Michel Vaillant
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Michel Vaillant
Names in other languages
Family Henri Vaillant (father), Elisabeth Vaillant (mother), Jean-Pierre Vaillant (brother), Francoise Vaillant (spouse), Patrick Vaillant (son), Jean-Michel Vaillant (nephew, godson)
Friends Steve Warson
Film Sagamore Stévenin
Debut Album #1, The Great Challenge

Michel Vaillant is the main character in the comics of the same name, first in French magazine TinTin and later in his own comic line. Michel Vaillant is a professional car driver, mainly driving vehicles produced by his family's company, Vaillante. He has won multiple Formula 1 championships and other races, often racing against real-world drivers. He has been married to Francoise Vaillante (née Latour) since 1974[1]. They have a son, Patrick[2]. While we only see his son briefly during the initial run of the series, he takes more centre-stage during Season 2[3].


Already at a young age, Michel became interested in cars. He once took his father's car for a ride, accidentaly almost driving over a man on bicycle. Afterwards, his father scolded him for his disobedience. This could be considered Michel's first race[4].

The first Vaillante publication is a short story in magazine TinTin, The 24 Hours. This 4-page comic details a race Michel drives during the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Used to test out reader reaction, it was a great success.

The first album of the series sees the company of Michel's father, Vaillante, issue a challenge to several American champions. Seeing as Vaillante tries to get a foothold in America, winning this challenge would mean a great boost in sales of Vaillante's models. It is during his arrival in the United States of America that Michel first meets Steve Warson, an American race car pilot. While the two are off to a rocky start, over the course of the year they become good friends[5].

Next album[6] we learn that Michel Vaillant isn't just interested in cars; as long as it's fast, Michel has an interest in it. His career in watersports, however, is short lasted. During a test for the new outboard engine in a Vaillante racingboat, he loses control of it and falls into the water. While nothing serious, this proves to be one of the more difficult disciplines for Michel. A few days later he saves Paul Victor during a powerboat race in Monaco, and comes to the conclusion that while the watersports world is a fun thing, he prefers to keep his legs on dry land.

That little incident is the start of something far bigger. Team Vaillante soon learns that a masked racer has been making the rounds on a few circuits. Louis Lateur, a friend of the family's, has been able to obtain the chrono time of one of the laps of the mystery driver. On the circuit of Essarts, the mystery driver was able to make a lap time of 2"21'; for that time very fast. This puts the racers in the family on edge, but Michel suspects that the mystery car hasn't given all just yet and surmises that this might be a very challenging season.


  1. Girls & Engines
  2. His Greatest Victory
  3. In the Name of the Son
  4. Michel's First Race
  5. The Great Challenge
  6. The Mystery Driver