Finally the magic potion is of no use

Asterix at the Olympic Games - 'Rene Goscinny'

Well, this one picked up somewhat with a few more laugh out loud moments, as well as the typical on running joke (such as Obelix trying to get his share of the magic potion – he tries so much to get a taste and no matter what he does he always gets knocked back). One of the best jokes was when Obelix says to Fulliautomatix that Dogmatix is so much better because he can scratch his ear with his hind leg, and a few windows later we hear a cry 'so can I' and we see Fulliautomatix scratching his ear with his hind leg (it is much better in graphics, but I tried to find an image on Google and couldn't).

There are a few of what I call 'in jokes' in this one – not in the sense that you need to be familiar with the Asterix comics to understand them (though there are a few, such as Obelix and the magic potion) but rather ones that you probably would not understand unless you knew about the Ancient Greek world. In fact there are probably quite a few throughout the Asterix comics, though I remember still enjoying them as a kid despite not understanding the context in which they were written.

Mind you they are quite bad with anacronisms, but then again this is forgiveable because this is Asterix. For instance the Spartans win all of the competitions because, well, they are Spartans. However, the Spartans of Ancient Rome were not the Spartans of the Classical period because they were inbred so much that when they were finally defeated by the Romans it was discovered that they paled in comparison to their noble ancestors. I knew a modern Spartan once, and I must say that I did want to marry her, even if it is because Spartan women produce strong children (though that is my helophilia coming through). Also, because of my helophilia, I tend to prefer Greek women who come from places that are identifiable with the Classical period, and most of the Greek women that I know come from the North.

As for the Olympic Games themselves, I guess there are a few comments, and relations, to the modern Olympics, though in many cases this album is more looking at the Ancient Games as opposed to the modern. Mind you there is the question of the use of the magic potion which is strictly banned. In fact the album ends up dealing with the issue of drugs in sport which, at the time, I did not think was a huge issue. It is only lately that the issue of drugs in sports seems to be battering our airwaves (and in fact one of the AFL teams at this time is under investigation, and has been charged with, conduct unbecoming of the game, though no actual drug related charges have been laid).

However, I suspect that the whole issue of drugs in sports has been going on since professional sport came about and winning became a very profitable enterprise. I am also sure that the use of drugs in sport have been around for as long as medicine has been around. Mind you professional sport is still a very modern phenomena. While they did have professional sports back in Ancient Rome, and such events and participants were considered celebrities, the idea of spectator sports is really only a new thing, and with the exception of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece, sports were generally played for fun, rather than prestige and money.