Reviews: Lucky Luke – too easy to take it for granted

Published On October 9, 2012 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

Lucky Luke Volume 36: The Daltons Redeem Themselves

By Goscinny and Morris


When a senator comes up with a probation program to redeem criminals in the USA, the Supreme Court offers him a chance to prove the feasibility of his idea… by trying it out on the worst Old West villains ever: the Daltons. As usual, it’s up to Lucky Luke to keep an eye on the terrible four during their month-long trial period. If they can refrain from any crime during that time, they will be set free as good citizens…

Thirty six volumes in with this series, and really, you should ALL know the score by now.

This is Volume 26 of the original number, 1965, about halfway through Goscinny and Morris’ run on the character. And the cowboy who shoots faster than his own shadow, lackadaisical cigarette or piece of straw perched from his lips, is on typical form.

I don’t mean that disparagingly either, as there’s a wonderful familiarity about Goscinny and Morris’ Lucky Luke tales, an easy going simplicity, they give us a great, albeit predictable story, set the thing off with a scenario, a thing to hang the story off, throw in a few regulars, mix and let Goscinny’s ear for high farce, and Morris attractive and easy on the eye imagery work their magic on us.

Simply put, each volume of Goscinny & Morris’ Lucky Luke is almost always a good read, coming round, regular as clockwork every couple of months. Case in point…. here’s one now:

Scenario…. the thing….

Luke gets involved with a US senator’s hair-brained scheme to rehabilitate criminals by setting them loose on society and putting them on probation. And who does the senator decide to trial the thing with?

Oh, you already know.

Anyway, there’s fun to be had watching the Daltons cope with the unfamiliar territory of going straight, even if it’s only for a month till they get that pardon, and it gives Goscinny the chance to play around a little with the Daltons trying to fit in, with Luke turning from dire enemy into somewhat wary friend.

Yep, it’s funny when the Daltons and Luke end up working together, funnier still when the Daltons find it hard to breakout of old habits…

Yep. Funny. See?

Like I say, reading Lucky Luke can be so very comfortable, familiarity so easy to come by with Goscinny and Morris doing so many simple things so well.

But that’s only because it comes round every couple of months. When you actually read these things regularly as I find myself doing it’s sometimes easy to fall into the comfort thing.

But that means you take something really good for granted.

Seriously, just have a look at the punchline once more….

That is bloody funny. And so’s the rest of Lucky Luke. And best of all, it’s funny all over again in a couple of months, every couple of months.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton

– Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he’s written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard’s day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children’s graphic novel library in the country.

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