The series follows the adventures of Michel Vaillant, a young race-car driver and heir to the Vaillante transportation firm, as he balances racing, his personal life, and the issues faced by his family's firm.
This series contains examples of:
- The Ace: Michel Vaillant is one of the world's greatest racers.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: The Leader. He comes up with all kinds of plots to win races in order to promote his brand, but nobody denies that he makes excellent cars. He should have been able to sell them just fine through normal means.
- Meaningful Name: Michel Vaillant is named for automotive pioneer Karl Benz, who was born Karl Friedrich Michael Vaillant.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The series is notable for its heavy attention to the ins and outs of the racing world, and thus often features cameos by real-life racing personalities.
- Opposing Sports Team: The Leader's team is this for the Vaillante team.
- Shown Their Work: Jean Graton was well embedded in the racing scene and a personal friend of numerous drivers. This is expressed in the high realism of the comics.
- Translation Convention: Julie, a friend of the hero, calls out the Big Bad on her lack of respect because she uses "tu" (the French are very rigid about the TV distinction.) The Big Bad was raised by an English woman in India, whereas Julie is American.