The humour in Lucky Luke's books is based on the intelligence
gap between the hero and the bad guys, which avoids any real
suspense and lets the reader laugh at the bad guys. However, the
style is less elaborate than in Asterix and there are less allusions
to the modern world. That is why, once and adult, you have less fun
re-reading these books. They still have some interest because the
parody covers many parts of the Old West mythology.
These are the main characters:
- Lucky Luke. He is a tall and slim man. His face has a very
simple shape, so that he is neither beautiful or ugly, like
Tintin. He never angers, and succeeds in everything he does. He is
so fast at shooting that he reaches his target before his own shade
has even moved. As far as I know, he has no past and no family, at
least in the "classical" books. He used to smoke, but now
he chews a grass strand, because he doesn't make ads for
- The Dalton brothers. They are four evil, but
stupid, gangsters. They look exactly the same, except for their size
and meanness. Joe Dalton is the smallest and the worst of all. He
always decides what silly thing they will do next. Jack
and William, who are taller, are
undistinguishable. Averell is the tallest, and he
really thinks about nothing but food.
The Dalton brothers do not appear in all the comics. When they
appear, they usually evade from a penitentiary at the beginning, and
are brought back by Lucky Luke at the end.
They are the cousins of the real Dalton Brothers (Frank, Grat, Bob,
Emmett), who appeared in an early Lucky Luke comics and died.
- Jolly Jumper. He is Lucky Luke's horse, and
his animal counterpart. He is the most intelligent horse in the
West, and plays chess with Lucky Luke. He can also run and sleep at
the same time.
- Rantanplan. He is the animal counterpart of the
Dalton brothers, since he is the dumbest dog in the West. He never
knows who are the good guys and who are the bad guys in the
story. However, his mistakes ultimately produce the right thing.
A lot of real XIXth century people appear at one time or another,
like Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Sarah Bernhardt and Calamity
A spinoff series features Rantanplan as the main character. A
separate book also tells us about Lucky Luke's childhood. You
probably don't want to read these books.