Is the village of Asterix in Normandy or in Brittany? How is it biologically possible for Obelix to eat whole boars? And is it moral to beat up Romans?
As befits a homage, all the well-known characters from the Gallic village have their sometimes more or less ironic appearances, including the pirates and the Romans. At the latest when Mr. Rabbit beats up some legionnaires thanks to the magic potion, he realizes that something is different than in the classic comics: If you hit someone with superpowers, the opponent not only gets a few bumps, but dies a bloody death. It is logical that Mr. Hase (unsuccessfully) tries to discuss with Obelix how natural violence is as a solution to all problems at the center of the Asterix universe.
It is quite remarkable that Trondheim was allowed to play a complete Mr. Rabbit adventure in Gaul: There are several homage volumes, such as the volume “Asterix – The Hommage” published in 2019 for the 60th anniversary, to which among others Peyo, Guy Delisle, Mawil and Trondheim contributed some short comics. Longer homage albums, on the other hand, are almost non-existent, if you disregard comics that are intended more as parody, such as “Falssches Spiel mit Alcolix”, against which Asterix artist Albert Uderzo diligently litigated.
Either way, “Beim Teutates!” can be seen as an accolade for Trondheim, which has long had to be mentioned in the same breath as Franco-Belgian comic artists such as Hergé, André Franquin, Uderzo and René Goscinny.
In fact, it is not Trondheim’s first foray into another comic universe: in 2003 he put Mr. Rabbit in Spirou’s red pageboy uniform and let him experience a genuine Spirou and Fantasio adventure in “The Atomic Particle Accelerator”.
“Beim Teutates!” doesn’t quite match the pace and wit of the dialogue; at times one notices Trondheim’s great respect for the work of Uderzo and Goscinny, which also becomes clear in the foreword. In the end, what remains is an entertaining adventure with some surprising ideas.
Trondheim could have deconstructed the stereotypical mechanisms of the Asterix universe a little more. But at the latest when everyone is sitting at the feast and enjoying wild boar and carrots, you are reconciled as an Asterix and Mr. Rabbit fan.