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Recap / Alix: Le Fils de Spartacus

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Le Fils de Spartacus (The Son of Spartacus) is a comic book by Jacques Martin. It was first published in Tintin magazine in 1974. Then it was published as a comic album in 1975. This is the twelfth episode of the Alix series.

Pompey the Great hears that Spartacus, the escaped slave leader, had a son and this son is still alive. Immediately, he orders his troops to catch him, because he thinks that this son could cause another slave revolt and Julius Caesar would ultimately take advantage of the disorder. So the son of Spartacus and his mother seek assistance from Alix to escape from Italy.


Le Fils de Spartacus provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: Alix, Enak, Galva, Maia and Spartaculus use the sewers to escape from the temple and to get to Suburra.
  • Ancient Rome: The story begins in Rome. Maia and Spartaculus go to the Roman Forum, then they flee to Suburra.
  • Anti-Climax: Alix and his allies attack the villa of Livion Spura to free Startaculus. When they get to him, there is no opponent to fight: everybody seems to be dead already, except Spartaculus, who is unharmed, and Livion Spura, who is fatally wounded and dies moments later.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Spartaculus is safe, but he does not know his true identity. Moreover, he is bitter because his mother (or the woman who pretended to be his mother) wanted to sell him and because she is now dead.
  • Call-Back: Galva (who appeared in La Griffe noire, Les Légions perdues, and Le Dernier Spartiate) plays an important role in this story.
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  • Chekhov's Gunman: Sabina appears first as a background character who brings food to Livion Spura and his guests. Later, she plays an important role: she helps Alix and Enak when they are stuck on the cliff.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Deathbed Confession: Subverted. Maia is dying. Spartaculus questions her about his true identity. She starts saying something, but she dies before she can utter a full sentence.
  • Distressed Dude: Spartaculus in under death threat and Alix tries to bring him out of Italy to save him. In the end, he attacks the villa of Livion Spura to free him.
  • Evil Matriarch: Maia wants to sell Spartaculus. However, it is unclear if she is really his mother or if she just pretends to be his mother.
  • Flashback: A flashback recounts the Third Servile War and Maia's fictional role at that time.
  • Flipping the Table: Alix flips over the table where Livion Spura invites the prisoners to have dinner.
  • Girl of the Week: Sabina, the young black slave who is fond of Alix.
  • Gladiator Revolt: The real-life revolt of Spartacus and his fellow gladiators is told in a flashback.
  • Good Samaritan: Sabina, who brings food to Alix and Enak when they are stuck on the cliff.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Fulgor is initially an accomplice of Maia, but he soon turns good and helps the heroes.
  • Historical Domain Character: Pompey the Great and Julius Caesar. In the Flashback, Spartacus, Gaius Claudius Glaber, Castus, Crixus, and Marcus Licinius Crassus.
  • Imagine Spot: In the beginning, Gaius Curion imagines what could happen if the son of Spartacus is left alive (another slave revolt and Julius Caesar restoring order in the end).
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Maia was an attractive young woman at the time of the Third Servile War, as showed in the Flashback.
  • Lady Macbeth: Maia, who encourages her lover, Ardélès, to participate in her schemes.
  • Literal Cliffhanger: Alix and Enak hang from trees growing on the cliff around the villa of Livion Spura. The tree Alix hang from starts breaking.
  • Money Fetish: When Maia receives gold from Pompey, she needs to touch it and she is fascinated by it.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: When the prisoners are brought to Livion Spura, he first invites them to dine.
  • Not Quite Dead: Maia is left for dead in Livion Spura's villa. When everyboady is gone, he gets up. She was playing possum. So, she tries to escape with the gold.
  • Playing Possum: Maia plays possum in Livion Spura's villa.
  • Pool Scene: A dirty one. When the prisoners are brought to Livion Spura, he is playing in his swimming pool with naked little boys and he clearly mentions his paedophiliac inclination.
  • Run for the Border: Spartaculus's only chance of survival is reaching the border of the Roman Republic and escape to Thracia.
  • Spoiler Cover: The cover of the book shows the final act of the story: Maia falls from the bridge and dies, while Spartaculus is watching.
  • Storming the Castle: In the end, Alix and his allies surround the villa of Livion Spura and attack it, but when they get to the terrace, Livion Spura is dying and only Spartaculus is unharmed.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Ardélès is a scheming Greek. He works for Pompey the Great. His name and physical appearance are similar to Arbacès's.
  • Villainous Crush: Livion Spura, who likes young men and even boys, is attracted to Spartaculus. That is why he tries to protect him from Maia, Ardélès and the men of Pompey.

Alternative Title(s): Le Fils De Spartacus