First edition album (Belgium) published in 1958.
Through a chance meeting with General Alcazar, Tintin finds himself on the trail of international arms dealers. He tracks down a man smuggling military aircraft; the crook turns out to be Dawson, the corrupt ex-police chief formerly responsible for the International Concession in Shanghai (see The Blue Lotus. However, another old foe shows up in this adventure — Doctor Müller, who first appears in The Black Island and Land of Black Gold, is now working under the name Mull Pacha.
Other characters who have important roles in the story include Emir Ben Kalish Ezab and his difficult son, Abdullah. Senhor Oliveira also makes an appearance and gets our friends out of a tight spot.
The trail eventually leads to the Arab state of Khemed. The King of Khemed, Emir Ben Kalish Ezab, has been dethroned by his old enemy, Sheik Bab El Ehr. The coup has been supported by another old enemy: Rastapopoulos. This evil mastermind is now working as an arms dealer and is also implicated in Red Sea slave trade.
After reading an article about human rights abuse and slavery, Hergé decided to put these subjects at the center of his next story, The Red Sea Sharks. He also took the opportunity to explore a place that had long stirred the imaginations of many artists and filmmakers — the city of Petra in Jordan. It is here in this unique, exotic city that Emir Ben Kalish Ezab hides out after a coup strips him of power.
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