The Crab with the Golden Claws (French:'Le Crabe aux' pinces d'or) is the ninth of The Adventures of Tintin, a series of classic comic-strip albums, written and illustrated by Belgian writer and illustrator Hergé, sequel to King Ottokar's Sceptre, featuring young reporter Tintin as a hero. It is also the first to feature Tintin's longtime friend, Captain Haddock.
The story begins with Tintin and Snowy walking in the street. Snowy encounters a tin can with a label containing a crab but Tintin throws it away. After meeting Thompson and Thomson is informed by the two of a case involving the ramblings of a drunken man, later killed, found with a scrap of paper from what appears to be a tin of crab-meat with the word Karaboudjan written on it. A Japanese man is then en route to contact Tintin, by way of a letter, but is kidnapped on the way.
The subsequent investigation into the kidnapping of the Japanese man leads Tintin to a ship also called the ‘’Karaboudjan’’, where he is abducted by a syndicate of criminals who have been hiding opium in the crab,escaping from his locked room, Tintin encounters Captain Haddock for the first time. Haddock is an alcoholic who is manipulated by his first mate, Allan Thompson, and is thus, oblivious to his crew's criminal activities. The two escape the ship in a lifeboat in an attempt to reach the Iberian coast.
On their way they are attacked by a seaplane and their boat is overturned. The plane lands to confirm their kill, but Tintin and Haddock swim to the plane. The two and hijack the plane and tie up the pilots, but a mix of a storm and Haddock's drunken behaviour cause them to crash-land in the Sahara Desert.
After trekking across the desert, Tintin and Haddock fall unconscious and rescued by local Berbers. They awake in the colonial outpost of Afghar and stay as guests of Lieutenant Delcourt. The next day Tintin, Haddock and Snowy leave for the local port, but are ambushed on the way, but are rescued by Delcourt again. Several days later the group reach the Moroccan port city of Bagghar, but the Captain is kidnapped by members of his old crew. Tintin manages to find him and saves the Captain, but they both become intoxicated by the fumes from wine barrels penetrated in a shootout with the villains.
Upon sobering up, Tintin discovers the necklace with the Crab with the Golden Claws on the now-subdued owner of the wine cellar, Omar Ben Salaad, and realizes that he is the leader of the local drug cartel. He is confronted by Thompson and Thomson and is severely offended by the accusation. Allan is chased by Tintin and the others throughout the city’s waterways and is eventually captured. The kidnapped Japanese man, Bunji Kuraki is freed and finally introduces himself as a member of the Yokohama police force. After apprehending Allan, the rest of the ring is put behind bars as well and Tintin, Snowy and Haddock return home.
The Crab with the Golden Claws was first published as a serial comic strip form in 1941. The story was written after Hergé had been forced to abandon his previous story, Land of Black Gold, also set in the desert, when Nazi Germany took over Belgium. After the invasion, publication of Le Petit Vingtième, the children's newspaper supplement that had published his previous Tintin adventures, was stopped and Hergé had to look for another means of publication.
In addition, Land of Black Gold featured controversial political matters, depicting the conflicts between Jews, Arabs and British troops in the British Mandate of Palestine. Hergé was asked by the newspaper Le Soir to create a weekly supplement, similar to that of Le Petit Vingtième, called Le Soir Jeunesse, and he began work on a new story about a less controversial subject in that of drug smuggling.
The story was completely re-edited and colourized for its publication in book form in 1943. The appearance of four whole-page panels at arbitrary places throughout the album is the result of the original black & white album not having enough material to fit the required 62 page format of the colour.
- This comic book marks the first appearance of Captain Haddock, a character that becomes a pivotal character in futher comic books.
- This comic book also introduced Allan Thompson, Captain Haddock's archenemy, who later returned in "The Red Sea Sharks" and in "Flight 714" as an allie of Roberto Rastapopoulos. Also, he appeared in "Cigars of the Pharaoh", but after Hergé redesigned the comic book.
- A large portion of the motion capture film is based on The Crab with the Golden Claws, as well as The Secret of the Unicorn.
- Captain Haddock
- Thompson and Thomson
- Allan Thompson
- Bunji Kuraki
- Herbert Dawes
- Lieutenant Delcourt
- Mohammed Ben Ali
- Abd El Drachm
- Omar Ben Salaad
- Loch Lomond Whiskey
|The Adventures of Tintin|