Asterix and The Chieftan’s Shield
This volume (the 11th in the series) is notable for touching base on the Battle of Alesia (“I don’t know where Alesia is?”) which is somewhat ironic as the whereabouts of Alesia itself was not known until after this was printed.
It chronicles the story of how Chief Vitalstatistix came to obtain his well-known shield on which he is carried and the race between Asterix and Obelix to find it before Julius Caesar.
It is the first book to name Vitalstatistix’s wife, Impedimenta, and is one of the few books to not have the bard, Cacofonix tied up at the end (in fact he is shown to be eating and getting merry at the traditional book-ending banquet).
The Gaulish coastline features as the backdrop to this story and makes references specifically to the heath spas and love for wine that dominate the area. Some of the classic characters that pop up are Winesandspirix, the ROman Envoy Noxius Vapus, a lazy Legionnaire Pusillanimus, Lucius Corcumbendibus who is a wheel manufacturer (loosely based on the Michellin factory) and Marcus Carniverus who owns an in serving wine and boar.
Some good bits in this, not one of the best, but certainly not one of the worst.