Nobody drives a stylish sports car through the jungle of Palombie quite like Fantasio’s venomous cousin Zantafio. Franquin allows the villain in his album “L’ombre du Z” the pleasure of a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster (W 198 II), showcasing the sports car’s breathtaking bodywork from various different perspectives. While the end of the Spirou and Fantasio adventure sees the crook put out of business, the beauty of the roadster remains gloriously untarnished. Authors Tibet and Duchateau also enrolled the 300 SL for comic-book duty, the legendary Mercedes this time earmarked for a high-speed dash over spectacular Alpine passes as part of a Rick Master adventure.
The Mercedes-Benz 190 SL established a far more relaxed niche for itself by comparison, frequently presented as a sports car for high-class cruising. In “Les pirates du silence”, the W 121 roadster was a key element in Franquin’s high-tech vision of the city of the future. And while Dupa depicts a 190 SL gliding its way through the urban sprawl in his Cubitus album “Chien sans souci”, Hergé brings his Tintin adventure “Red Sea Sharks” to an end with a white SL 190 taking its place in a rally in the grounds of Marlinspike Hall.
Of the more recent SL models, the C 107 coupe has been a particularly popular comic-book protagonist. The “Michel Vaillant”, “Yoko Tsuno”, “Spirou and Fantasio” and “Cubitus” series were all frequent hunting grounds. For his part, Henk Kuijpers has incorporated both the C 107 (in “Het Meesterwerk”) and the later R 129 (in “De blauwe venus”) into his Franka books. The smaller Mercedes-Benz SLK (R 170) roadster, meanwhile, is piloted by the sophisticated French historian Didier Mosèle on his quest to find the secret of the Templars in the “Le Triangle Secret” series.