is a comic series by CrossGen
Entertainment. It follows the adventures of Cassie Starkweather
, a college student who enters The Masquerade
when, after the accidental death of a friend, she starts seeing ghosts
. Her ability to see and converse with the dead is shortly followed by an ability to see monsters, or rather to see the true form of monsters pretending to be normal people. She is put into a mental institution after the trauma, but finds out that the institution is run by the monsters.
Escaping the institution, Cassie kills a few of these monsters. Unfortunately, once dead, they revert to human form, and she is now pursued not only by monsters and dark ghosts, but also by the police as a psychopathic killer.
Not to be confused with the 2001 horror film or the episode of Film/Supernatural
about a demonic truck.
This series provides examples of:
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: The ghost of Cassie's grandfather turns out to be some other mysterious, albeit benevolent entity, who took her grandfather's form from her memory
- Abnormal Ammo: Rodina has developed "necro-nuclear" weapons technology, some of which apparently involves missiles with a demonic payload.
- Aborted Arc: Due to CrossGen's bankruptcy, unfortunately.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: A Dark Spirit tries this in Cassie's mind, but is defeated right at the get-go.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: When first meeting the circus people, Cassie wishes she could forget this whole horrible mess. Due to Galina's machinations, her wish is granted, placing her in terrific danger.
- Big Bad: The Adversary
- Car Fu
- Circus of Fear: Subverted with the Potterfield Family Circus.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Used in Francisco's interrogation.
- Cold War
- Creepy Twins: The Twins, a pair of circus freak sisters with Psychic Powers and Glowing Eyes of Doom.
- Deal with the Devil
- Defcon Five: Used correctly. After Cassie's stunt, the threat level is said to be at "threatcon 2", one level away from firing the missiles.
- Demonic Invaders
- Driven to Suicide: Cassie once attempted suicide as a child.
- Elite Mooks: Chairwoman Byleth and the board of directors of Harlequin Healthcare company; unlike lesser mooks, they're Immune to Bullets.
- Expy: The entire planet (Erebus) is an expy to Earth in the '50s, including the United States of Empyrean being involved in a cold war with the People's Republic of Rodina.
- Fate Worse than Death: In Braathewaate's moment of You Have Failed Me, he attempts to explain the circumstances. The Adversary then says Braathewaate can give half of his explanation, the Adversary will eat him whole, and he can give the other half when he comes out the other side. It's unclear whether this is enacted (or even practical) or just a bizarre, gruesome threat.
- Fauxreigner: Granted, Braathewaate technically is rather foreign (being from Hell), but he spends most of his appearances speaking with a fake Scottish Funetik Aksent.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: Perdition.
- Fish out of Water: There are a few scenes of demons on Earth struggling to acclimate to human culture.
- Forgot the Call: Happens to Cassie for a little while.
- Game Face: When killing, it's organization policy for perdition mooks to drop their human "day face" in favor of their Game Face. Some of them have their own unique forms, but a lot of them base their Game Faces off of monsters from horror movies.
- Government Agency of Fiction: The National Bureau of Investigation serves as this setting's version of the FBI
- Gratuitous Spanish: Sheriff Fernandez and other hispanohablantes occasionally slip into this.
- Hellgate: One was accidentally opened as a result of Rodinan weapons research.
- Impersonating an Officer: Byleth and her board of directors pose as NBI agents in an attempt to take custody of Cassie.
- Invisible to Normals: The ghosts and other paranormals can't be seen by anyone other than Cassie.
- Istanbul Not Constantinople: In this world, the People's Republic of Rodinanote is the apparent counterpart to Communist Russia.
- Jacob Marley Apparel: Ghosts look the way they did when they died, complete with injuries.
- Knife Nut: Berkely.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: One of The Twins' Psychic Powers.
- Leave No Witnesses: Standard operating procedure for Perdition agents.
- Living Shadow: Dark Spirits, the Adversary's ghostly Mooks.
- Meaningful Name: Cassandra, a clairvoyant whom nobody believes.
- Mind Rape: Cassie makes a Serial Killer relive his first murder from the perspective of the victim.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dr. Melchior and Dr. Mastiphal, and probably many others, since agents of Perdition tend to infiltrate occupations that put them in close proximity to the dying, so they can harvest their souls.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Dr. Mastiphal, Dr. Melchior, head of the Melchior Asylum; Harlequin Healthcare Chairwoman Byleth, and board members Mictlan, Naamah, and Damballa.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
FBI NBI director J. Edgar Hoover J. Elgar Purvis and former Soviet Rodinan despot Josef Stalin Viktor Suvorov.
- No Party Like a Donner Party: Happened to the Rodinan dissidents stranded on a ship in the arctic.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: The ghosts Cassie saw as a young child.
- Numberof The Beast
- Phony Psychic: Galina.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Necro-nuclear technology uses ghosts as fuel.
- The Profiler: Special agent Gunnar Melchior.
- Self-Made Orphan: Berkely. He did away with his own father.
- Serial Killer: Railsplitter AKA Berkely; and Dale "the Ravenrock Ripper" Beasely, back when he was alive.
- Shovel Strike: The preferred weapon of the Spetsnaz who ally with the protagonists in Rodina
- Shout-Out: When Galina is kicked out of the circus, the others say in unison "Not one of us".
- Sociopathic Hero: Berkely
- Soviet Superscience
- Stock Parodies: Issue #16's cover parodies American Gothic Couple; #19's parodies Uncle Sam Wants You; #20's is based on Soviet propaganda; #21's parodies the Coppertone girl ad
- Terrified of Germs: Special Agent Gunnar Melchior
- Torture Technician: The monsters in Rodina employ a human doctor for this.
- Truth Serum: Used in Cassie's interrogation.
- Villainous Cross Dresser: J. Elgar Purvis
- Violent Faux Glaswegian: Braathewaate has a violent temper.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Perdition mooks apparently have this power.
- Waif Prophet: The Twins of the Potterfield Circus have microcephaly and a variety of Psychic Powers.
- Technical Pacifist: The Twins refuse to use their powers to kill, even when it comes to murderous monsters. They are however perfectly fine with mindwiping one survivor to forget his true nature and join the circus as a Geek (a performer who does disgusting acts like biting the heads off chickens and eating vile things).
- The Worm That Walks: Elite mook Naamah transforms into hordes of leech-like creatures and bees.
- Wolf Man: Many Mooks base their Game Faces on The Wolf Man (1941); one of the members of the Potterfield Circus is a non-supernatural wolf boy who looks that way because of a gland condition.
- You Can See Me?: Cassie has the ability to see the dearly departed, while the rest of the cattle can not.
- You Have Failed Me: The fate of Braathewaate.
- You No Take Candle: When speaking English, all but one Rodinan character speaks like this, in addition to occasionally using Gratuitous Russian.