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In the course of their travels, Asterix and Obelix regularly cross paths with – and beat up – a group of pirates. Most of the time, Asterix and Obelix sink their ship, causing the pirates severe financ
Allusions barbe rouge 03
ial difficulties, but the pirates sometimes sink their own ship, usually to avoid a beating at the hand of the Gauls as they are aware that they will end up in the same situation having been beaten up if they take too long (as in Asterix and Cleopatra).

On one occasion (in Asterix the Legionary) after the wreck the pirates were depicted in a scene similar to Théodore Géricault's Raft of the Medusa. In this scene the captain also refers to an ancient Gaulish artist called "Jericho".

At other times, it is Asterix and Obelix who have boarded the pirates' vessel and captured booty, thus reversing their roles of hunter and prey. This has happened mainly in the quest for food in an empty ocean (Asterix in Spain). On another occasion, Asterix and Obelix take all the food on the ship, leaving the pirates with a single sausage for the Captain's birthday (Asterix and the Great Crossing). It happened again (in Asterix and the Magic Carpet) with Asterix leaving a single coin for payment; the Captain told his depressed crew that it was better than nothing and that at least they hadn't been beaten up and they still had the ship, but then their lookout proudly announced that he had upheld their honour and scuttled the ship himself. The other pirates were not impressed.

Such is the fear that the pirates have for the Gauls that, having unknowingly taken them aboard, they fled their own ship in the middle of the night while the subjects of their fear were sound asleep (Asterix in Corsica), while on another occasion they destroyed their ship simply at the sight of the villagers in a boat before the villagers had even started to move towards them (The captain of the ship not allowing the villagers to attack the pirates as it would cost extra) (Asterix at the Olympic Games).

Asterix also (on two occasions) forced the Captain to spend all his hard-won loot on the merchandise of Ekonomikrisis the Phoenician merchant (Asterix and the Black Gold).

The main pirates are:

  • Redbeard (Barbe Rouge) — captain of the pirates.
  • Pegleg (Triple Patte) — an old pirate with a wooden leg who makes classical quotations in Latin.
  • Baba the African pirate in the crow's nest. He also has a cousin who is a gladiator. In the original French and some other language versions he fails to pronounce the letters 'R' and 'L', leaving blanks in his speech. Early translations also had him speaking twisted English.
  • Erix — the captain's son. Seen in Asterix and the Banquet, he is mentioned in Asterix and Cleopatra as being left as a deposit on a new ship.

In addition a number of members of the pirate crew are sight gags, some of whom have appeared on more than one occasion such as Frankenstein's Monster and a Mongol warrior.

It should also be noted that in the films where the pirates are seen, Erix replaces Pegleg on the jetsam with Redbeard

Gallery Edit

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