1,2,3,4…. The Daltons are back to annoy Lucky Luke
By Morris & Goscinny
Regular as clockwork, the next volume of Lucky Luke appears. It’s so nice to be able to say that, and hopefully by now you’ll be well aware of how much fun it is to be able to settle down every other month with a new volume.
But it does somewhat mean a new review every time is a little superfluous. After all, the adventures of the fastest and coolest cowboy in the Wild West do tend to follow a pattern. And a fine and funny pattern it is too, with Goscinny and Morris’ cowboy being merely the laid back template that they use to hang other characters and stories from.
It’s a classic for good reason. It’s consistently funny, it’s clever, and it put a smile on my face this volume fright from the first page:
I reckon you can all work out where it’s going from here, can’t you?
Well, sort of. The Daltons, after all, aren’t the brightest or luckiest crooks out of there. So although they get out of jail, there’s a lot of fun watching them blunder around for a while, especially poor Joe who doesn’t manage to get his ball and chain off, or at least not before several pages of gags at his expense:
Once they settle down to a good bit of marauding and robbery, Joe fixes on the unusually successful (for the Daltons) plan to completely discredit Luke by plastering a wanted poster across the West. And so it continues, in suitably chaotic and madcap fashion, the Daltons blackening Luke’s name every time they rob a bank or hold up a stagecoach, Luke following along, perplexed at the reactions he’s receiving; all the strange gifts of cash registers, the sheriffs running from him, the threats of hanging…. all a little strange.
And like all Lucky Luke volumes, it all ends well, of course it does…. with the Daltons back in jail and the lonesome cowboy riding off into the sunset.
Like a few of the volumes, there’s a lot more fun in the early pages of The Daltons’ Escape than the latter stages, somehow the requirements of wrapping the story up means the out and out fun of the first half is lost. But put that in perspective – it means I didn’t laugh out loud in the second half – not that I didn’t enjoy it at all!