Captain Haddock: Scorpio Man?
I can almost hear him shouting now. (Sigh) I’ve always had a soft spot for Captain Haddock, Tintin’s companion in adventure, merchant mariner, millionaire and lush.
He wouldn’t like it, would he – Captain Haddock – being told he was a typical Scorpio, maybe with a strong flavour of Sagittarius and a dash, even, with his inventive invective, of Gemini or Virgo.
But what makes him a Scorpio?
• His best qualities: loyalty and bravery. And the ability to strike fear into the heart of his enemies.
• What colours does he choose to wear? An all black suit set off by a cuddly blue jersey with black anchor detail no less.
• What’s his job? Sailor.
• Does he have demons? Alcohol. He battles with it – sometimes he wins and sometimes he loses.
• Does he have a temper? “Bashi-bazouks, doryphore, dog”… does he ever!
• Is he prone to grumpiness, black moods, self-blame and introspection? Yes and hitting the bottle when things get too bad.
• Does he have one true love? Tintin.
• He bears an ancestral burden – he must find the treasure of Sir Francis Haddock and look after Marlinspike Hall, although the latter is more of boon than a burden. Again he’s the only character who is given a family history.
• And here’s a clincher: he’s the only character in The Adventures of Tintin who is transformed over the series. Everyone else is pretty much the same all the way through, right down to remaining eternally youthful. Scorpio is the sign of transformation; something to remember in this Scorpio month.
Haddock starts out as a loser alchoholic, captain of the cargo ship Karaboudjan. He’s under the control of the evil first mate Alan who feeds him whisky. But slowly through his friendship with Tintin, the Captain gets back his pride. In The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure, he proves himself to be a competent sailor, reliable and able to take the initiative (still keen on a drop of rum though).
• Last, but surely not least, is he sexy? Well, call me two-dimensional, but I think so.
So I checked to see when he was born. He first appears in The Crab with The Golden Claws, published strip by strip weekly in Le Soir Jeunesse, starting on October 17, 1941 (Libra). But the first strip to appear with the Captain would have been sometime later…Scorpio for sure.