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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally! Tintin and Snowy meet up with Captain Haddock, 20 Oct 2003
By A Customer
"The Crab with the Golden Claws" has a simple beginning, when Snowy goes scavenging in the rubbish and gets his muzzle stuck in a can of crabmeat. However, that crab of tin meat quickly leads our hero on a new adventure, which starts off rather horribly when Tintin is knocked unconscious aboard a mysterious ship and taken out to sea where the bad guys intend to send him to the bottom. Of course, Tintin leads a charmed life, which takes a major turn for the better when he comes across the ship's drunken captain, who introduces himself as Captain Haddock.
The rest, as they say is history, because this is the first of many adventures for Tintin and the person who, along with Snowy, becomes his almost constant companion in the years to come. Even though this is the good captain in his rawest form, Hergé knew he was onto something with the emotional, blustering, cursing (in his way) Haddock, who plays increasingly pivotal roles in the next Tintin adventures, "The Shooting Star" and "The Secret of the Unicorn." As for Snowy, he does manage to find some of the biggest bones in his long career.
"The Crab with the Golden Claws" takes Tintin and his companions from the perils of the high sea to the burning sands of the desert. Of course, all those cans of crab are not actually filled with crab. This 1941 story is a traditional exotic adventure for the interpid reporter, filled with slapstick and narrow escapes in equal measure, which might indicate Hergé's desire to forget about what was happening in Europe at that point in history.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Too Good, 7 Dec 2011
By 
This is one cartoon character which doesn't need any review. Every single story is a favourite of mine and I wish they would turn each of that into a motion picture. An excellent addition to my Tintin collection.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The one where Tintin first meets Captain Haddock, 8 April 2010
By 
Keris Nine - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Although not one of the best Tintin adventures, The Crab with the Golden Claws is at least notable for being the first to feature Captain Haddock. Haddock's fondness for whisky is his most immediately apparent characteristic and one that would be consistent throughout later adventures, but here on their first meeting, the Captain's alcohol dependency presents a very sad case indeed.

The Captain is in such a bad state here that the running of his ship The Karaboudjan has been taken over by First Mate Allan, leaving him to nurse a bottle in his cabin while the crew carry on their opium smuggling operation. He cuts such a pathetic figure that he is of no help to Tintin, held captive himself aboard the ship while investigating their haul of mysterious crab meat tins, and is in fact in such a dangerously aggressive and drunken state, prone to hallucinations, that he actively works against Tintin as they try to escape across the Saharan desert in Morocco. It's a long journey to redemption and drying-out for the Captain to become the loveable figure and hurler of inventive terms of abuse that we are more familiar with from later adventures.

Written and first published in 1940-41, in occupied Belgium, Hergé having been forced to temporarily abandon his serialisation of Land of Black Gold, moving from the now defunct Petit Vingtième to the funny pages of collaborationist newspaper Le Soir, The Crab with the Golden Claws perhaps suffers as a consequence. Hergé is careful not to make any overt political references and the story is not the most exciting or the best-drawn Tintin adventure - although there are a few beautiful full-size splash pages here that I don't think occur in any other Tintin book and the 'ligne claire' rendering of the desert and sea scenes is marvellous.
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The Adventures of Tintin: The Crab with the Golden Claws
The Adventures of Tintin: The Crab with the Golden Claws by Herge Herge (Paperback - 30 Jun 1974)
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