History Comicbook / NikolaiDante

6th Nov '17 2:37:32 PM DustSnitch
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* ActionGirl: Several. [[BadassPrincess Jena Makarov]] and Elena Kurakin stand out.


* %%* ActionGirl: Several. [[BadassPrincess Jena Makarov]] Makarov and Elena Kurakin stand out.

* BadassPrincess: Jena Makarov was schooled in the arts of war from a young age and is very good with a sword. Like Nikolai, [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething she has no problem fighting on the front lines of a brutal and bloody conflict]].

* LaResistance[=/=]RebelLeader:


* LaResistance[=/=]RebelLeader:LaResistance:

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* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Jena Makarov was schooled in the arts of war from a young age and is very good with a sword. Like Nikolai, she has no problem fighting on the front lines of a brutal and bloody conflict.
6th Sep '17 12:29:38 PM Irrelevant402
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Added DiffLines:

* WhamEpisode: The Love and War storyline starts off like a typical Dante storyline. Lots of humor, some violence, some serious moments such as Tsarina Jena getting kidnapped and Dante under trial. Then it starts ramping up with the Tsar and Dmitri drawing battle lines. There is a hope spot, Nikolai is able to escape and track down Jena and rescue her. However [[spoiler: only for a mole, one Dante was forced to help blackmail, is forced to reveal the location of Jena's little sister. Kronstantin then assassinates her on Dmitri's order to ensure that there is war.]] Ending even more bitterly just as Nikolai and Jena starting a relationship just to put it on hold to go back to their families.
2nd Sep '17 12:42:55 PM StFan
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[[caption-width-right:330:Say you want a revolution?]]

->"I'm too cool to kill."\\

In the year of the Tsar 2666 AD, Imperial Russia once again entered a time of troubles. The rule of Vladimir the conqueror, Tsar of all the Russias, had been unopposed for five decades. Now it was being challenged by the house of Romanov, the most powerful imperial dynasty beside the Tsars own.

Warfare on such a scale had not been contemplated since the last revolution, from which the Mafiya clans rose to power. On the ashes of that conflict, they founded a new empire based upon the underworld principles of the ancient Vorovskoi Mir- the Thieves world.

In such a world, a single man could rise to prominence if he was a fool and an adventurer, a gambling man whose only stake was his life. Of course, this could only happen if he survived long enough and didn’t get his throat slit in the boudoir of some lady of dubious morals first…

''Nikolai Dante'' is the eponymous hero of a comics series published in the weekly British science fiction anthology 2000 AD. Created by writer Robbie Morrison and artist Simon Fraser, Dante first appeared in 1997. Fraser was the primary artist for the first three years of the series, with support from artists such as Charlie Adlard, Henry Flint, Chris Weston and Andy Clarke. From 2000 the majority of the stories were painted by John Burns, until Fraser returned to the character in October 2006, when the two artists began to alternate on different stories. The current stories as of early 2012 have been confirmed by WordOfGod as the last arc of the series; Sympathy for the Devil is its last story.

Set in the twenty-seventh century after a resurgent Imperial Russia has seized absolute control of both the entire Earth and an interstellar domain, the series follows Dante, a swashbuckling young thief and ladies' man, as he discovers he is an illegitimate scion of the Romanov Dynasty, aristocratic rivals to the Tsar, Vladimir the Conqueror of the House of Makarov.

!!''Nikolai Dante'' provides examples of:

* ActionGirl: Several. [[BadassPrincess Jena Makarov]] and Elena Kurakin stand out.
* AmazonBrigade:
** Katarina Dante's pirate crew and Monique le Fanu's Vampires
** And the army of the nation of Amazonia.
* AnachronismStew: Nikolai's universe is apparently a combination of the far future and some part of pre-UsefulNotes/WorldWarI.
* AncestralWeapon: Elena Kurakin's father [[TakeUpMySword gives her his swords on his deathbed]].
* AndIMustScream: Poor, poor [[spoiler: Valentin ]]
** Konstantin is placed in a stasis tank with Lulu's cyberdemons and his crest deactivated just to keep him in perpetual agony.
* AndNowYouMustMarryMe: [[spoiler:Dmitri/Arkady and Jena. And Nikolai has to watch the ceremony.]]
* AnimalMotif: The Romanovs have the hawk/eagle and the Makarovs have the raven.
* AntiVillain: The Tsar of all people qualifies. He was [[FallenHero once the hero of his own revolution]] but [[PowerCorrupts became worse]] [[HeWhoFightsMonsters than his predecessor]]. However, he never truly ever stopped loving Jocasta Romanov and constantly asks her to be together again. After he falls from power, he becomes an almost pitiable individual, especially after [[spoiler: the death of Jocasta, which he weeps at]].
* AnyoneCanDie: And boy do they....
** Major characters include [[spoiler:Andreas Romanov, Count Pyre, Nastasia Romanov, Arkady Romanov, Jocasta Romanov, Nikolai's crest, Dmitri Romanov, Katarina Dante, Konstantin Romanov, & Vladimir Makarov]].
** Minor & supporting characters such as [[spoiler:the Grozny Gang (Boris, Foma "the Coma", & Ursa), Marguerite Dumas, Akita Sagawa, The Kraken, Khara, Madame Di Giorgi, Lauren Stone, Papa Yeltsin, Galya Romanov, & Lord Peter Flintlock]] and even various "one-shot" characters such as [[spoiler:Eloise de Janissaire, Julianna Makarov, and Major Liberty]] all ended up having a major impact on the series.
* AristocratsAreEvil: The aristocracy tortures, starves and kills the poor, often for their own amusement.
* ArmyOfThievesAndWhores: TropeNamer.
* AsLethalAsItNeedsToBe: Nikolai Dante's [[ImpossiblyCoolWeapon Huntsman 5000 rifle]] is like this. It fires the optimum ammunition to eliminate its target at any time, but Nikolai's used it to shoot to wound on occasion.
* AvengingTheVillain
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler:Examples of this are [=LuLu=], Konstantine, Dmitri and Viktor.]]
* BadassBeard: Several characters, notably Nikolai and [[BeardOfEvil The Tsar]].
* BadassBoast:
** The Tsar tells Dmitri, "You may have been born to rule, but I was born to conquer."
** Nikolai often claims that he can outfight, outdrink and outshag any man, woman or alien in the empire.
* BadassNormal: A fair few, but notably [[spoiler:Dante himself after he is stripped of his crest by Dimitri Romanov.]]
* BadassPrincess: Jena Makarov was schooled in the arts of war from a young age and is very good with a sword. Like Nikolai, [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething she has no problem fighting on the front lines of a brutal and bloody conflict]].
* BerserkButton: For Nikolai, when [[spoiler:Konstantine mentions that he started the war. Plus when the Tsar nukes Amerika off the map after Nikolai promised to save the city]]
** Generally, slaughtering of innocents and abuse of those outside the aristocracy is a good way to piss Nikolai off.
** When the Imperial Palace is attacked and Jena is injured and almost kidnapped, Nikolai [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge slaughters the perpetrators]]. You don't hurt someone Nikolai cares about.
** Slavery is this for Katerina Dante. Mostly because she was born on a slave ship and her own mother died in childbirth while ''standing up''.
* BestServedCold: [[spoiler: Dmitri]] waits for several years [[spoiler: [[SharingABody inside the body of Arkady]]]] before making his move on the Tsar and does so when Nikolai has done all the legwork.
* BettyAndVeronica: Lauren Stone, the Veronica, is a more consistently {{Fanservice}}y character due to the fact that she [[WhoWearsShortShorts wears hot pants]] and {{Dangerously Short Skirt}}s to show off [[ShesGotLegs her pins]], while Jena as the Betty, naked appearances aside, dresses more conservatively as befitting a princess. [[DesignatedGirlFight The pair of them come to blows]] in "[[LongTitle How Could You Believe Me When I Told You That I Loved You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life]]" over Nikolai.
* TheBigBadShuffle: Though [[{{TheHero}} Dante's]] [[{{ArchEnemy}} personal foes]] have always been the major {{Big Bad}}s of Tsar Vladimir "the Conqueror" Makarov of House Makarov, Lord Dmitri Romanov of House Romanov, and Dmitri's son, Konstantin, he also has had to contend with the various [[{{RoguesGallery}} recurring antagonists]][[note]]such as the White Army & their agents, Count Pyre, the Countessa de Wynter, [[spoiler:Major Elizabeth Hawksmoore]], and the [[{{ButtMonkey}} Arbatov]] [[{{MyFriendsAndZoidberg}} Family]] [[/note]], and occasional {{Arc Villain}}[[note]]most notably Sir Richard Hawksmoore from "The Courtship of Jena Makarov" arc, and [[{{BigBadEnsemble}} Akita Sagawa & the Kraken]] from the "Hell And High Water" arc[[/note]] that he encountered along the way.
* BloodBath: The High Priestess of the Cadre Infernale, [[{{Literature/Carmilla}} Camilla]] [[ShoutOut Le Fanu]], took these to rejuvenate her youth and beauty. See Also: KillThePoor.
* BloodKnight: Many, but Elena Kurakin stands out.
* BodyHorror: Valentine Romanov's crest has left him physically scarred and mentally deranged.
* BondJamesBond: Nikolai tends to introduce himself as "Dante, Nikolai Dante" in as [[LargeHam over the top a manner]] as he can.
* BookEnds: Nikolai's CaptainMorganPose from the start of the first installment is repeated at the very end, as well as the opening blurb.
* BroughtDownToNormal: [[spoiler:In "A Farewell to Arms", Nikolai's crest is destroyed, forcing him to fight as a mundane for the rest of the comic.]]
** Before he got the weapons crest, Nikolai was BadassNormal, [[BroughtDownToBadass so not as far a fall as some]].
* ButtMonkey: The Arbatov family are an entire clan of Butt Monkeys. Every one of them has some misfortune happen to them upon meeting Nikolai.
* TheCaptain: Nikolai is commissioned as a captain in the Imperial Raven Corps at the beginning of the story. He maintains the rank throughout the strip after he joins the Romanovs.
* CaptainErsatz: ComicBook/JanusStark, ComicBook/{{Catwoman}}, ComicBook/CrusherCreel, ComicBook/LutherArkwright, ComicBook/CaptainAmerica, ComicBook/{{Slaine}} and ComicBook/SinisterDexter all appear fairly thinly veiled.
* CarpetOfVirility: Nikolai is depicted as having a [[RatedMForManly manly]] chest rug, [[DependingOnTheArtist except when drawn by John Burns or Steve Yeowell]].
* CatchPhrase: Nikolai has several:
** "Heroes/Honour be damned" tends be used when someone calls him a hero or tells him to act with honour.
** "I'm too cool to kill" is something of a BadassBoast when someone threatens him.
** He tends to introduce himself either as "[[BondJamesBond The name's Dante. Nikolai Dante]]" or "Dante's the name, X is the game."
** "Fuoco", "Diavolo" and "Bojemoi" are generally exclamations of surprise, though "Bojemoi" gets phased out after "The Courtship of Jena Makarov".
* ChildByRape: After Katarina tries to steal some treasure from Dmitri that she had already stolen for him, he feels that he "has to break her." Nikolai is the result of this. When told that he wasn't conceived out of love, he tries to cut Dmitri's head off.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: The Countessa De Wynter will get various people to help her with heists and then try and have them killed.
* CombatPragmatist: Nikolai is frequently described as the dirtiest fighter in the empire.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: Papa Yeltsin frequently drowns people ''in vodka''.
* {{Cyborg}}: The Romanovs all have cybernetic implants giving them various abilities. Nikolai's gives him [[BladeBelowTheShoulder cyber blades]], computer hacking abilities and a limited HealingFactor.
* ChekhovsGun: At the beginning of the series Nikolai promised that he would raise an army of thieves and whores to crush the Tsar. Something which happened in the series nearly 13 years later.
* TheChessmaster:
** The Countessa de Wynter manages to manipulate everybody in order to further her schemes.
** Dmitri Romanov, upon losing the war, manages to [[spoiler: hide within Arkady so he can worm his way into command of the Scarlet Wraiths and take control of the empire from Nikolai and Jena after they've done all the legwork against Vlad.]]
* ChivalrousPervert: Nikolai. While he's well known as a notorious womaniser, he won't take a woman because it's the right of an aristocrat. He also turns down Julianna Makarov because he loves Jena.
* CloudCuckooLander: Henry Windsor-[=McKray=], King of Britannia. He's the only monarch in history to have retained power by ''pleading insanity''.
** As Nikolai points out, while His Royal Highness is pants-on-his-head mad, he has nothing on real maniacs like the Tsar and Dmitri Romanov.
* CrapsaccharineWorld: Sure, Tsarist Russia has a vast [[{{TheEmpire}} empire]] and imposes its own brand of law & order within its domain '''BUT''' in doing so the media is now under the control of a corrupt & uncaring aristocracy, Mongolia has since descended into brutal warlord-ism, America is now a third world nation, Vampires exist and serve as the Tsar's [[{{TheDreaded}} elite assassins]], the {{Yakuza}} are fighting for supremacy in the Pacific against both the [[{{TheDreaded}} Kraken]]'s forces & Katarina Dante's pirates, and the Romanovs are currently jockeying for supremacy of the empire, which by the start of the series, have been engaged in a DealWithTheDevil scenario with the remnants of an inter-dimensional superpower in return for highly advanced "Weapons Crests".
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Despite their [[DirtyCoward extreme cowardice]] and their reputation as the worst soldiers in the empire, Spatchcock and Flintlock manage to survive two revolutions and even save both Dante and Elena on different occasions. Even during the final battle against the Imperial army, they charge into the battle and distract Elizabeth Hawksmoore long enough for Elena to stick a grenade onto her.
* DarkerAndEdgier: While "The Great Game" is where the strip starts to get serious, the "Tsar Wars" arc is notable for killing characters off and changing everything forever.
* DatingCatwoman: [[{{Yakuza}} Akita Sagawa]] is essentially the BigBad for the ''Hell And High Water'' arc. Doesn't stop Nikolai from sleeping with her.
* DeadpanSnarker: Nikolai's Weapons Crest never wastes an opportunity to insult Dante for his impetuous actions, often quipping about the situation he's stumbled into.
* DepravedBisexual: Lulu.
** Konstantin is briefly stated to be bisexual as well. [[InformedAttribute Though, we never see him with men]].
* DestructoNookie: Nikolai and Jena destroy the supports of a shack when they start slapping each other around before they have sex.
* [[DoNotCallMePaul Do Not Call Me Eugenia]]: Jena's full name in Eugenia Vladimirovna Makarova. Simon Fraser asked a Russian friend to help him come up with a suitably pompous sounding name for her for Nikolai to make fun of. It took him until "Sword Of The Tsar" to convince Robbie Morrison to use it.
* TheDragon: Count Pyre starts out as Lord Protector until [[spoiler: Dante kills him during the war]]. [[spoiler: Konstantin]] is appointed Lord Protector in his place. Elizabeth Hawksmoores becomes Arkady[[spoiler: /Dmitri]]'s dragon later on. Nikolai himself becomes a DragonWithAnAgenda / TheStarscream when the Tsar recruits him as "Sword of the Tsar."
* EliteMooks: The Raven Corps.
* EmpoweredBadassNormal: The Romanov weapons crests give their users a wide range of abilities beyond the level of normal humans. Nikolai's bio-blades and reduced HealingFactor compared to his siblings are on the lower end of the scale with Konstantine's fusion powers and Dmitri's crest's ability to override all the other crests being the most powerful.
* EnemyCivilWar: One breaks out around halfway through the series, between [[spoiler:House Romanov[[note]]led by Dmitri Romanov, Lady Jocasta Romanov, and most of their offspring[[/note]] and House Makarov[[note]]led by the Tsar, Princess Jena, Count Prye, the War Council (early war, until their coup attempt), and the mysterious "Lord Protector"[[/note]]]]. It ends badly for [[spoiler:House Romanov]].
* EnemyMine: During "The Great Game", the houses of Romanov and Makarov join together when [[spoiler: Valentine]] threatens to destroy Earth with the [[SuperweaponSurprise Dark Star]]. Dmitri even tells Vladimir that even though The Great Game is at an end, at least they had played with style.
* EvilVersusEvil: The war between the Romanov and Makarov dynasties can be seen as this with Nikolai and Jena as their respective {{Token Good Team Mate}}s.
* {{Expy}}: Dante is essentially a combination of ErrolFlynn's portrayal of RobinHood and Flynn himself.
* EyepatchOfPower: Katarine Dante. Although which eye [[DependingOnTheArtist depends on the artist]].
* FallenHero:
** The Tsar tells Nikolai that he used to be called a hero when he deposed his predecessor. Unfortunately, PowerCorrupts and he became more ruthless than the man he deposed.
** Sir Richard Hawksmoore was once a respected knight but the Tsar betrayed him and he became nothing more than a mercenary with an obsession with Jena.
* FanService: The series is full of it, particularly in its early days
* AFatherToHisMen: Nikolai is the only member of the Romanov dynasty to show any kind of respect to his soldiers. Even a [[TheFamilyThatSlaysTogether hardened bunch of criminals like the Grozny gang]] come to respect him when he fights alongside them.
* FeudingFamilies: The Romanovs and Makarovs
* FemmeFatale: Lulu Romanov
* FlawedPrototype: Valentine's crest was the first to be developed for human use. As a result, the HealingFactor is absent and he is massively scarred, both physically and mentally.
* {{Gayngster}}: Papa Yeltsin is fairly open about his sexuality. He's apparently even tried it on with Nikolai, who went along with it long enough to rob him.
* GloveSlap: Subverted in an early story. [[ButtMonkey Captain Arbatov]] does this to Nikolai to challenge him to a duel. Nikolai simply responds by [[GroinAttack kicking him in the balls.]]
-->'''Jena:''' He was challenging you to a [[LetsFightLikeGentlemen duel]].\\
'''Nikolai:''' [[DeadpanSnarker Well, he lost]].
* GloriousMotherRussia: A somewhat twisted take on this trope, but the resurgent Russian Empire is not only a land of adventure. But also encompasses the ''entire planet'' by the the time the series takes place.
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: Akita Sagawa notes that the Tsar is "all take" in the bedroom. Konstantin is unable to orgasm. Nikolai, on the other hand, is a classic SexGod.
* GoToAlias: Dante tends to use the name Quentin Durward when he needs to go undercover. [[OvertOperative It never seems to hold for long.]]
* GratuitousRussian: Given how most characters are actually Russian, it's justified.
* HalfIdenticalTwins: Alexandr and Alexandra Romanov. ''See Also: {{Twincest}}.''
* HealingFactor: The weapons crests given to members of the family Romanov allows them to heal injuries in seconds. It takes [[MoreDakka immense firepower]], another crest user or the Huntsman 5000 to so much as cause any lasting damage to them. Downplayed with Nikolai's crest. He heals slower (though much quicker than any normal human) than his siblings due to his not being a [[IncestIsRelative purebred member of the house of Romanov]]. Averted with Valentine, whose [[FlawedPrototype prototype weapons crest]] harms him every time he uses it.
* HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic: When Nikolai is (briefly) commissioned in the Raven Corps, he disdains wearing their signature helmet. One of the ravens sent with him and Jena to investigate a crashed ship calls him out on this.
* HeroicBastard: Nikolai is the son of the head of an imperial dynasty and a pirate queen. By rape.
* HeroicBSOD: Nikolai has a major breakdown [[spoiler: after Dmitri destroys his crest]]. [[DrowningMySorrows He hides out in an abandoned tavern, drinking the remains of its cellar]]. He recovers after his mother tells him that she disowns him.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: The Tsar reveals himself to have become this, even quoting the TropeNamer word for word. He advises Nikolai to do the same to maintain power.
* HighAltitudeInterrogation: In "The Great Game," when a spy suggests to Jena Makarov the existence of a superweapon that the Makarov Dynasty does not know about as a means of raising his "bargaining power," Jena responds by hanging the spy over a high balcony ''by his nostrils'' and demanding he tell her everything he knows about the weapon or be dropped. The spy is killed by intervening assassination droids shortly after he begins spilling the beans.
* HiveMind: [[spoiler: The Kraken]] becomes this when Akita Sagawa uses his DNA to create an army of clone ninjas.
* HollywoodAcid: Nastasia Romanov's weapons crest allows her to produce this.
* HollywoodTactics: Tactics have apparently regressed to nineteenth century levels. Dmitri lampshades this, stating that there was a time when the rules of warfare were changed to be more humane and how pointless that was.
* ImpossiblyCoolWeapon: Dante's Huntsman 5000 rifle. Coded to his gene print, has [[BottomlessMagazines internally created ammo]] and adapts to fire the optimum ammunition to eliminate its target. Should anybody else attempt to fire it, the round will seek out and [[HoistByHisOwnPetard kill them]].
* ImprobableAimingSkills: After shooting Katarina, Vlad explains to her that he'd been [[ColdSniper a sniper in his youth]] and has just deliberately shot her in a way that would ensure a slow and painful death. She has just enough left in her to kill Dmitri before she succumbs to her wounds.
* IncestIsRelative: There's a huge incest subtext within the family Romanov. It's implied that Dmitri is in love with Jocasta and he makes her have his children via genetic engineering. Konstantin may be as well, given that he requests prostitutes to take her name for the duration. Then, there's Aleksandr and Aleksandra, who are so in love with each other that their crests' abilities allow them to merge as a single being. And, of course, there's also a fetishy artwork cover of Lulu dominating Nikolai as well as the goodbye kiss she gives him during the last story to which he responds with shock [[INeedAFreakingDrink and a desire to get plastered]].
* IndyPloy: Nikolai tends to make up plans on the fly, especially in battle. Flintlock lampshades it in a debriefing noting that Nikolai's strategy seems to involve hurling himself at increasingly large numbers of enemy guns.
* InterClassRomance: Galya is a poor peasant girl, while Viktor is a member of the aristocratic Romanov family. Dmitri doesn't take it well.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Arguably, Nikolai. He's a serial womaniser who steals, brawls and boozes his way through life, getting on the nerves of the aristocracy and (at first) looks out only for himself. However, he only steals from those who can afford it and genuinely cares about the poor and downtrodden, helping them wherever possible.
* KillThePoor: Nikolai once encountered a countess heavily based on the legends of Elizabeth Bathory who insists that [[BloodBath the blood she bathes in]] is "happily donated" by young women in return for tax exemptions. After Nikolai uncovers a secret lair belonging to the countess in which dozens of young women are being held in captivity and bled for all their worth, it turns out that these particular women are all unemployed and, therefore, couldn't pay any taxes so they get drained wholesale.
* KlingonPromotion: The title of Tsar Of All The Russias seems to be passed over through revolutions and rebellions many, many times. Nikolai invokes this trope in Rudinshtein in order to save its people.
* LargeHam: Nikolai.
** Valentine Romanov becomes one when he unveils his plan. He decides that years of playing cloak and dagger have finally caught up with him and he decides to be [[EvilIsHammy hammy]] ForTheLulz.
* LegacyCharacter: Before the revolution Major Liberty was a role taken by various genetically engineered {{Super Soldier}}s who were only used for propaganda due to [[AwesomeButImpractical the sheer cost of genetic engineering]]. After the Tsar takes over Amerika, he kills the last official Major and the role is taken on by various {{Rebel Leader}}s instead.
* ListOfTransgressions: In "The Memoirs Of Nikolai Dante", the Tsar is shown with a list of Nikolai's crimes, which describe him as a bandit, a brawler, a conman, a duellist, a thief [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and a gigolo]].
* LockedIntoStrangeness: Around "Sword Of The Tsar", grey hairs start appearing on Nikolai's temples. This is likely a deliberate way of showing Nikolai's CharacterDevelopment, as he's matured as a result of his experiences especially during the war. His face is even contrasted with his a poster of his younger self, showing how jaded he is becoming.
* TheLostLenore: Nikolai was never the same after the death of his wife, Eloise. Every year, he disappears on the anniversary of her death to mourn her in private.
* LoveableRogue: Nikolai.
* LoyalPhlebotinum: Nikolai's Hunstman 5000 rifle is encoded to his geneprint, meaning that it can only be used by him [[spoiler: or a close relative]]. Anyone else who tries to use it gets [[HoistByHisOwnPetard a bullet to the face]].
* TheMafiya: The Russian aristocracy by and large trace their descent to the Mafiya clans that arose from the ashes of the Soviet Union. Elements of their code have thus endured as part of courtly tradition.
* MeaningfulBackgroundEvent: [[spoiler:Dmitri Romanov's gradual posession of Arkady via his weapons crest]]
* TheMentor:
** Nikolai was the apprentice of [[Literature/TheStainlessSteelRat "Slippery" Jim DiGrizov]] who taught him how to be a thief.
** Jena had several tutors growing up, but only two of them she considered to be relevant to her: Her fencing tutor, Caius Zaccaraiovich and her arts tutor, Leonid Tarasov. Nikolai notes that if Caius had been Tsar instead of Vladimir, the empire would be a better place and he gives Tarasov a MercyKill when he learns that he's dying instead of allowing the Tsar's torturers to break him first.
* MilesGloriosus: When attempting to steal the Romanov crown jewels, Dante is confronted by a man who claims to be the greatest swordsman in the empire. [[Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk Dante just shoots him]]. The Tsar even notes that the swordsman was an arrogant braggart who had nothing to brag about, implying that he used him just to draw Dante out.
* MotherRussiaMakesYouStrong
* TheMusketeer: Nikolai. Many other characters also.
* OffWithHisHead: Due to a resurgence of swords and axes as battlefield weapons, decapitations are quite common occurrences in the strip. Notably, this happens to Lazarev at the end of his duel with Nikolai [[spoiler: and Papa Yeltsin by Dmitri/Arkaday]].
* OneWorldOrder: By the 27th Century, just about the entire planet is under direct or indirect Russian rule. Although rebel groups still persist in what was once America.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: Vampires are not susceptible to garlic, crosses or any of the usual methods. The only ways to deal with vampires are sunlight, [[KillItWithFire fire]] and steel.
* PaintedOnPants: Lulu tends to wear liquid latex, making this trope almost literal.
* PersonOfMassDestruction: Konstantin.
* PhraseCatcher: Nikolai. ''Damn you, Dante! Damn you to Hell!''
* ThePigPen: Spatchcock. To the point that when he's attacked by a vampire, his poor hygiene saves his life due to his blood "tasting like piss". [[spoiler: and yet he gets a [[IncrediblyLamePun happy ending]] as he flies off in the sunset with Flintlock's Sister]]
* ThePlan: [[spoiler: Lulu's]] manipulation of the Cadre Infernale
* PlatonicLifePartners: Nikolai Dante and Elena Kurakin. Dante promotes Elena to Sergeant after she helps him subdue the Grozny gang ([[DefeatEqualsFriendship and gets them to fight for him]]). She's his [[TheLancer Lancer]] throughout the war and he later frees her from a gulag and appoints her as his bodyguard when he is appointed Sword Of The Tsar. They continue to fight together right up until the strip's finale where she even accompanies him to his final showdown with the Tsar.
* PluckyComicRelief: [[ThoseTwoGuys Spatchcock and Flintlock]]
* PoweredArmor: The Order Of The Dragon wear massive powered suits of armour in battle. Both Richard and Elizabeth Hawksmoore, as heads of the Order, favour their signature battle armour. [[spoiler: Elena Kurakin finds a workaround thanks to Spatch and Flint and a grenade.]]
* PreMortemOneLiner: [[spoiler: Katarina Dante's CrowningMomentOfAwesome when she kills Dmitri]]
* RagTagBunchOfMisfits: The Rudinshtein Irregulars consist of [[TradingBarsForStripes convicts taken from the gulags]]. Lampshaded by Nikolai's weapons crest, who notes that Dante is the first commander in history to be in more danger from his own troops than from the enemy.
* ReallyGetsAround: Nikolai.
* RecycledInSpace: The strip is a combination SpaceColdWar and the Russian Revolution using Napoleonic tactics set in the 27th century.
* RedBaron:
** Captain Nikolai Dante: [[HeroicBastard Bastard of the Romanovs]], [[JustLikeRobinHood Hero of Rudinshtein]], The GentlemanThief, [[TokenGoodTeamMate Hero Of The Romanovs]], [[RunningGag The Most Wanted Man In The Empire]], [[TheStarscream Sword Of The Tsar]], [[OverlyLongGag Hero Of The Revolution]], [[spoiler: [[KlingonPromotion Tsar Of All The Russias]].]]
** Tsar Vladimir the Conqueror.
** Konstantine is known as the Paladin of the Romanovs.
** Richard Hawksmoore is known as The Beast Of Tunguska.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Generally, if a member of the Romanov family's face starts showing their cybernetics, ''run away''. Dmitri does this constantly and Nikolai does it [[spoiler:just before he stabs Konstantin in the back]].
* LaResistance[=/=]RebelLeader:
** Vladimir Makarov was this alongside [[{{BrotherSisterTeam}} Dmitri & Jocasta Romanov]] during their fight against Vladimir's predecessor
** Skar[[note]]formerly an imperial mercenary named Skarak[[/note]] for the Mongolian Horde
** The Amerikan Resistance had various front-line military commanders such as Major Liberty, alongside a network of high-ranking and strategically placed agents such as [[{{TheStarscream}} Carmen Suarez]], who initially severed as the intelligence and financial leadership for the various New York branches
** Nikolai Dante, Jena Makarova, Lady Jocasta Romanov, [[spoiler:Lulu Romanov]], Papa Yeltsin, Katarina Dante, & [[spoiler:Arkady Romanov[[note]]actually the BigBad, Dmitri Romanov, who has secretly [[SharingABody taken over his body]][[/note]]]] for the Revolutionary forces, until TheReveal. Afterwards, Katarina Dante briefly replaces her son following [[spoiler:Dmitri's return]], alongside Sergeant Elena Kurakin until the latter manages to help find him until he recovers from his MoralEventHorizon. After which, he re-joins the revolution again alongside Katarina, Sergeant Kurakin, and [[spoiler:the remaining Romanov family members]][[note]][[spoiler:Lulu]] & Viktor Romanov[[spoiler:/Dante]][[/note]]
* RussianRoulette: [[spoiler: Nikolai and Vlad play in the finale. Vlad loses.]]
* SensualSlavs: Justified, as Russia is the main setting.
* SharingABody: Dmitri passes his weapons crest [[spoiler: and consciousness]] over to Arkady. Whilst [[spoiler: Dmitri]] is very much in control, Arkady is still in there and [[spoiler: Dmitri]] does indulge him in some of his fantasies, such as his crush on Jena.
* ShoutOut: Several. Notably, narrators have included names like [[Creator/GeorgeLucas Georgi Lucasovich]] and [[Series/FatherTed Edward Krilly]].
** Nikolai is at one point attacked by genetically engineered creatures called [[ComicBook/StrontiumDog Kreelers]].
** There's a news reporter named Kurt [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Brockman]].
* SinisterShades: Dmitri Romanov's transluscent shades, which fail to hide his near permanent DeathGlare. [[spoiler: When he comes forward as having total control over Arkady, he wears them again.]]
* StarCrossedLovers: Vladimir and Jocasta grew up together and fell for each other. However, after their revolution, Dmitri and Vlad duelled for the throne and Jocasta was forced to side with her brother. Over the years, Vlad asks her to join him again, something she always refuses. [[spoiler: Vlad is forced to watch when Dmitri burns her to death.]]
* StillWearingTheOldColors: After the war, Nikolai still wears his Romanov uniform as an act of defiance against the Tsar. At this point, the narration states that the Romanov name is a mark of the damned.
* StrawFeminist: The nation of Amazonia runs on the notion that men are inferior. As such, men are second class citizens and the only reason Amazonia allies with the Tsar is so their soldiers can go out and kill men. As such, Nikolai is probably the worst choice of amabassador to the country, [[spoiler: though this doesn't stop their leader from eventually seducing him.]]
* StrollingThroughTheChaos: Viktor often does this in the middle of a battle and won't fight unless he's ''really'' pissed off and certainly won't use his powers unless absolutely necessary.
* {{The Silent Bob}}: Viktor Romanov. The longest Silent Bob in history, completing the trope just 6 episodes before the end of the saga. The only other noises he makes are belches and [[spoiler: screeches when he activates his Crest and becomes a huge Romanov Eagle.]]
* SlapSlapKiss: The essence of Nikolai and Jena's relationship.
* {{That Man Is Dead}}: Viktor Romanov [[spoiler: taking the name Viktor Dante, after Dmitri/Arkady kills his wife Galya.]] Also Nikolai, after [[spoiler: civil war breaks out and he sides against the ruling house of Makarov, taking the name Romanov.]] Forced on Nikolai by his mother Katarina, when [[spoiler: she finds him a broken man, having been de-crested by Dmitri/Arkady; powerless to stop the head of the Romanovs taking Jena Makarov as his own, Nikolai loses himself in the bottom of a bottle, losing all motivation to fight for what he believes in. She refers to him as Nikolai Romanov, disowning him as a son; this turns out to be the kick up the jacksy he needs.]]
* TheyWouldCutYouUp: Upon receiving his powers from the Romanov Crest, Nikolai is reluctant to return to the Tsar Makarov for fear that the Tsar's scientists and researchers would do exactly this in order to develop a similar crest of their own.
* TokenGoodTeamMate: Nikolai is this to the Romanovs. To a lesser extent, there's Viktor and Andreas pulls a RedemptionEqualsDeath.
* UnsettlingGenderReveal: Ursa reveals to Nikolai that she is female.
* UpperClassTwit: Several, but Flintlock stands out.
* VasquezAlwaysDies:
** Averted with Elena Kurakin. She's one of the most [[ActionGirl combat capable]] females in the strip, [[BadassNormal which is saying something when compared with the likes of Lulu and Nastasia Romanov]]. She's one of the few members of the original Rudinshtein Irregulars to survive the war and she fights by Nikolai's side again once he becomes Sword Of The Tsar. She even helps Dante track the Tsar down at the finale.
** Inverted with Lauren Stone. She is [[MsFanservice one of the most skimpily clad females in the strip]], yet she dies during the second revolution.
** Played straight with Katarina Dante, but not before she takes out Dmitri Romanov first.
* VikingFuneral: [[spoiler: Nikolai sends off his mother in such a fashion after she succumbs to her wounds.]]
* VillainousWidowsPeak: Gender flipped with Elizabeth Hawksmoore. Her very high forehead is clearly visible and she is a very brutal SociopathicSoldier. These are both traits she inherited from her father, though he was more BaldOfEvil.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Nikolai and his Weapons Crest. The Crest denounces him at every opportunity, but later begins to warm to him, even coming up with ideas that are very much along Dante's own line of thinking. [[spoiler: When the Crest is destroyed, he has a major HeroicBSOD.]]
* VodkaDrunkenski: Nikolai is rather fond of the drink. Generally when he has a party, it ends up being drunken debauchery of epic proporations. On the flip side of things, he's been known to [[DrowningMySorrows climb into the bottle when depressed as well]]. When Camila Le Fanu bites him, she notes that his blood tastes of alcohol.
* WeaponOfChoice: Each of the Romanovs is given specific abilities, based on their personalities.
** Nikolai gets [[BladeBelowTheShoulder bio blades from his hands]] and a limited HealingFactor. The Hunstman rifle is a later given to him by Kara.
** Lulu gets a cyber swarm, which she can use to devour people alive or as surveillance equipment.
** Nastasia can create {{Perfect Poison}}s and HollywoodAcid.
** Konstantin has fusion powers, making him a literal [[PersonOfMassDestruction walking nuke]].
** Andreas is able to generate throwable blades. His personal best stands at [[OneHitPolykill 26 decapitations with a single blade]].
** Viktor's abilities are unknown early on, but it is later revealed that he can transform into a giant eagle.
** [[{{Twincest}} Aleksandr and Aleksandra]] can deploy [[StuffBlowingUp nano mines]] and can merge into a single being.
** Valentine gets the prototype crest, so only gets blades without the HealingFactor. See BodyHorror.
** Dmitri gets the most powerful crest of all, being able to override all of the other crests. He's also able to use bio blades and fusion powers.
* WeHaveReserves: Warfare has regressed to Napoleonic tactics complete with massed charges. Aristocrats don't seem to care about the bodycounts of battles.
* WeUsedToBeFriends: Vladimir says this word for word to Dmitri before Dmitri's suicide. They once stood together against the previous Tsar until they disagreed on who would rule after their own revolution.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Nikolai and Jena's BelligerentSexualTension is a major plot point throughout the strip. [[DidTheyOrDidntThey Neither can remember if they did have sex]] after the destruction of the Dark Star because they both consumed a lot of alcohol but they finally do after Nikolai rescues Jena from Sir Richard Hawksmoore. Sadly, their relationship is short lived, as their families go to war immediately afterwards and it's years before they get back together again.
* WretchedHive: Rudinshtein starts off as this, being the poorest city in the empire. New Moscow later becomes one with the Kremlin having being converted into a casino.
* YouHaveFailedMe: The Arbatovs are usually on the receiving end of this. Of particular note is the one Nikolai humiliates in the first story, as the Tsar skins him alive.
** Dmitri decimates one regiment (as in the Roman version of killing ten percent of the troops) when they lose a battle.
** Elizabeth Hawkesmoore kills a subordinate officer she had been sleeping with because [[SpeedSex he finished too early]] and referred to her by her name in the process.
* YouKilledMyFather: Elizabeth Hawksmoore confesses to Elena Kurakin that she killed her father. Elena severs her spine not too long after. During the final battle, Elena destroys Hawksmoore's PoweredArmor with a grenade and finishes the job with her [[AncestralWeapon father's sword]].
This list shows the last 3 events of 3. Show all.