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Hergé’s scariest character Rascar Capac – aka he-who-unleashes-the-fire-of-heaven – is seared upon the memories of readers of The Seven Crystal Balls. Judged too frightening for children, his appearances were somewhat modified in later editions of the story.
Rascar Capac first appeared in frames of a strip published on 15 April 1944 in Le Soir newspaper. When he adapted his books to fit the new colour format introduced at the time, Hergé had to adhere to certain restrictions (pagination) and he modified numerous details in The Seven Crystal Balls. He was assisted in this task by an excellent cartoonist, his friend Edgar Pierre Jacobs. As they undertook the project, the duo took the opportunity to create beautiful, almost cinematic scenery.
The 1948 edition of the adventure included many additional drawings, while some of the original drawings were left out. Rascar Capac was adorned with a headdress decorated with red, yellow and blue feathers and his face was less "scary". In the first version of the story, Capac wore a headband featuring a bird (a condor) at the front.
These clothing accessories had been chosen with care and with the goal of achieving greater visual effectiveness. For the Incas, the importance of the sky and the stars was closely linked to the great Pachacamac. These elements were used by the author at key moments during the narrative; they are somewhat suggestive of the great Viracocha from Inca mythology.
“But the curse of the gods will be as their shadow and pursue them over land and sea….” Happy Halloween!