Asterix and Son is the twenty-seventh volume of the Asterix comic book series, created by René Goscinny (stories) and Albert Uderzo (illustrations).
In this story, a baby boy inexplicably appears at the porch of Asterix’s house one morning. While taking care of him – a horrifying task for two single men – Asterix, along with Obelix and Dogmatix, sets out to discover who left the baby there and whose parents it belongs to, following a lead left with the baby’s sheets. Curiously, they find that the Romans seem to be very inquisitive in the child, too – and all in the interests of Marcus Junius Brutus, Caesar’s adopted son.
While in the village, the baby twice drinks a great deal of magic potion, after which he becomes a “terrible little monster” to every door in the neighborhood and every spy sent to capture him, including a legionnary disguised as a peddlar selling rattles and a centurion disguised as a nursemaid. Finally, Brutus takes matters into his own hands, attacking the village with his own legions and burning it to the ground, while he himself goes after the baby. He manages to kidnap him temporarily- with the help of the ever-present pirates- as the last potion taken by the baby has worn off, but soon Asterix and Obelix catch up with him and give him a taste of why they are considered the terror of the Romans.
Just as the Gauls try to make Brutus reveal the truth, the unexpected arrivals by Caesar and Cleopatra themselves resolve the child’s mystery; he is none other than Ptolemy XV Caesarion (born 23 June 47 BC), the son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra VII of Egypt. Brutus had been attempting to kill the baby while Caesar was away on campaign so that he could guarantee his ascension to the throne, so Cleopatra had the boy sent to the village to protect him on the grounds that the village was the one place she could guarantee the child’s safety from Brutus’s soldiers.
The story ends with the banquet on Cleopatra’s royal barge where even Caesar joins in, having promised to rebuild the village in thanks for the Gauls’ efforts to protect his son.
- Brutus and the prefect of Gaul may be caricatures of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, and the prefect cross-dressing is then a reference to the movie Some Like it Hot, in which they star.
- The final banquet not being set in the Village was extremely criticized[who?], even if it’s nicely symbolic and fits into the story arc.
- This is the only time the Romans successfully attack and destroy the village, but, to reward Asterix for keeping his son safe, Caesar ended up rebuilding it.
- Like Asterix in Switzerland, this album presents a rare dark tone as it touches on the possibility of an innocent’s murder. With the destruction of the village, Impedimenta’s tearful failure at protecting the child, and the apparent upper hand of the Romans, the story swings away from comedy and briefly takes on a refreshing, if uncharacteristic, air of suspense.
- Before Caesar sends Brutus to upper Germania, he says Et tu, Brute?, which were the words he spoke before his death.
In other languages
- French: “Le fils d’Astérix”
- Catalan: El fill d’Astèrix
- Czech: Asterixův syn
- Dutch: De zoon van Asterix
- Finnish: Asterixin poika, also translated to Rauma dialect as Asteriksim boikkane mukul (“Asterix’s boy tot”)
- German: Der Sohn des Asterix
- Greek: Ο γιος του Αστερίξ
- Italian: Il figlio di Asterix
- Norwegian: Asterix & sønn
- Portuguese: O filho de Astérix
- Polish: Syn Asteriksa
- Serbian: Астерикс и син
- Turkish: Asteriks’in Oğlu