Robbedoes door #10 Het Licht van Borneo – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, History, Fantasy
Written by: Zidrou
Illustrations: Frank Pé
Coloring: Cerise
Publisher: Dupuis

Robbedoes door #10 Het Licht van Borneo – Comic Book Review

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Good: Story, Illustrations, Adult version of Spirou
Bad: Slow pace
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Spirou (or Robbedoes) is known worldwide for his escapades as a juvenile detective, who wasn’t all that good in practicing his main job as a bellboy. Nonetheless, over the years he grew, and was even featured in different series, be it in spinoffs of the original comic books or cartoons that aired on television. Now, many years later another series saw the light, as we have already reached the tenth issue of this Spirou series where other famous writers and artist are able to present us with very original tales revolving around the young detective. All of that being said, it seems that even Spirou is growing up and is leaving his teenage years behind him.

Robbedoes Het Licht van Borneo Banner

Spirou and his associate Fantasio (Kwabbernoot) are slowly reaching the point of no return, where their teenage years are officially behind them. Spirou has been donned with hipster glasses and Fantasio is losing his precious hair, but they are working for a popular magazine as the main and most valuable reporters. At least, until Spirou resigns after having creative differences with his boss, who wanted him to cover up a scandal, as the company the piece revolves around is one of the magazine’s sponsors. Even though Fantasio can’t quit his job just yet, as he needs to earn money for hair plugs, Spirou wants to relax a bit and for once not get involved in something adventurous. Sadly, it seems that his wish is certainly not his command, as he runs into Noë, a peculiar figure from his past, who showed a great love for animals, but not so much for humans. As Noë is performing with the local circus, Spirou pays him a visit, but when he suddenly shows up with his daughter, Spirou is quite shocked.

Noë, a man that has no social skills whatsoever fell in love during one of his trips, and eventually his love interest gave birth to Wildy. While Noë was aware of her existence, he has never been good with other humans, so after her mother died, he asked a friend to take care of her, who has also passed, which forced Wildy to live with her grandmother, who has now fallen sick. To make a long story short, Wildy is now supposed to stay with Noë but eventually ends up staying over at Spirou’s place, as he gets scammed into taking care of her.

All of this transpires when a big circus performance is being planned, an unknown artists keeps sending his work anonymously to a gallery in Brussels and a massive outbreak of a peculiar fungus breaks out all over the world. These topics become increasingly more important throughout the course of the album, and before you know it, they intertwine graciously.

While initially you think the story will head in one direction, it heads in a totally different direction altogether, which wasn’t even really that obvious with a rather slow pace in place. You’ll notice that the story will take its time to reach its peak, and even then, things will unwind accordingly, in a fairly slow fashion, which adorns this tale. Zidrou is known from many different stories which certainly gives him an edge, but having to ‘reinvent’ a character that has been around as long as Spirou is still a challenge. Nonetheless, Zidrou certainly delivers.

The illustrations of this more ‘adult’ Spirou comic book are simply topnotch. All drawings are still clutching to the source material, as well as a clear sign that time has truly gone by, making Spirou evolve as well. The overall feeling is rather light, which makes sure that the story is still accessible for everyone, even with a few more adult influences along the road. It’s fun to see that the coloring is also very bright and there’s a big palette of colors being used to spice things up. Frank Pé pays a proper homage to this comic book hero who has been going on adventures for nearly eighty years.


Robbedoes door #10 Het Licht van Borneo is a great standalone adventure of Spirou, by the hands of two talented people. On the one side you’ll find Zidrou, who isn’t shy to try out different genres and see things from a broader angle, while Frank Pé made sure the feeling of Spirou remained intact, while making this album unique. If you’re a fan of the character, and the many different series, this one will certainly be a highlight of your collection.

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