October 14th, 2012

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Asterix & Obelix Gag in DC's DEMON KNIGHTS

Reading this week's issue of DEMON KNIGHTS (#13), written by UK author Paul Cornell, one comes across the panel above, where immortal villain Vandal Savage recalls a dalliance with Cleopatra.

But why does he comment upon her nose, of all features?

It has to be an allusion to a running gag in ASTERIX AND CLEOPATRA, which I coincidentally happened to have just read shortly before the Cornell.

06- Asterix and Cleopatra(01)

As Wikipedia tells us:

"A running gag throughout the album (and also later albums) is Cleopatra's beautiful nose, which is admired by everyone. This is an allusion to the French philosopher Blaise Pascal, who had articulated the historical significance of Cleopatra's beauty by saying in his Pensées that 'Cleopatra's nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed.'"

As a Brit, Cornell is arguably more familiar with Asterix than us Americans, where the series never quite caught on.