When Hergé passed away in 1983, leaving his next Tintin adventure (‘Tintin and the Alpha-Art’) unfinished, there were no shortage of people willing to continue his adventures in the style of ‘The Smurfs,’ ‘Johan and Peewit,’ or ‘Spirou.’ However, the heirs of the comic artist were highly reluctant to let anyone touch his works, preserving Tintin’s legacy in memory. Of course, this hasn’t prevented some from finding ways to bypass Moulinsart’s censorship on the right.
Any Belgian reporter at your service
It can’t be said that Randy Lofficier and Joe Orlando were particularly subtle when they had Tintin make a cameo appearance in their Teen Titans comic (which was known as Jóvenes Titanes in Spain at the time). It was June 1987, and issue #11 of ‘Teen Titans Spotlight’ introduced Tintin, Haddock, Professor Calculus, Snowy, and Rastapopoulos as members of an alternate Earth (specifically, Earth-11).
Indeed, just in case there was any doubt, the character was named Tin. So, if Hergé’s heirs had been a bit quicker, they might have considered legal action. The five characters are part of the Last Chance Army, fighting against the Brotherhood of Evil. True, they are only secondary characters, but it’s enough to make them a part of the history of unheard-of crossovers.
Marvel didn’t want to be left behind either, and in 1991, during the relaunch of ‘The Fantastic Four,’ they had Tintin (who, to leave no doubts, referred to himself as Belgian rather than French) provide directions to a couple of mysterious assailants for a single page. Fortunately for the company, knowing how strict Moulinsart can be, they escaped legal wrath. It’s also true that the mysterious Belgian boy didn’t make a return.
We’ll always have the original masterpieces to revisit!