Britannia, Viridoros let out a "big no" when Caesar was about to plow him to death.
  • Clear My Name: In Roma, Roma, a blond-haired murderer passes himself off as Alix in one story, and of course everyone thinks he did it.
  • Death by Materialism: In Britannia, to lose a band of pursing Britons, Brecca tossed pearls on the ground. The chasers fought among themselves for the pearls, not realizing that they were sinking deeper in the marshes.
  • Despair Event Horizon: In Le Cheval de Troie, Horatius has fallen to despair and rage. He planned to adopt Heraclion out of compassion, but had to gave up those plans in order to save him. As part of the agreement, he's forced to marry his sister-in-law's daughter and gave away the Trojan Horse to the Trojan remnant. Humiliated and dishonored, he set the Temple of Hera one fire, killing everyone including himself. Alix, Enak and Heraclion were the only to escape unscathed.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In Britannia, when Ceasar has been betrayed by a Briton merchant named Viridoros, he boarded his galley and rammed Viridoros's puny little ship, leaving nothing but a wreckage and dead bodies.
  • Evil Twin: Kinda. In La Tour de Babel, we hear that Arbaces has an identical brother, who is slightly less of an asshole to Alix, but they're still enemies.
  • Imperial China: Visited (and escaped from) in L'empereur de Chine.
  • Playing with Fire: A girl Alix meets in Babylon in La Tour de Babel has a number of psychic powers, including pyrokinesis.
  • So What Do We Do Now?: In Le Cheval de Troie, a group of Trojans obsessed with destroying the preserved, original Trojan Horse. When they succeed, well... A character even comments that there's nothing sadder than warriors with no war to fight.
  • Unwanted Spouse: In Le Cheval de Troie, Horatius is forced to marry his sister-in-law's beautiful daughter Daphne. The marriage is arranged by Hermia, who wants her daughter Daphne to be the sole heir of his vast fortune, while Horatius wanted to give his wealth to his soon-to-be adopted son Heraclion. There's obviously no love between the groom and the bride.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Happens to Enak on one occasion, with sharp spears planted under him for added effect.

Tropes in Alix Senator:

  • All for Nothing: Khephren uses the line at the end of the fifth book. And with good reason: he betrayed his adoptive father and the Roman emperor, he's been castrated, and the statue he was looking was lost centuries earlier.
  • Artistic Licence – History: The creators list what they made up for the story to help the reader. The historical Aggripa did die around the story's time period, just probably not disemboweled by trained eagles.
  • The Atoner: Alix blames himself for Enak's death, and understandably breaks down when he hears Khephren and Titus are in danger.
  • Attack Animal:
    • Aggripa and several Roman politicians are murdered by trained eagles, and their trainer uses swarms of falcons in Egypt.
    • Cybele's priests use lions to get rid of dead bodies.
  • Badass Army: A Roman escort demonstrates how they conquered the world (via superior tactics) against a Spartan horde. In a narrow mountain pass no less.
  • Burying a Substitute: In Alix Senator, Alix puts up a cenotaph in Enak's memory (he died during Egypt's final battle with Rome), since they Never Found the Body. Except Alix knew Enak wasn't in the battle, he deserted in order to get his wife and child to safety. Double subverted as it later turns out that Enak was alive the whole time, unable to reveal himself due to getting caught in an anti-Roman conspiracy.
  • Darker and Edgier: The sequel is a lot darker, with a contemporary art style that doesn't hesitate to show sex or bloody deaths, not to mention Enak having died sometime before and Alix having lost his youthful idealism (he no longer hesitates to have a prisoner tortured for information, and gives an enemy a Mercy Kill after threatening him with a slow death).
  • Disappeared Dad: Enak is dead (though we don't know why or how), and his son Khephren is raised by Alix alongside his own son Titus.
    • The sequel clarifies that Enak died during the battle of Actium. Except he didn't: he ran away to put his wife (one of Cleopatra VII's handmaidens) and son out of danger, but died without leaving a body, leaving Alix to put up a gravestone and preserving the memory of his friend by omitting his cowardice. He is, of course, still alive, albeit old and not having seen his son in more than ten years.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The fifth volume ends in utter defeat: the Girl of the Week survives but her tongue has been cut out, and Khephren, having been caught and castrated by the priests of Cybele's temple, learns the statue he broke in to find was never there to begin with, as it was stolen by Alexander the Great.
    • The sixth isn't much better: The Roman governor of Egypt turns out to be in cahoots with the bandits Alix has been fighting against, and they're now at his mercy.
    • The seventh one, apparently going for some sort of record, ends with Khephren finding the statue and grabbing onto it as it falls into lava along with its worshipers, having abandoned his family in the pursuit of his dreams of power. Titus' mother is finally revealed (the Emperor's sister), but the family's joy is quenched on seeing Enak mourning his son.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Heb permanently wears a scarf over one eye.
  • Generation Xerox: Titus and Khephren seem to have the same type of adventures as their fathers. Khephren is much more proactive than Enak ever was, however.
  • Groin Attack: The priests of Cybele are men who give their manhoods to the goddess. Khephren suffers the same fate later.
  • Historical Character's Fictional Relative: The mother of Alix's son Titus is eventually revealed to be a sister of the emperor Augustus.
  • Monumental Damage: The "mother of pyramids", where Cesarion plots to reconquer Egypt, does not survive the album.
  • Missing Mom: Titus' mother died when he was still a child. Of course she's alive. She's the Emperor's sister, but due to her position she and Alix could never be seen together, much less raise a child.
  • No True Scotsman: Heraklion, a Spartan friend of Alix, is pissed that 300 Spartans set an ambush in a canyon outnumbering Alix and his escort 5 to 1.
    I know you're not Spartans! You are unworthy of Leonidas! The Persians were 200,000 at Thermopyles! 200,000 not 60!
  • Put on a Bus: Enak returns to Egypt after his secret is found out.
  • Reality Ensues: Turns out reuniting with the father you thought was dead for ten years doesn't immediately turn you into a happy family again.

Alternative Title(s): Alix Senator


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