Gilles de Geus
is a Dutch comic book series by Hanco Kolk and Peter de Wit, about the eponymous character. It is set during the 80 Year War between the Netherlands and Spain, when the Netherlands were occupied by Spanish forces. Gilles is a thief and robber who sets out as a comical anti-hero but gradually becomes a true hero when he joins the Geuzen (the Dutch resistance movement at the time) and becomes the unofficial right-hand man of prince Willem van Oranje. He still keeps some of his anti-hero traits for humourous value though. The series has been called "the Dutch Astérix
" because it uses a similar formula, with many anachronisms and winks to modern culture.
The main characters:
- Gilles de Geus (Geus is his family name, and he is called this before actually joining the Geuzen) is a thief and robber who decides to join the Geuzen after they (accidentally) save him from being captured by the Spanish. Although a comedic anti-hero at first, he evolves into a true hero later when the stories take a new direction.
- Admiral Lumey is the leader of the Geuzen and the offical right-hand man of Willem van Oranje, but he's a tiny, cowardly and clumsy man who gets Gilles and the others into trouble more often than not.
- Leo is one of the Geuzen, and becomes a close friend of Gilles. He is strong but silent, rarely saying more than just "Hee", but he can convey a lot of meaning with just that simple word.
- Prince Willem van Oranje is in banishment, and constantly looking for ways to raise money to pay his hirelings so they will fight the Spanish forces instead of plundering the Dutch cities.
- Duke van Alva is the Big Bad of the series, but rarely takes an active role himself. He's depicted as a sadist working day-in, day-out in his torture cellars.
- 90-60-90 is a female spy and van Alva's right-hand woman. She's highly attractive and she knows it, effectively using her sex appeal to reach her goals.
- De Bekkentrekker ("The Facemaker") is a recurring villain not associated with the Spanish forces, and an even bigger sadist than van Alva. Even the Spanish are afraid of him, and all of his appearances are treated as major Oh Crap moments by everyone involved, his own underlings included.
- Cornelis Drebbel is an inventor working for Willem van Oranje, and provides Gilles with the tools needed for his missions much like a medieval version of Bond's Q.
Gilles de Geus provides examples of the following tropes:
- Anachronism Stew: Let's just say that historical accuracy was not the authors' goal.
- Artifact of Doom: Willem van Oranje finds one in "De Batavia", a cursed cameo that enhances the worst habits of people under its influence. In the epilogue, we find out that it has later been influencing Napoleon and Hitler...
- BFG: "De Vuile Sloerie" ("The Dirty Slut"), a gigantic cannon used by the Spanish in one story. According to Lumey it's the only 60-pound cannon ever made.
- BFS: Recurring villain "De Bekkentrekker" uses a huge Zweihander almost as tall as himself, and he is already a head or two bigger than most of the other characters. Gilles' ally Leo, and Gilles himself have also occasionally used one.
- Big Bad: Duke van Alva, who is currently in control of the Spanish forces occupying the Netherlands.
- Darker and Edgier: The two episodes in which De Bekkentrekker appears, "Smeerenburg" and "De Batavia", are notably darker and more serious than the rest of the series.
- Distracted by the Sexy: This is 90-60-90's entire schtick.
- The Dragon: 90-60-90 is this to van Alva.
- Epic Flail: Gilles' weapon of choice when he was a robber, but he hasn't used it after becoming a hero.
- Evil Laugh: 90-60-90 and van Alva have actually hired someone to do it for them, because it's so bad for the throat. De Bekkentrekker produces his own, though: "GHAH! GHAH! GHAH! Ghah! Ghah!"
- Femme Fatale: 90-60-90, so very much.
- Goldfish Poop Gang: Three unnamed Spanish soldiers who were trying to capture Gilles while he was a robber are still after him in the later stories when he's travelling all over the globe.
- Historical-Domain Character: Prince Willem van Oranje, Admiral Lumey, Duke van Alva and Cornelis Drebbel have all really existed.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Gilles was this before becoming a genuine hero. Some characters even gave him a friendly greeting or good advice when he was trying to rob them.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: Well, he used to be a thief...
- La Résistance: The Geuzen.
- Mad Scientist: Cornelis Drebbel, who even made a Time Machine...
- Meaningful Name: 90-60-90 has very much the figure you'd expect from someone with a codename like that. (For you non-metric folk: These are centimeters, not inches.)
- Oh Crap: Recurring villain "De Bekkentrekker" is very good at invoking this reaction in both the heroes and his own underlings alike.
- Only Sane Man: Gilles is often this to the Geuzen, much to his despair.
- Talking Weapon: Gilles gets himself a singing sword, but soon finds out how impractical it is for a robber if you don't know how to silence it.
- Took a Level in Badass: Gilles became much more effective after joing the Geuzen and becoming a true hero.
- Villain Protagonist: Gilles started out as this, but became a true hero after joining the Geuzen.