The Black Moon Chronicles (original French title: Chroniques de la Lune Noire) is an epic Dark Fantasycomic series by French author François Marcela-Froideval and illustrated by Olivier Ledroit, who is better known by English speakers for his work on Pat Mills' Sha and Requiem Chevalier Vampire .It deals with the Villain Protagonist / Anti-Hero Wismerhill, a half-elffrom an unknown father allying with Evil Sorcerer Haazheel Thorn in order to overthrow the Christian-esque empire of Lhynn.Sounds simple enough, no? Guess again.Turns out that Wismerhill is the lynchpin of a Gambit Pileup involving prophecies, gods, demons, elemental forces, and immortal archmages and that his choices will ultimately decide the fate of his entire world. And with so many different clashing agendas, few things are as they seem, and fewer people can be trusted...
1 Le Signe des ténèbres (Sign of Darkness, 1989)
2 Le Vent des dragons (Dragon's Wind, 1990)
3 La Marque des démons (Mark of the Demons, 1991)
4 Quand sifflent les serpents (When Snakes Hiss, 1992)
5 La Danse écarlate (The Blood Dance, 1994)
6 La Couronne des ombres (Crown of Shadows, 1995)
7 De vents, de jade et de jais (Of Winds, Jade and Jet, 1997)
8 Le Glaive de justice (Sword of Justice, 1999)
9 Les Chants de la négation (Songs of Negation, 2000)
10 L'Aigle foudroyé (Struck Down Eagle, 2002)
11 Ave Tenebrae (Ave Tenebrae, 2003)
12 La Porte des Enfers (The Gate of Hell, 2005)
13 La Prophétie (Prophecy, 2006)
14 La Fin des temps (End of Times, 2008)
0 En un jeu cruel (A cruel game, 2011)
Volume 14 is the final album of the series. The French version was released on 21st of November 2008.Two spinoff prequel series were made: Methraton, which reveals more of the title character's past and goals against a backdrop of the setting's distant past, and Les Arcanes de la Lune Noire, recounts the origin story of Wismerhill's companions and what their lives were before the main series' events; so far, one-shots covering Ghorghor Bey, Pile-ou-Face and Parsifal have been released. A prequel detailing Wismerhill's origins has also been released. Finally, the comic has been adapted into a strategy video game.
Black Moon Chronicles provides examples of the following tropes:
Abusive Parents: The man who Wis mother was betrothed to never forgave her for bearing a child that wasn't his, and took it out on Wis once she died.
Anti-Hero / Anti-Villain: Wismerhill, and by extension pretty much every member of his True Companions (even the succubus), dance constantly back and forth over the line between both. While some like Shamballeau the mage or Murata the samurai aren't as morally questionnable in their own actions, the fact that they have no problem hanging around the others speaks for itself.
Arson, Murder, and Admiration: When captured by Ghorgor in the first book, Pilou plays a trick on him, teleporting his swords back to himself whenever Ghorgor tries to look at them. Ghorgor is so enraged by this that he... takes them into his warband.
Badass: Almost any named character who survives more than one or two scenes counts. The biggest one though is Greldinard, Baron of Moork; everytime he appears he does something awesome, even if that something is sitting in a chair.
Justified in that Haazheel Thorn is a stupidly-high level mage in an RPG Verse. To quote the man himself just before he ressurects Wismerhill: "Dead again? It's starting to become a habit...". In fact, the only time he gets angry about this is because Wis goes on a dungeon crawl through an undead prince's palace without having him along.
Zigzagged after Parsifal and Gredinald have their climactic duel. Gredinald later reappears as if getting a sword buried in your helmet is no big deal, but Parsifal's decapitated head being replaced on his body and brought back to life by a massive prayer is treated like a miracle.
The Oracle as it appears in its true form to emperor Haaghendorf (subverted epically in the last volume).
The Dzorak/Dvorak (huge swamp-dwelling cycloptic octopus-things only second in power to dragons among monsters, considered embodiments of foulness, and their name is a very common insult).
The infernal hekatonkheires (gigantic living weapons of mass-destruction of The Legions of Hell).
The Empire / The Emperor: Wismerhill thinking that Lhynn and its ruler are examples of these tropes is a key component of the bad guys' plan. In fact, emperor Haghendorf is more of a Lawful NeutralReasonable Authority Figure who tries his best to properly run a massive feudal Holy Roman Empire expy despite living in a Crapsack World and trying to avert the prophecied violent end of his reign and his empire.
The Faceless: Greldinard never removes his helmet (or his armor) on-panel once through the whole series. The closest we get is showing his hands going up, then going back down with the helmet, while contemplating swearing loyalty to Wis or Haazeel.
God: There's evidence enough he exists (Paladins of the Order of Justice are preternaturally good demonslayers, and high-ranking priests can perform resurrections) but we never see him, and he doesn't really do much; his one act is gathering up all his followers (who seem to be mostly imperial citizens) in the same place, then removing that chunk of land from the planet just before things literally go to hell for everyone left behind.
Half-Human Hybrids: Wismerhill is a half-elf, Ghorghor is a half-ogre (his father was a very young ogre, his mother an unwilling villager). Others are seen occasionally.
Heel-Face Turn: Hellaynnea. Wis and Greldinard towards the end, after a fashion.
Horny Devils: Hellaynnea the succubus. She also doesn't mind sharing Wis one bit (she even organises and executes the recruitment of his harem, which was her idea in the first place anyway). Though it was more a Heir Club for Men situation; she wanted to make sure he'd have descendants. This is borne out in that she probably had something to do with the fact that only one of his dozen kids (each from different, improbably beautiful and competent/powerful women) is male (neatly avoiding any complications come succession time), but she obviously took far too much pleasure from the whole situation for her decision to be purely pragmatic.
The Man Behind the Man: Haazheel Thorn is actually under orders from Lucifer to create a favorable enough situation that he can just stroll in and Take Over the World to make it a new Hell (with every inhabitant's soul as a bonus)
Moon Base: The headquarters of the Black Moon are, astonishingly enough, on the Moon.
Our Dragons Are Different: Many sizes and colors, but mostly cosmetic differences as they're pretty much all big (human to kaiju size) reptilian flyers with fire breath (except for undead ones and negation wyrms, who breathe unlife and oblivion respectively). Most are (or at least seem) sentient, though several look like they have the intelligence of a cat or chimp more than a human one.
Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Stout, short and bearded? Check. Live inside mountains (and active volcanoes)? Check. Master engineers, miners and smiths? Check. Greedy? Check. Love alcohol? Check. Hate orcs? Check. Fight equipped with massive war machines, heavy armor, axes and hammers? Check, check and check.
Satan: Lucifer is shown early on to be the true master of all demons, and it's hinted that he's more powerful than the gods (except maybe for God himself, who's unfortunately a lot less proactive). Old Nick is also The Man Behind the Man for much of the series' plot.
The most notable ones happen towards the series' end: [[spoiler:First, God, when it's obvious that with Lhynn in the hands of a puppet of Haazheel Thorn, the latter has a free hand in bringing about Hell on Earth, calls out for all his true faithful to go to Lord Parsifal's realm, and when the last of them passes through the gate, takes the land away to Another Dimension of prosperity and security.
Then in the very last volume, when The End of the World as We Know It is about to happen by way of Moon Drop, Methraton organises the evacuation to another world of the population of humanity's greatest, most organised nations from all continents. The Winds go through with minimal fuss; The dragons are let through by Methatron out of pragmatism, as it's not certain the human forces would be able to stop them or survive trying (a few dozen dragons? Messy, but doable. The entire species? Good luck); everybody else who tries (orcs and other savage humanoids, barbarians, what-have-you) is screwed unless they're among the small minority allied to the protagonists. The elves/fairy folk and the dwarves choose another path.]]
Sociopathic Hero: While several of the protagonists show signs of this, Pile-ou-Face is probably the best example; one gets the impression he'd get along famously with Belkar Bitterleaf. In his first appearance his personality depended on which of his swords he drew, the blue-glowing peaceful one and and hellish-red psychotic one. Or so he claimed; he's maintained a standard Loveable Rogue personality over the entire series.
Spanner in the Works: After Wismerhill attacks, and closes, a portal to Hell, Haazheel is very angry indeed, as this marks the end of Wis being his puppet.
Yin-Yang Bomb: During Wismerhill and the Emperor's final battle, each remote-pilots a differently colored magic sphere that annihilates the other's troops. Wis crashes his into the Emperor's so normal battle can resume.