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Het Aruba-dossier by Willy Vandersteen

Het Aruba-dossier

by Willy Vandersteen

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This 1994 story is much less far-fetched, with the only sfnal elements (apart, as usual, from Jerom's preternatural strength) being an undersea base and Professor Barabas's 'Terranef', a cousin of the Thunderbirds' Mole. The Belgian airline Sabena will have ground their teeth at the prominent product placement for their Dutch rivals KLM; apparently there was a long-running connection betweem KLM and the Vandersteen empire, though it must be admitted that once you have decided to transport your central characters from our part of the world to Aruba (which, as you know, Bob, is one of the islands of the former Netherlands Antilles) you'll probably do it via Schiphol rather than Zaventem.

This version of Aruba actually has got quite a lot of black people, and they are all seen dancing in the street at carnival time; none seem to be in the police or employed on the villains' undersea base (apart from the stereotypically multiethnic council of villains which is behind it all). There is a scientific McGuffin which is barely used in the plot, and a researcher whose name is Vorser, which means researcher. I thought it was a bit more low-key than the other two, and also slightly shorter; Professor Barabas spends most of the story in hospital, and Aunt Sidonia is sidelined rather abruptly before the group goes to Aruba. ( )
  nwhyte | Jul 14, 2014 |
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