Top critical review
Tintin: A United Fruit asset?
on 7 August 2015
“Tintin and the Picaros” is the last “real” Tintin comic, originally published in serialized form in 1976. As usual, I don't see any particular difference between it and earlier adventures, while the aficionados complain about various novelties, such as Tintin wearing different trousers and Captain Haddock not being able to drink whiskey. Above all, I think the story is rather uninteresting, revolving around a palace coup in the fictitious Latin American nation of San Theodoros.
Hergé's political sympathies might perhaps be gauged from the fact that the bad guys are Communists, while the good guys are pro-American. Overall, however, the political message is one of cynicism: the freedom fighter Alcazar is on the payroll of a multinational banana company, the “Communist” military and police change sides almost instantaneously after Alcazar's coup, and the nation of San Theodoros is strongly implied to be an impoverished police state under both Communist and pro-American regimes.
The guerilla theme feels very “1970's” (despite the Picaros really being contras), but overall, I must say that “The Adventures of Tintin” didn't go out with a bang, but rather with a whimper... Only two stars. Or perhaps two-and-a-half.