|Asterix and the Golden Sickle |
(La serpe d'or)
Cover of the English edition
|Main characters||Asterix and Obelix|
|Published in||Pilote magazine|
|Date of publication||11 August 1960-1961|
|Translator||Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge|
|Preceded by||Asterix the Gaul|
|Followed by||Asterix and the Goths|
Asterix and the Golden Sickle (French: La serpe d'or, "The Golden Sickle") is the second volume of the Asterix comic book series, by René Goscinny (stories) and Albert Uderzo (illustrations). It was first serialized in Pilote magazine issues 42-74 in 1960.
Disaster strikes in the Gaulish village when Getafix the druid breaks his golden sickle, as without one, he cannot attend the annual conference of druids, or cut mistletoe for the magic potion which keeps the Roman army at bay. Asterix and Obelix set out for Lutetia (present-day Paris) to buy a new sickle from Obelix's distant cousin, the sicklesmith Metallurgix. On the way there, they encounter bandits, but easily defeat them, and learn from a fellow-traveller that "sickles are in short supply in Lutetia". In the city, they find Metallurgix is missing and make inquiries at a local inn, but the landlord professes to know nothing. He later gives a description of Asterix and Obelix to the devious Clovogarlix, who in turn directs them to his superior Navishtrix, who tries to sell them a sickle at an exorbitant price. They refuse, and defeat Navishtrix and his followers, only to be arrested by a Roman patrol. They are released by the Prefect of Lutetia, Surplus Dairyprodus, and learn from a Centurion that Metallurgix may have been kidnapped by sickle traffickers. From a drunkard imprisoned by Dairyprodus, they learn Navishtrix has a hideout at a portal dolmen in the Boulogne forest. In Navishtrix's underground store-room, Asterix and Obelix find a hoard of golden sickles, but are attacked by Clovogarlix, Navishtrix and their minions. Upon defeat, Navishtrix escapes, and Asterix and Obelix follow him to Surplus Dairyprodus, who confesses to having sponsored the illegal sickle monopoly for his own amusement. The Centurion releases Metallurgix and imprisons Dairyprodus and Navishtrix; whereafter Metallurgix gratefully gives Asterix and Obelix the best of his sickles. With this, they return to their village and celebrate their achievement.
An animated feature film of Asterix and the Golden Sickle was produced by Dargaud Productions, which had also made a film based on the first book, Asterix the Gaul, unbeknown to the authors. Goscinny and Uderzo reluctantly accepted the first film, but they firmly rejected the second, which was scrapped and never released.