Asterix comics have captured the imagination of generation after generation since their first publication in 1959. From the characters on both sides as well as the sidelines to caricatures and cameos the stories are studded with, each new album elicits a rainbow of emotions.
While the regulars never fail to evoke a sense of fond familiarity, the cameos — be they in the books or the films — often make you sit up and go "Was that...?" The latest in this series is Confoundtheirpolitix, a character in "Asterix and the Missing Scroll" modelled after global whistle-blower Julian Assange. It is interesting to note that the character was almost named Wikilix, after Assange's infamous website.
But this is not the first time a pop-culture character has made an appearance in an Asterix adventure, and won't definitely be the last. Here's a look at some of the more famous cameos and guest appearances in Asterix comics.
The Scottish actor-producer best known for his portrayal of James Bond in the first films of the series is commemorated as Dubbelosix in "Asterix and the Black Gold". The character's name comes from the fact that he appeared for — and failed — the druidical examinations six times. It is also a nod to the womanising spy's license to kill: 007.
The former French Prime Minister and President is spoofed as Caius Preposterus in the same album. And is at the business end of the aforementioned biting critique.
Thomson and Thompson
The terrible twins from Tintin comics make their Spoonerism-laced appearance in Tintin in Belgium, possibly because their creator Herge was from Belgium.
Could there be a better name in the Asterix comics for the father of psychoanalysis than Psychoanalytix? As for his exploits, turn the pages of "Asterix and the Big Fight".
Laurel and Hardy
The eminently recognisable duo is just that in "Obelix & Co", a particularly biting album that critiques an entire economic model by alternating between obfuscation and over-simplification.
Yes, the Governator has made an appearance in "Asterix and the Falling Sky", as a Superman-like clone.
Yes, the world's most recognisable cartoon character had a good resemblance to "Toon", a specimen of the Tadsilweny species, in "Asterix and the Falling Sky". And it's no coincidence that "Tadsilweny" is an anagaram of "Walt Disney!"
The iconic actor appears as Spartakis, an obvious reference to "Spartacus" in "Asterix and Obelix All at Sea".
Otto van Bismarck
The resemblance is uncanny between Gothic chief Metric and the Prussian statesman who changed Europe's face in the late 19th century.