Best 1952 Adventures (7)
July 4, 2017
One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1952 adventure novels. Happy 65th anniversary!
Hergé’s Golden Age sci-fi Tintin adventure On a marché sur la Lune (Explorers on the Moon).
The seventeenth Tintin yarn sees our heroes landing on and exploring Earth’s moon — seven years before the Soviet Union’s Luna 2 mission, and seventeen years before the United States’ Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon. Professor Calculus, here, is no longer a brilliant bumbler — but the guiding spirit of the expedition; his assistant, Wolff, is a flawed, Le Carré-esque character. Thompson and Thompson and Haddock nearly ruin the mission, but the rocket eventually lands safely and Tintin becomes the first explorer on the Moon. Although the plot is a bit pedagogical, the landscape is eerie and amazing. Meanwhile, it turns out that a spy for a foreign power is aboard — will he hijack the rocket?
Fun fact: This is the sequel to Destination Moon. It was serialized weekly in Belgium’s Tintin magazine in 1952–1953; published in book form in 1954. It has been suggested that Hergé was motivated to do a sci-fi story by the success of his colleague Edgar P. Jacobs’s first Blake and Mortimer comic, The Secret of the Swordfish (1950–53).
Let me know if I’ve missed any 1952 adventures that you particularly admire.