A webcomic written and drawn by Matt Speroni of ''HowIKilledYourMaster'' fame, ''[[http://www.nuklearpower.com/dreadful/ The Dreadful]]'' is a fantasy story in a WildWest setting. It stars Kit, a cute half-demon ("Devikin") [[TheGunslinger gunslinger]] who wields the eponymous weapon, a [[HandCannon magical]] [[WaveMotionGun pistol]]. It also has a fairly strong supporting cast, that is becoming more developed as the comic goes on. These include Boozloaf, a [[ALoadOfBull minotaur]] preacher; Erin, a {{winged|Humanoid}} [[ColdSniper sniper]]; Liz, a sharpshooter who once ran with the same gang Kit did, and Poe, Kit's less violent twin sister.

The story begins with our heroine shot in the back and left to bleed out in an alley. Someone called Judge Catherine finds her lying there and whisks her away. She recovers after two days in the hospital and is taken to meet with a detective agency. They task her to hunt down and kill the leader of her old gang, Jeanne Noelle. Given that Jeanne was more than likely the one who ordered her shot, Kit has no problem with this. But the job may not be as simple as it first appears...

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!!This webcomic provides examples of:

* AbsurdlySharpBlade: The [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/03/22/a-paid-message-from-big-eagle-beer-04/ Feather Sword]] chops through the monkey-like villains like they are made of tissue paper.
* AmazingTechnicolorPopulation: You can't tell in the comic itself because it's DeliberatelyMonochrome, but supplemental material shows that Devikin have unusually pink skin, and whatever Jeanne is, she has green skin.
* AnachronismStew: The setting is nominally WildWest / WeirdWest and the standard sidearm is a single-action revolver, but then you have things like Burke's drum-fed grenade launcher, meta-references to .jpgs, and that one robot (who in flashbacks is treated mundanely).
* AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent: Chapter 4 leaves Kit and focuses on Erin, a WingedHumanoid who is carrying out Jeanne's contract on Liz.
* ArtEvolution: Kit gets lips on page 62, and the overall style moves from {{Animesque}} to more realistic. Unusually, it's a deliberate and immediate shift rather than a gradual change. There are also more subtle changes as the comic goes on, especially to character designs. Kit in particular is noticeably more muscular in later comics.
** More recently, another major change seems to have taken place. The current designs are a bit of a hybrid between the two previous styles, with less exaggerated lips and more animesque expressions. Liz also lost the circles under her eyes. The exact point where it happened is hard to tell due to the shifting focus of characters during Chapter 8.
* ArtShift: A bit more noticeable and intentional, during the flashback to Kit and Poe's childhood, the character designs was significantly more like the original art style. This is most likely due to the same reason that the art style was originally changed starting in #62: it makes the characters look younger.
* AttackBackfire: CombatTentacles aren't so useful if they're [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/06/08/the-dreadful-129/ stuck in a tree]].
* AuthorAppeal: [[WordOfGod Speroni]] has mentioned that he's keen on [[AmazonianBeauty athletic women]] [[http://www.nuklearforums.com/showthread.php?p=1210336#post1210336]], and plenty of them show up in the comic.
* AxeCrazy: Burke, who was planning to kill Liz and feed her to a steadily increasing chain of predators.
* BadBoss: Burke again, who shoots a henchman for making a bad joke.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Strongly averted. Kit [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/06/05/the-dreadful-128/ looks like hell]] (no pun intended) after her first zombie fight.
* TheBechdelTest: Passes with flying colors.
* [[BigBrotherInstinct Big Sister Insinct]]: Kit to her sister Poe. Her primary motivation aside from revenge on Jeanne is to find Poe.
* BodyHorror: That... ''thing'' that takes over [[spoiler: Burke's corpse.]] [[{{Squick}} Euuugh.]]
** Its [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/05/18/the-dreadful-124/ offspring]] don't disappoint, either.
* BoobsandButtPose: Sabueso's old partner Catraven does this immediately after slicing up a bunch of goons.
** Sabueso himself combines this with RikerPose in the present. Kit promptly makes fun of him.
* BullyingADragon: The show-off gunman - who had just seen Kit disarm multiple opponents (and is still holding her gun) - [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/04/03/the-dreadful-110/ who tries to intimidate Kit]] with his gun-twirling skills and bravado. It turns into a [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/04/06/the-dreadful-111/ literal case]] of TooDumbToLive.
* BusCrash: After being briefly introduced early on, [[spoiler: "Muttonchops" and the centaur agent initially sent to accompany Kit]] reappear several dozen strips later as heads on pikes.
* CallBack: "I always get a kick out of your sense of chivalry, Kit." Said by Jeanne first when Kit balks at shooting an unarmed, hooded hostage, then later [[spoiler:when Kit refuses to shoot Jeanne in the back]].
* ChandlersLaw: What will it take to get Lucas to tell Poe what she needs to know to advance the plot instead of trying to score with her? [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/11/12/the-dreadful-175/ Zombie Attack!]]
* ChangingTheUncomfortableSubject:
-->'''Liz:''' "Where'd that beam go, anyway?"\\
'''Kit:''' "Let's not dwell on questions about how The Dreadful works."
* ChekhovsGun: The silver bullets Kit took from the gun-juggling idiot come in handy against one of the... things.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Burke, [[RuleOfThree again]].
* ComicallyMissingThePoint:
-->'''Kit:''' You never thought about just shooting it?!
-->'''Art:''' But I don't know a spell that shoots bullets!
-->'''Kit:''' *BeatPanel* Hate Wizards so goddamn much...
* DidntSeeThatComing: Kit's on her way to take down Jeanne, and by the time she gets there, she'll be able to use the Dreadful again. Perfect plan, right? [[spoiler:Then she gets summoned by [[IneptMage inept necromancers]]. Upon rescuing their would-be sacrifices, she learns she is even further away from her destination. Oh, and now she doesn't have a horse]].
* DisappearedDad: Kit and Poe's father left them when they were little, which Kit is bitter about. Kit has always assumed he's been dead, but Poe received a letter from him letting her know he was in prison, but concealed it from Kit because she was afraid she'd [[SelfMadeOrphan try to kill him.]] Kit finds out when a knight tells her, and she doesn't look too happy about it.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Despite being Kit's self proclaimed rival and declaring that she's an absolute monster, El Sabueso looks none too pleased with how the Jacks are treating her.
%% CrystalDragonJesus -- Do not add this. WordOfGod is that Moomonism is a PunnyName and has nothing to do with the LDS.
* FantasticRacism: Devikin aren't particularly liked, and aren't given many opportunities in civilized society.
* FantasticSlurs: "Pinky" seems to be one for Devikin like Kit and Poe.
** "Blueberry" is apparently an even worse one.
* FantasyKitchenSink: Devils, centaurs, minotaurs, elves, dwarves, wizards, bird-people, fairies, zombies, cyclops, mystical ninja, ghosts, intelligent magical horses, necromancers, superheros, and robots.
* FingerGun: Jeanne has a functional one.
* ForgotToFeedTheMonster: [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2011/09/17/the-dreadful-059/ here]].
-->'''Liz:''' Wow, I forgot I had this [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda fairy in a bottle thing]].
** Astonishingly enough, this becomes a ''plot point'' when [[spoiler: Ith, the starved fairy, resurrects Erin by possessing her]].
* GreatOffscreenWar: Referenced in one comic.
* HandCannon: The title appears to refer to one of these. Burke also has one that fires grenades.
** The eponymous pistol is actually closer to a [[WaveMotionGun Wave Motion Handgun.]]
* HatDamage: Well, it ''is'' a western.
* HornedHumanoid: Seems to be standard for devikin.
* HornyDevils: EnforcedTrope. Devikin have no predilection towards prostitution, but thanks to FantasticRacism, it's one of the few jobs they can find.
* HotbloodedSideburns: [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2011/03/04/the-dreadful-004/ Muttonchops]].
* HurricaneOfPuns: Kit and Boozloaf enjoy slinging these back and forth.
** IncrediblyLamePun: What Liz thinks of them InUniverse.
-->'''Liz:''' Did Kit just puke lightning?
-->'''Boozloaf:''' What a shock!
-->'''Liz:''' ''Not now.''
-->'''Boozloaf:''' I'm sorry, it was just set up so perfectly.
* HyperspaceArsenal: Parodied in [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/06/26/kit-and-art-fight-a-monster-part-3-of-4-by-carl-matt/ this guest strip.]]
* ImagineSpot: Liz imagines herself blowing Kit's brains out in response to the aforementioned HurricaneOfPuns.
* IMeantToDoThat. While Jeanne is delivering a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown on Kit.
-->'''Kit:''' I'm just lullin' ya into a false sense o' security.
-->'''Jeanne:''' [[DeadpanSnarker You're doing an excellent job.]] '''[SMASH]'''
* ImmuneToBullets: Burke takes one between the eyes and it only annoys him.
** All devikin are as long as they aren't silver (though Kit is tough even by those standards). It can still knock them out for a while, particularly if you get them in the head.
* InsistentTerminology:
** Kit's not a [[FantasticSlur pinky]]. She's a ''devikin.''
** El Sabueso doesn't ''see'' the future, he ''tracks'' the future. Though sometimes [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2013/05/10/the-dreadful-212/ even he forgets.]]
* InstantChucks: Bananachucks!
* InTheBack: The first scene involves Kit being shot from behind.
* InMediasRes: See InTheBack.
* JugglingLoadedGuns: Literally, [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/04/03/the-dreadful-110/ here.]] What really pushes this into TooDumbToLive territory is the fact that he's pressing Kit's BerserkButton ''while his pistol is in the air.''
** Kit does it later, with a gun loaded with the bullets she took off the above idiot. At least she waits until ''after'' she's killed her enemy.
* KilledMidSentence: Burke.
--> "I'm the best around! Nothin's ever gonna keep me --" *gets hit by [[WaveMotionGun the Dreadful]]*
* LargeHam
-->'''Burke:''' No one interfere. This is ''my'' soup. And fortune... ''IS MY SPOON!!!'' The eggs I lay ''HATCH PAIN!!!'' I am a bolt of lightning in a lightning bolt factory!!
** El Sabueso gives him [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/10/26/the-dreadful-171/ a run for his money]].
* LightningCanDoAnything: Trying to get drunk on magical reagents can make you ''vomit'' lightning, with unpleasant results.
* MundaneFantastic: Zombies with apparently vampiric tendencies? Not something you see every day, but common enough to calmly make fun of while you fight to the death. Ghosts? [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/08/07/the-dreadful-140/ Just another witness to interrogate]].
* MyEyesAreUpHere: [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/08/21/the-dreadful-144/ Lucas doesn't follow directions well.]]
* MySisterIsOffLimits: Kit chases off the man she finds Poe sleeping with.
* NeverBringAKnifeToAFistFight: [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/09/12/the-dreadful-153/ Or a gun for that matter.]]
* NoOneCouldHaveSurvivedThat: Erin says this when Jeanne [[spoiler: shoots Kit out of the sky with her FingerGun]]. Jeanne knows better.
* NotMeThisTime: Liz's response to Kit's line of questioning.
-->'''Liz:''' I didn't try to kill you. That oughta be obvious seeing how you're still alive.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2014/02/05/the-dreadful-254/ Lampshaded]]
-->'''Kit:''' How big of a dumbass do you think I think you are?
* OrificeInvasion: Spidermonster![[spoiler:Burke]]'s slug offspring(?) do this to Burke's companion's corpses to [[spoiler:reanimate them]].
* OneGenderRace: Devikin are the offspring of a human male and another devikin. They are always female and always identical to their mother.
* OurCentaursAreDifferent
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: Burke seems to be something of an {{Expy}} of [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Yosemite Sam]].
* OurDemonsAreDifferent: Devikin are half-demon, always female, and always appear identical to their mother.
* OurElvesAreBetter: They have excellent hearing, but the one we've seen thus far was killed too quickly to learn anything else from.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: These ones are corpses animated by giant slugs that crawl down their throats. They can use weapons and have a taste for blood, especially devikin blood, which gives them super-strength and CombatTentacles. The slugs themselves are the offspring of a giant spider-demon-thing, which in turn sprouts from the corpse of someone killed by the Dreadful.
** The discussion of common zombie killing methods like headshots (which do not work on the zombies we've seen) indicates that more typical zombies exist in the setting.
* PaintingTheMedium: After [[spoiler:Ith revives Erin]] and they start SharingABody, [[spoiler:Erin]]'s speech is in the standard font for the comic, while [[spoiler:Ith]]'s is in a more "jagged" font.
* PietaPlagiarism: [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2011/02/25/the-dreadful-002/ Here]]
* PinkertonDetective: The Jackson Detective Agency, aka "Jacks". Might cause some confusion if they were called the "Pinks," since "Pinky" is also a FantasticSlur for Devikin.
* PokeInTheThirdEye: Chinami Umami is able to tell when El Sabueso is looking through his [[CrystalBall Shew Stone]] at her, and talk back. Which leads to an odd sequence of events; Sabueso sees Chinami talking to him through the stone, then Chinami attacks him in the present, then she escapes, then she talks to Sabueso, [[TimeyWimeyBall knowing he's looking at her from the past]].
* PowerAtAPrice: [[spoiler: Burke's ring was enchanted to make him ImmuneToBullets, but at the cost of his sanity.]]
* PunnyName: The Moomons. WordOfGod is that these cow-people only superficially resemble Mormons, their religion having nearly been called Cowtholic instead.
* PuppeteerParasite: Appears to be how the zombies work.
* RealityEnsues: For a given value of "[[ImprobableAimingSkills reality]]". A posse shows up at Kit's hideout. Their [[SmugSnake arrogant]] leader threatens and insults Kit while flipping his gun around [[Franchise/MetalGear Revolver Ocelot]]-style. It looks like an epic gunfight is about to ensue, but Kit simply shoots the hammer of his gun mid-flip, causing it to shoot him in the head.
* RikerPose: El Sabueso does this, complete with LampshadeHanging.
* TheRival:
-->'''Henchman:''' She's beat half to death and unarmed Sabueso. Stop shitting around.
-->'''El Sabueso:''' [[DeathGlare I do not 'shit around']]. Kit here happens to be a big rival of mine. You don't take her seriously, you don't take '''me''' seriously. You don't take me seriously, you get turned inside out, comprende?
* SadisticChoice: In flashback, after a job went bad, Jeanne gave Kit and Poe a choice. Either they kill the unarmed, bound and hooded bookkeeper that they took as a hostage, or Jeanne would do it. And if Jeanne did it, she would get ''creative'' about it.
* ShoutOut:
** To [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2011/06/14/the-dreadful-031/ Black Mage]] of Webcomic/EightBitTheater, which is hosted on the same site.
** The fairy in a bottle, which [[spoiler: resurrects and partially possesses Erin]] is one to TheLegendOfZelda.
** To ''Videogame/DeadSpace''
-->'''Erin:''' They look like zombies, so I assume the best place to shoot is the head. You agree?\\
'''Ith:''' That is what I would suggest. Though Dr. Clarke in his essay on "Necromorphosis" suggests the limbs. [[TakeThat I think he's a crackpot, personally]].
** Looks like [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/08/17/the-dreadful-143/ Lucas]] and [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2013/10/10/the-dreadful-240/ Kit]] are both [[HowIKilledYourMaster Five Mantis Fists]] students.
** Jeanne performs the [[VideoGame/StreetFighterIV Shin Shoryuken.]] On Kit. Complete with [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/09/28/the-dreadful-160/ teeth-grinding jaw punch.]]
* SlutShaming: Kit looks down upon the Devikin who resort to prostitution to survive.
* StopBeingStereotypical: This is Kit's justification for not letting Poe have sex. She doesn't want to play into the HornyDevils stigma Devikin are usually subject to.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2013/07/24/the-dreadful-229/ Catraven]], one of El Sabueso's old crime-fighting(?) allies. The only things covering her [[NippleAndDimed nipples]] are ''utility pouches''. There aren't even any [[FridgeLogic straps holding them there]].
* SureLetsGoWithThat: After accidentally killing a JDA agent, El Sabueso meets up with some of his other contacts, who then ask him if Kit did it.
--> '''El Sabueso''': Kit? Y-yes, it was ''Kit''. She... she came up out of ''nowhere''. Poor bastard never knew what hit him.
* TalkativeLoon: ''Burke.''
* TheMole: [[spoiler: Boozloaf.]]
* ThrowAwayGuns: When Kit steals a JDA agent's gun, she finds that their guns only work for the agent they were issued to. So she throws it at the other agent.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Kit and Poe, respectively.
* TooDumbToLive: The Dryads, who have already seen that Kit is perfectly willing to sweet talk you until you drop your guard almost immediately buy into Kit's sweet talking, explain how they're animated to her; Faunstones, [[BuffySpeak like soulstones but naturey]], in their heads. Kit promptly slams the massive magic suppression cage they had carried her around in over their heads, effectively killing them.
** See RealityEnsues above.
* UnsoundEffect: [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/09/21/the-dreadful-157/ SPIN]]
* UnwantedRescue: Just as Kit taps into a supernatural power and gets up for round two against Jeanne, she's abducted by ghosts intending to rescue her.
* UsedToBeASweetKid: Kit and Poe were just honest kids trying to make a living before falling in with outlaws.
* VirginSacrifice: [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2013/10/02/the-dreadful-239/ here]]
* WaveMotionGun: [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2011/05/21/the-dreadful-024/ The eponymous gun]], clearly.
* TheWildWest
** WeirdWest
* WhenTreesAttack: Dryads are highly sophisticated [[{{Golem}} golems]], created by implanting a magical crystal in the head of a victim after a cleansing ritual.
* WorldOfActionGirls: Kit, Liz, and Erin are all skilled gunslingers, and Jeanne has no problem bringing her fists to a gunfight. The only males to demonstrate badassery thus far are Burke and much later [[spoiler: El Sabueso]].
* ZombieApocalypse: PlayedWith. Apparently zombie outbreaks are common enough that a small western town can handle one itself.

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