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Comic Book / Benoit Brisefer

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Benoit Brisefer (Steven Strong or Benny Breakiron or Benedict Ironbreaker in English, depending on the translation) 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 follows the adventures of the titular Benoit, a young, incredibly well-behaved and polite boy with super strength, though he loses said super strength whenever he has a cold. It 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 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 was released in France on December 17, 2014 and starred Léopold Huet, Jean Reno, Gérard Jugnot, Thierry Lhermitte and Hippolyte Girardot. It is distributed by Walt Disney Studios in the US.

Benoit Brisefer provides examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: Boy, are they ever.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Madame Adolphine II.
  • Alliterative Name / Alliterative Title: Benoit Brisefer.
  • Androcles' Lion: Benoit saved the life of an albino gorilla. Later, the gorilla helps Benoit to take out a gang of poachers.
  • Beard of Evil:
    • The Big Bad of "Tonton Placide".
    • The blackmailer in "Le Cirque Bodoni".
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Benoit 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.
  • Advertisement:
  • 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 waging 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 culminates in 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.
    • Peewit's goat, Biquette, has a small appearance in a market in "L'Île de la désunion". Also present is the merchant from whom Peewit gets the Smurf's magic flute.
    • Captain Haddock of The Adventures of Tintin can be seen when Benoit arrives by car at a port in "L'Île de la désunion".
    • Johan can be seen signing in to a hotel in "Hold-up sur pellicule". In "L'Île de la désunion", a newspaper mentions him appearing in a movie.
    • Natacha and Walter are seen at the airport when Benoit takes a flight.
  • Captain Crash: John Breakwood. Every time he flies an airplane, it wont be long before it crashes.
  • 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.
  • Comically Invincible Hero: Benoit.
  • 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 bodyguard who protects visiting foreign officials and celebrities.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The management of Big Petroleum Company.
  • Darkest Africa: Mulundi is an African country plagued with dangerous poachers and a treacherous adviser. However, it's still a decent place to live. The president fights the poachers, is benevolent and is well-loved by his people.
  • Dark Is Evil: The professional blackmailer has black hair, a black beard and is completely dressed in black.
  • Deceptively Human Robot: Madame Adolphine II is a robot designed to look like an old lady also named Madame Adolphine.
  • Deserted Island: Benoit and his friend Jules were stranded on deserted island. They try to make a distress fire so they can be rescued, but a castaway came and extinguished the fire. The castaway explained that he doesn't to be rescued because he has found a paradise on the island. Jules gives in on the the idea of remaining there for the rest of his life while Benoit wants to leave to stop the bad guys.
  • Die Laughing: In a Banana Republic, the benevolent president died laughing after reading an album of The Smurfs.
  • 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 that other kids wouldn't play with Benoit is because he constantly breaks their toys. They mistakenly think he's clumsy.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: An evil promoter wanted to buy an old village to razed it and build a modern apartment complex. After he received a refusal from the owner, he called smugglers to blow-up a dam. However, the smugglers have kidnapped Benoit and John-John. They plan to ransom the boys and place the blame on the promoter. When learning of the kidnapping, he was shocked and decide to cooperate with the authorities, even if it means compromising himself.
  • Evil Chancellor: Aristide Matata is the prime minister of Mulundi. He plots to get rid of the president and take power for himself.
  • Fat Camp: Ran alongside the Summer Campy in one story.
  • Fiery Red Head: Eglantine has red hair, freckles and is quick to abuse her super powers to violently resolve her problems.
  • The Film of the Book: The Benoit Brisefer: Les Taxis Rouges live-action film released in 2014.
  • Foil: Eglantine is this to Benoit. While the latter is polite and calm, Eglantine is cocky. She doesn't hesitate to use her super strength and violence against people she doesn't like, while Benoit prefer to use his powers for helping people and beating up bad guys.
  • 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").
  • Getting the Boot: A professional blackmailer has framed the Bodoni circus for drug smuggling and demand 100,000$ in exchange for the compromising photos. Bodoni violently kicked him out of the wagon followed by a myriad of insults.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: When Benoit got hungry, a Devil Benoit pops up and tempts Benoit into using someone else's money to buy chocolate. Benoit briefly considers it, but ultimately refuses. The Devil Benoit then keeps tempting him by telling him how yummy eating candy could be, but Benoit firmly rejects him, by punching him square in the nose. Defeated and dejected, the Devil Benoit then sits down on the sidewalk and sulks, cursing the bad luck that he in particular got the job as Benoit's shoulder devil when there are thousands of actually naughty children out there.
  • 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.
  • Illness Blanket: Benoit is wrapped in one in "Madame Adolphine" after catching a cold.
  • In a Single Bound: Benoît can leap great heights and distances.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Benoît is a very nice well behaved boy.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: one of Choesels' men is reduced to tears by Benoit and Mona's antics.
  • 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.
  • Ironic Name: The professional blackmailer's first name is "Angel".
  • 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 with.
  • Long List: When Benoit is stranded with his friend on a Deserted Island, a castaway tells them a long list of things he happily won't be missing. The stuff he mentioned goes on many panels up and include things like taxes, pollution, traffic and so on.
  • Meaningful Name: Brisefer means "ironbreaker." Reflected in his current English name Benny Breakiron.
  • Missing Mom: Years ago, John-John mother died accidentally because of paparazzo.
  • 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 Girl: Mona is this. She always behave and is friendly with everyone.
  • 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.
  • Obviously Evil: Benoit's uncle, Placide, comment how the prime minister of Mulundi, Aristide Matata, is cold and unfriendly. Even the president of Mulundi think so. It's so surprise when Aristide Matata plans to get rid of the president and rule in his place.
  • Once per Episode:
  • Out-Gambitted: Choesels hires a professional blackmailer to force Benoit to leave the Bodoni circus and work for him. However, the blackmailer manipulates Benoit to crack Choesels' safe and runs off with Choesels' money.
  • Overprotective Dad: John-John's father is very protective of his son because of the accidental death of his wife.
  • 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.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Benoit wears blue, white, red and has blonde hair.
  • Punched Across the Room: Since Benoit is as strong as Superman, then this will inevitably happen to a lot of bad guys.
  • 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.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Benoit wears a scarf and kick some ass. The scarf is to keep him from catching cold.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: When Eglantine sits next to Benoit, her father teases her by saying she found a fiance. Eglantine flatly denies it while Benoit couldn't help blushing.
  • Shoe Phone:
    • One secret agent was seen using one. Then when it started ringing later, it was in closet full of ordinary shoes.
    • In the same story, a secret agent's gun conceal a hidden phone. To talk, you need to aim the end of the gun at your head.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In Bodoni Circus, Benoit and Mona run into a shopping mall named Galeries Lafaillite, a spoof of real life Galeries Lafayette in Paris. "Faillite" means bankrupt in French.
    • Lady d'Olphine opens a gift that exploded in her face.
    • In the album The Twelve Trials Benoit is traveling by train. Some criminals uncouple it so 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 a similar incident in the Tintin adventure Prisoners of the Sun.
    • President Plata Costa died laughing. He was reading ''The Jewel Smurfer''.
  • Smooch of Victory:
    • Mona gives a big one to Benoit for saving her life and the circus from bankruptcy.
    • Eglantine gives one to Alexander after he saves her and Benoit from drowning.
  • 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 to see him.
  • Super Serum: Eglantine's strength came from her accidentally drinking an experimental plant growth formula, unlike Benoit who was apparently born with his powers.
  • Super Speed: Boy, can Benoit run.
  • Super Strength: Benoit's superpower, unless he catches a cold.
  • Super-Strong Child: Benoit, again. And Eglatine of course.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: The smugglers in John-John. The leader of the duo is exasperated by his partner who keeps blurting out their secrets and can't understand simple orders.
  • Take That!: There's one to the oil industry in The Twelve Tasks of Benoît Brisefer. The Big Petroleum Company relies on dirty tactics such as theft, murder, kidnapping, sabotage, spying and bribery just to steal the deed for a land rich with oil. Benoit destroys their office building with just two kicks.
  • 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.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After Alexander saves Eglantine's life, she's much nicer to him and to Benoit.
  • 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.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When there's a revolution in Plata Costa, Benoit is startled but the commoners on the market go by their business as nothing happened. The fruit seller explains that there's a three-way revolution 3-4 times every week and the soldiers are so badly trained that they miss their mark most of the time.
  • Vacation Episode: "Le Secret d'Églantine" is set in 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.
  • 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.
  • William Telling: One of Benoit's circus stunts in "Le Cirque Bodoni" is shooting an apple off his own head, firing a crossbow, then using his Super Speed to run past the bolt and position himself so that it hits the apple.
  • Yes-Man: In Hold-up on Film, the movie producer surrounded himself with sycophant assistants who wouln't stop praising their boss at every turn.

Alternative Title(s): Benny Breakiron