[[quoteright:330:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bojemoi_5099.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:330:Say you want a revolution?]]
-->"I'm too cool to kill."
-->"Bojemoi!"
-->"Diavolo!"

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 centuries. 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, The current Story called Sympathy for the Devil is its last.

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.

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!!Tropes associated with this work:

* 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-WorldWarOne.
* AndIMustScream: Poor, poor [[spoiler: Valentin ]]
* 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.
* AnyoneCanDie: And boy do they....
* AristocratsAreEvil
* 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, Viktor and Nikolai himself ]]
* BadassBeard: Several characters, notably Nikolai and [[BeardOfEvil The Tsar]].
* BadassBoasts: The Tsar tells Dmitri, "You may have been born to rule, but I was born to conquer."
* BadassNormal: A fair few, but notably [[spoiler:Dante himself after he is stripped of his crest by Dimitri Romanov.]]
* 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]]
* BigBad: For the longest time it was the Tsar now [[spoiler:It appears to be Dimitri/Arkady]] followed by [[spoiler:his son, Konstantin Romanov]] and [[spoiler:possibly now full circle to the Tsar.]]
** The series' major antagonists have always been [[spoiler:Dmitri Romanov of House Romanov]] and [[spoiler:Vladimir Makarov of House Makarov]] with [[spoiler:Konstantin Romanov, Sir Richard Hawksmoore and The Kraken]] being the Big Bads of their respective storylines.
* 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.
* 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, 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.
* CaptainErsatz: JanusStark, Comicbook/{{Catwoman}}, CrusherCreel, LutherArkwright, CaptainAmerica, {{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]].
* 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.
* 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
* 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.
* DatingCatwoman: [[TheYakuza Akita Sagawa]] is essentially the BigBad for the ''Hell And High Water'' arc. Doesn't stop Nikolai from sleeping with her.
* DepravedBisexual: Lulu.
** Konstantin is briefly stated to be bisexual as well. [[InformedAttribute Though, we never see him with men]].
* [[DoNotCallMePaul Do Not Call Me Eugenia]]
* 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.
* {{Expy}}: Dante is essentially a combination of ErrolFlynn's portrayal of RobinHood and Flynn himself.
* EyepatchOfPower: Katarine Dante.
* FanService: The series is full of it, perticularly in its early days
* FeudingFamilies: The Romanovs and Makarovs
* FemmeFatale: Lulu Romanov
* 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]].
* 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.
* HalfIdenticalTwins: Alexandr and Alexandra Romanov. ''See Also: {{Twincest}}.''
* HeroicBastard: Nikolai is the son of the head of an imperial dynasty and a pirate queen. By rape.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: The Tsar reveals himself to have become this, even quoting the TropeNamer word for word.
* 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]].
* InterClassRomance: Galya is a poor peasant girl, while Viktor is a member of the aristocratic Romanov family. Dmitri doesn't take it well.
* 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 revolution 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.
* LoveableRogue: Nikolai.
* MeaningfulBackgroundEvent: [[spoiler:Dmitri Romanov's gradual posession of Arkady via his weapons crest]]
* MemeticSexGod: Nikolai. "The Dantes" have apparently become in universe slang for testicles.
* MotherRussiaMakesYouStrong
* TheMusketeer: Nikolai. Many other characters also.
* 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.
* 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 [[BadPun happy ending]] as he flies off in the sunset with Flintlock's Sister]]
* ThePlan: [[spoiler: Lulu's]] manipulation of the Cadre Infernale
* PluckyComicRelief: [[ThoseTwoGuys Spatchcock and Flintlock]]
* PreMortemOneLiner: [[spoiler: Katarina Dante's CrowningMomentOfAwesome when she kills Dmitri]]
* RagTagBunchOfMisfits: The Rudinshtein Irregulars.
* ReallyGetsAround: Nikolai.
* RedBaron: 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]].]]
* 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 [[GeorgeLucas Georgi Lucasovich]] and [[FatherTed Edward Krilly]].
* {{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 RedemptioneEqualsDeath.
* UpperClassTwit: Several, but Flintlock stands out.
* 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.]]
* 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.
** 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.
* 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.
* 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.