Feb 11, 2013

Bob Morane: James Bond without the Girls

French class offered a practically infinite amount of riches for the beefcake-and-bonding devotee.  If you tired of the Green Library, you could always move on to the Marabout Junior series, which featured adventurer Bob Morane.

Bob Morane was a former RAF pilot who worked as a reporter and freelance adventurer, often accepting secret-agent or detective assignments.  In later volumes he worked for the Time Patrol, going back to dinosaur times or fighting androids in outer space.

 There weren't a lot of illustrations, but those the books had displayed Bob with a massive chest, usually when one of the bad guys, usually Ming "The Yellow Shadow," had him strung up for weird torture.

Bob's best buddy, a Scotch bodybuilder  usually traveled with him to provide the gay subtexts, and get strung up for a series of "my hero!" rescues.

Ok, there were some girls. But I don't remember Bob actually having sex, and the girl-chasing was minimal, far less than in James Bond.

Belgian author Henri Vernes published 12 volumes of Bob Morane's adventures (1958-67).  Most have been translated into English. There have also been over 100 bandes-dessinee (which I haven't read), a 1964-5 tv series (with Claude Titre as Bob Morane and Billy Kearns as Bob Ballantine), a 1998 animated series, and some tie-in video games and toys.