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Comic Book / Tintin and Alph-Art (Yves Rodier)

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Because Hergé died before completing his last Tintin story, Tintin and Alph-Art, several fan artists have attempted to complete the story in the years since. One such attempt, and perhaps the best-known, is that by Canadian comic book artist Yves Rodier.

Continuing from where Hergé's storyline was at the point of his death, Tintin is sealed into a mould by Akass, who begins to have liquid polyester poured over him. Akass laughs and makes a cryptic remark about how he's "finally beaten" Tintin, but quickly finds himself being bitten on the backside by Snowy, who has brought Haddock just in the nick of time. Haddock manages to free Tintin, and they briefly escape in a car, though are soon caught and brought back to the villa. However, a thoughtless remark by one of Akass's henchmen lets his guests know that Tintin and Haddock are the people they're chasing, and the guests, all good friends of Tintin and the captain, refuse to believe that they'd be up to no good and notify the police. Akass, annoyed that he now can't just kill Tintin without arousing suspicion, has a couple of corrupt police officers show up and take Tintin to a safehouse, where he can plan his next move, while Nash begins to have serious doubts about his being a party to all this.

The officers call the police and falsely claim that Tintin and Haddock tried to escape and were killed in an ensuing gunfight, though unbeknownst to Akass this quickly backfires, as Thomson and Thompson are present when the call is taken and insist on going to identify the bodies. In the meantime, Tintin questions Akass on his motives, but Akass stuns him and Haddock by removing his glasses and false beard; his appearance may have altered slightly due to some Magic Plastic Surgery, but "Akass" is in fact recurring Big Bad Roberto Rastapopoulos. After taking time to fill Tintin in on the events of Flight 714, Rastapopoulos prepares to have the two executed, but before he can do so, Thomson and Thompson arrive with several cops in tow. While the officers under his employ try to delay the others, Rastapopoulos ties up Tintin and Haddock, and takes them as hostages.

Rastapopoulos's planned escape soon goes wrong when he realises that the only way away from the approaching police leads to a sheer drop which he could never climb down safely, least of all with a couple of hostages in tow. With next to no chance of escape, he knocks out his two hostages and fashions their ropes into nooses, so that he can at least have the satisfaction of hanging the two over the edge of the cliff before being captured. Unbeknownst to Rastapopoulos, however, Snowy has been leading Nash up another path up the cliff, and Nash tries to tackle his boss away from the ledge. This knocks Rastapopoulos away from the rock he was bracing himself on, causing the rope to act like a catapult and hurl Rastapopoulos over the edge of the cliff, while Tintin and Haddock and safely lowered onto a convenient ledge a few feet below where they were hanging. Tintin and Haddock are rescued by the detectives, and they all climb down to the bottom of the cliff. After finding Rastapopoulos, the detectives confirm that Tintin's oldest enemy is finally, unquestionably dead.

Tintin and Haddock return to Marlinspike, with the Italian government giving Rastapopoulos's villa to Haddock as compensation for the recent events (though Haddock himself isn't overly keen on the idea of actually using it, doubtless due to the danger of Bianca Castafiore deciding to pay a visit), and Martine asking Tintin out on a date (whether or not he accepts it isn't shown). Back at Marlinspike Hall, Nash creates a statue of Haddock in the Ancient Greek style, before Jolyon Wagg decides to pay a visit. On hearing Wagg's complimentary comments about the statue and what it says about Haddock's personality, the Captain agrees to rent his new villa out to Wagg... who then reveals that he'll be inviting the fairly sizeable Italian branch of his family there. Immediately regretting his decision, Haddock gives the statue away to a local farmer as a scarecrow, as the story ends.

Tintin and Alph-Art provides examples of:

  • Art Evolution: This trope obviously applies because it's a finished work rather than the rough draft, but Rodier gave Martine and Nash more distinctive designs, while also tweaking Akass so as to bring his appearance a little more in line with that of Rastapopoulos.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Happens several times in the story's climax; Haddock shows up just in time to save Tintin from being turned into a statue, then Thomson, Thompson and the police arrive at Rastapopoulos's safe-house soon enough that he has to pull a hostage gambit rather than just shooting them, and finally Nash saves Tintin and Haddock from dancing at the end of a rope.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Akass had three opportunities to easily kill Tintin but never used any. First, he tries to make Tintin a statue, which requires him somehow to stay alive. Second, he has Tintin and Haddock cornered in front of a cliff yet doesn't even think of pushing them over to make it look like an accident and takes them back with him instead. Third, cornered by the police in a fashion where it's pretty much clear he's not going to escape, he actually tries to hang Tintin and Haddock instead of just shooting them. It's mostly chalked up to unnecessary cruelty and a sociopathic need to subject Tintin to a slow, agonizing death but considering how many times it happens, it makes the end of the story look contrived.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: "Akass" says that the liquid polyester isn't hot enough to burn Tintin to death, or even scald him, but that he'll slowly drown in the liquid.
  • Disney Villain Death: How Rastapopoulos finally meets his end, though in a variation on the trope, while we don't see the moment of his body hitting the ground, we do see part of his broken body afterwards.
  • Grand Finale: It's not exactly clear whether Hergé intended for the story to be this, but Rodier aimed to give the story this feel with elements such as Rastapopoulos's death and an implication that Tintin might go on a date with Martine.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: A minor example, since Rastapopoulos's disguise as Akass is mostly achieved via a fake beard, glasses and longer hair, with the plastic surgery that he did get (making his nose smaller) being comparatively realistic by the standards of this trope. Tintin actually recognizes him when he removes his fake beard.
  • Race Lift: Ramo Nash seemed to have originally been designed as a Caucasian man by Hergé. He is a black man in the Rodier version.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: After he reveals his identity, Rastapopoulos reveals that Allan has sworn off the criminal life, and is attempting to make an honest living for himself in the U.S., after which we see a one-panel cutaway to him working as a mailman and getting chased by a big dog.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We don't find out what happened to most of Rastapopoulos's other associates from Flight 714, but considering that he and Allan survived unharmed, it seems fair to assume that they did as well.

Alternative Title(s): Tintin And Alph Art Yves Rodier