De Avonturen van Kuifje: Kuifje in het Land van de Sovjets – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: Adventure
Written by: Hergé
Illustrations: Hergé
Publisher: Casterman Editions Moulinsart

De Avonturen van Kuifje: Kuifje in het Land van de Sovjets – Comic Book Review

Site Score
Good: Funny sequences
Bad: Illustrations, No extras to this new edition
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Kuifje in het Land van de Sovjets is the first album of Tintin ever written by Hergé. It was published for the first time in 1930, a time when the Soviet Union was still fairly young. Published in Le Petit Vingtième, a weekly annex to the paper Le Vingtième Siècle which was quite anti-communism, it is quite obvious that this album is propaganda against the Soviet Union. Facts and fiction may often be mixed together, but it makes for an inventive storyline.

Kuifje 2

Tintin, reporter for Le Petit Vingtième, is on his way to the Soviet Union, where he will be reporting about the political situation of the country. While he is taking a nap on the train, he doesn’t notice that there is a Soviet spy sitting opposite him, who is preparing a bomb. The bomb explodes, the roofs of the carriages blow off, but Tintin survives. When the train (or what is left of it) arrives in Berlin, Tintin himself is accused of having caused all this damage, and is locked behind bars. He soon manages to escape, and continues his journey to the land of the Soviets.

After a hell of a journey he finally arrives, but he is being watched carefully, as the Soviets desperately want to prevent him reporting about the real circumstances in the USSR. Right when he thinks that he’s safe, Tintin and Bobbie get captured once again, but when Tintin fights off their guard, they are soon free once more. Now they have traveled a good distance into the Soviet Union, it becomes quite clear to Tintin how the Soviets run their country. To the outside world, they act like their factories are working at full speed, while on further inspection they are empty warehouses where hay is burnt to make the chimneys smoke. Only beggars who admit to being communist get a loaf of bread and elections are everything but a chance for people to give their honest opinion. There sure is enough to write about for Tintin, if only he could stay out of the hands of the Russian secret service.

This first issue hasn’t got a very solid storyline, such as the later albums of Tintin certainly have. Instead, Hergé strings together different smaller story elements, where there is not really a proper cause, but everything is just pieced seamlessly together. It makes for an airy, not too profound storyline, even despite the serious subject of communism. Seen in the time where this album was originally published, as well as the take on communism of ‘Le Vingtième’, it is funny to see how stereotypical and even completely made up the characters and story elements are, even though there might certainly be some truth in it.

Hergé never took drawing classes before illustrating this album. Truth be told, it is quite noticeable that he didn’t, and the characters of Tintin and Bobbie certainly have evolved a lot over the years, when it comes to their appearance. Nonetheless, the simple drawing style, empty backgrounds and thick black lines do still look quite likeable. For this new edition, colors were added to the illustrations. They look quite dark and dirty, which suits the story fine, but it wasn’t a necessary thing to do.

With a republication such as this one, it would have been nice if some extra information was added in terms of Hergé’s inspiration or the time in which it was made. Instead, you will only be treated to the full album, in color this time.


De Avonturen van Kuifje: Kuifje in het Land van de Sovjets is a new, colored publication of Tintin’s first adventure. It’s just him and Bobbie for now, going on a journey to a quite stereotypical Soviet Union. The story doesn’t really build up to anything, yet the succession of all the different hardships Tintin and Bobbie encounter make for a fun story nonetheless. The illustrations still look very simplistic, but do the trick just fine. Next to the coloring, nothing new was brought to the table, which seems a bit like a missed opportunity but all in all, we liked this album just fine.

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De Avonturen van Kuifje: Kuifje in het Land van de Sovjets - Comic Book Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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