Written by: Peter Van Gucht
Illustrations: Luc Morjaeu
Publisher: Standaard Uitgeverij
Suske en Wiske #338 De Heldenmaker – Comic Book Review
New Suske and Wiske albums succeed each other in quite a rapid tempo, certainly compared to other comic book series, and thus it’s time for us to present you with our thoughts on their brand new issue ‘De Heldenmaker’. This time, Peter Van Gucht opted for a different approach to the storyline, which offers a welcome change of pace. This time no time traveling or fighting off the bad guys, but good old-fashioned riddle solving.
Strange things are happening with Suske and Wiske and their friends. Wiske wakes up, only to realize that she is locked up in a room. When Suske hears her screaming for help, on the other side of the wall, he notices that he is stuck inside a giant bottle, thus can’t come to her rescue. He luckily manages to get out, and starts to look around the strange place they find themselves in, to find the key to Wiske’s door. Things get even more strange when a polar bear dressed up like a bride goes after him, and professor Barabas seems to have been attacked and left for dead. The professor soon wakes up though, and also Lambik and aunt Sidonia emerge on the scene.
When Suske explains Wiske’s unpleasant situation to them, they all think of how to help, but the door can only be opened with special coins. More intriguingly, they also start thinking about how they ended up in that weird place, with strange things going on all the time. Turns out they all had a note from ‘the Hero-maker’, telling them to fulfill a quest, after taking a blue pill. Each in turn, they start telling each other about their quest, hoping to find some kind of clue to get Wiske out of there.
Story wise, this album is quite different from what we’re used to. Usually, the story builds up gradually, leaving time for the action to develop. Now, we’re dropped in the middle of the story, only to find out slowly what has been going on before. This idea is certainly an interesting one, even though it’s harder to keep a reader’s attention, as the focal point of the issue is already on the first page. The explanation of how the characters got in the situation that they’re in should be exciting, in order to stop the story from getting dull, but this is exactly what bothered us a bit about this issue: The question of where the characters are and how to get Wiske out is raised right away, but the story doesn’t really get any more exciting while finding an answer to these questions. It’s certainly not badly written, it just would have been nicer if you as a reader could be more involved in finding the answer, thus keeping the story fun.
When it comes to the illustrations, there is not much more for us to say than that they neat and colorful as always. Luc Morjaeu made sure that the typical drawing style of the albums stayed intact.
Suske en Wiske #338 De Heldenmaker uses a different way of storytelling than what we’re used to, which is a welcome change of pace. Nonetheless, it takes away from the story really building up, which left us wanting for more. In any case, this atypical story isn’t bad at all, we would just have liked it to be a bit more thought out.