De Avonturen van Nero 1966-1967 – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: Adventure
Written by: Marc Sleen
Illustrations: Marc Sleen
Publisher: Standaard Uitgeverij

De Avonturen van Nero 1966-1967 – Comic Book Review

Site Score
8.6
Good: Funny, imaginative stories
Bad: The extras are interesting, yet don't say much about the stories themselves
User Score
8.5
(4 votes)
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Rating: 8.5/10 (4 votes cast)

De avonturen van Nero – it’s safe to say – are one of Flanders’ comic book classics. They have been published in newspapers, as well as in proper albums. Now, more than fifty years after their first appearance, they are republished in beautiful hardcover editions. Today we can present you with our thoughts on De avonturen van Nero 1966-1967, which contains four albums that Marc Sleen came up with during that period of time.

NeroIntegraal

The first issue in this collector’s album is Het Geheim van Slappe Bizon. Nero keeps himself busy taming a wasp, which he calls Placied. Everyone thinks he has gone crazy, so he decides to take Placied out for a walk. When suddenly he sees a native American crying, he can’t help but ask what’s going on. Bleek Blauwe Arend tells him that he is very homesick, but he can’t go home because he is under contract with the circus director. Nero helps him get rid of this annoying man, and promises to take him back to America, but when they arrive, they get captured by Slappe Bizon and his tribe.

In De Paarse Futen, Tuizentfloot is very proud to show Nero his wand, which he picked up at a local market. With this wand he can conjure everyone to any place in the universe. There is only one catch: after every five people being spirited away, Timotheus the Fourth appears. He is an old wizard, coming from the fourteenth century, who has to make sure the wand is well used. When the wand gets stolen, our friends will have to do everything they can to stop the thief. Luckily Adhemar recovers it. When all the fuss is over, Nero believes that it is high time for a vacation, so Timotheus sends him to Arcadoesa, a paradise island in the Atlantic, but what he didn’t know, is that this island has vanished in the ocean since 1776…

The third issue, De Lolifanten, starts off with Adhemar coming up with a marvelous invention. He developed a perfume which makes sure that animals won’t fear the one wearing the cologne any more. Unfortunately, Nero didn’t pay much attention to his son’s explanation, and pours the whole bottle in his bath. Suddenly, all animals love him, which soon starts to drive him crazy. To escape from this madness, he takes off in the Adhemar II, a high speed rocket designed by Adhemar himself. After some wanderings, he ends up in Africa, where a tribe worships him as the divine Lolifant, their leader.

Lastly, in De Matras van Madras, Nero gets asked by Indira Gandhi to come to India to help her find a solution for the political situation. Nero immediately leaves in the Adhemar II, together with Madam Pheip and Adhemar. They land on the roof of Radja Al Chandrajoepta’s palace, which probably wasn’t the smartest of ideas. When the Radja hears that Nero and his friends are in India to help find solutions and a better way of life for the poor, he decides that they will all have to vanish, as he doesn’t want to share his wealth.

When reading these albums, it is very clear that Marc Sleen has got a very vivid imagination and a good sense of humor. The characters have very diverse personalities, which always makes for a fun story. Also the implementation of fun facts and real people, such as Indira Gandhi makes the comic books more interesting and real, while at the same time, imagination keeps roaming freely.

The illustrations suit the characters very well. They don’t look too polished, and backgrounds are not very detailed, sometimes even non-existent, which makes the comics look rather down to earth and humoristic. The coloring is done in many different, bright colors. Even though the original publication of these albums was in black and white, these colored versions look nice too.

As an extra to this edition, at the end of each issue there is some additional information. This information is not about the album and how it came to be, nor about the writer, but it is some info about certain things mentioned in the issue. For example, at the end of Het Geheim van Slappe Bizon, there are some articles about the Grand Canyon, saloons, the Chihuahua Desert, tornados and so on. While this is certainly a fun idea, it also makes the book look a bit like an encyclopedia. Fun facts about the albums, which are not readily available on the internet, would have been a more interesting addition, yet the articles look nice and are certainly worth reading.

Conclusion

De Avonturen van Nero 1966-1967 contains four comic books bundled in a hardcover edition, that will definitely be able to entertain you well, as the characters’ personalities are all very different and the stories are very imaginative. This publication will certainly look nice on your shelf, but because the additional information doesn’t tell us more about the stories or Marc Sleen than we already know, it is not the collector’s item it could have been. Nonetheless the extra info will definitely be nice for younger readers.

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De Avonturen van Nero 1966-1967 - Comic Book Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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