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Tintin: Is he super-human?

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#1 · Posted: 15 Jun 2005 20:08
In another thread comparing Tintin to Asterix, the distinction was made that while Asterix had super-powers, Tintin was fully bound by more realistic constraints and had to rely primarily on his wits to get him out of a fix.

I disagree with this statement. While Tintin may not have any clearly defined “super-ability”, like some other comic book characters, he has proved himself many times in the series to do things I consider super-human - or at least well above average!

Some examples off the top of my head are single handedly beating up three burly guards at once while doing time in The Blue Lotus; tearing Mitsuhirato’s clothes to shreds with one punch in the same book; and even binding and gagging a tiger with his bare hands in The Cigars of the Pharaoh!

The examples I mentioned occur quite early on in the series. However, while it’s true that many aspects of the character Tintin and his adventures have developed and changed throughout the course of the series, the conviction I have that, if he wanted, he could fight his way out of anything (despite being displayed less and less with time), nonetheless remains.

Consider the numbers of times Tintin has been shot and recovered within a matter of days, if not the next day!

Destination Moon
saw Hergé really up the ante considerably in terms of the amount of detail he paid to Tintin’s stories and graphics - but it also sees our hero being shot in the head only to recover (albeit with a bandage wrapped around the wound) a short time later! That seems pretty super-human to me!!

Can people think of other times Tintin has proven his mettle in extraordinary ways?
Do people disagree with me that Tintin truly has phenomenal power and instead see the examples I’ve given as either gags, Hergé employing artistic license, or something else entirely?
#2 · Posted: 16 Jun 2005 04:32
I always felt it was a case of artistic license, to add a dramatic touch to the action. But when he shreds Mitsuharo's clothes with one punch, some humor was probably meant as well.
Harrock n roll
#3 · Posted: 16 Jun 2005 18:15 · Edited by: Harrock n roll
I'd say some of the examples you've given are gags (him beating up the 3 burly guards and them ending up in intensive care was the last thing expected). The only point I'd disagree with is the example of Destination Moon. Despite the bullet “only” grazing his skull he's actually laid out for “a few weeks” and still looks a bit shaky at the launch of the first rocket. (Because he usually bounces back so quickly I always felt this passage made him seem slightly feeble!)

I think in a way we need Tintin to be superhuman (the books would certainly be dull if he spent half of his time in hospital!) However it's not usually by brute strength but resoursefulness that he wins through. And it also helps to carry a gun... ;)

However, if we believe Claude Cyr (see Tintin goes to the neurologist) the amount of knocks Tintin receives throughout the adventures has contributed to his “delayed statural growth, delayed onset of puberty and lack of libido”.
#4 · Posted: 19 Jun 2005 13:08
But then again you could say Archie's indestructable too. Granted, he's always hurting himself, but considering some of these accidents are potentially fatal he always comes up... grumbling...
#5 · Posted: 19 Jun 2005 17:13
I can say that Tintin is always lucky to cheat death in his adventures. If I were to compare his stories with reality, I sometimes wonder if he has experienced being tortured whenever he gets captured or imprisoned.
#6 · Posted: 19 Jun 2005 21:22
I would say Tintin is just a representation of everything good about humankind. Like a ginger jesus...
labrador road 26
#7 · Posted: 13 Dec 2005 20:20
I think talking to elephants could be considered as an super-human ability, albeit maybe not the most useful one.

And hitting vital engine-parts on moving sea-planes at some distance, or maybe that's just luck.

Then having extreme luck in tight situations over and over again could be some sort of super-human trait.
#8 · Posted: 19 Dec 2005 20:00 · Edited by: Moderator
Still, how can Tintin heal so fast, especially after being shot at and losing consciousness by chloroform, and how is it that the hospital allows him to leave?

Speaking of the chloroform, how is it that it still affects him if it's on the other side of the room and not in his face, like how bad guys use it to kidnap people? Is that how chloroform really works, or is that just artistic license used by pop-culture?

How does chloroform work? What's in it that makes it do what it does, and have the effect that it has on the body?
And would you need to go to the hospital? Often when Tintin gets kidnapped and chloroformed, he wakes up in the villian's lair in pretty much fine shape.

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#9 · Posted: 20 Dec 2005 09:51
I think Tintin is able to heal quickly purely because it's a story, and the important thing is to relate an exciting adventure that needs to move along. Perhaps, if you could point a 'Real Ray' at a Tintin book and see 'what really happened', then Tintin *would* take ages to get better. Hergé, the conduit for Tintin's tales - his messenger on Earth, if you will - has had to fit it all into sixty-odd pages. Ink heals faster than blood.

I don't know the scientific properties of chloroform (I expect a Google will help) but as far as I'm aware it gives off strong vapours, so if a bottle concentrated with the stuff were to smash in a confined space, then it could certainly take effect, I'm sure. If that isn't convincing, then it could be Dr Müller's special own brand, which is really very strong stuff!

Just some thoughts.
#10 · Posted: 20 Dec 2005 20:30 · Edited by: Moderator
I defenatly get what you're saying tybaltstone

but on the specific said, I took another look at "the black Island" and I'd say that the room tintin was in on page 18 in the 2nd panle was about the average size that a nornal docter's offecie is, and I'd say that the cabert that the chloroform bottle was on top of was on the other side of the room only a few feet away from that werid (proply old fasiond x-ray) machine as seen in the 2nd panle on page 18 that mentaind. so the space that tintin was in when passed out from the chloroform wasn't really to confined, so would have still affected him, or does he just have a very sensitive nose.

and by the way, at the begining of "the black island" when tintin fifsts gets shot, how does he get to the hospital in the first place,did someone passing by found him laying unconsese and bleeding and so rushed him to the hospital, also you didn't answaer the question of the does the hospital allow him to leve so soon, I mean the docters would be like no way!

also I apolagise for my bad spelling and grammer, I'm a terriably speller, I bet there's a ton of spelling mastakes in this one post.

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