Comic Book: Universal War One
Universal War One is a six-part French comic book limited series written, penciled, and inked by Denis Bajram. The first issue, The Genesis, was initially published in France by Soleil Productions in 1998. Due to its popularity, it was translated and released in English by Marvel Comics. The genre is military science fiction, and the series deals with such ideas as time dilation and time travel.
2098 - There is a growing tension between the United Earthes Forces (a NATO-like organisation) and the wealthy corporations known as the CIC: Colonisation Industrial Companies. But, suddenly, THE WALL appeared, cuting the solar system in two. This wall is so big, so dark, so mysterious. A squadron of officers waiting for martial court must understand its secrets. At any cost.
The whole plot was crafted by Bajram beforhand, thus leaving no inconsistancy between the six books despite the time travel
used by the heroes.
More information can be found here.
A sequel series titled Universal War Two started in 2013.
Tropes used include
- Almost Dead Guy: Balti.
- Anti-Hero: the main characters (except two) are criminals waiting for a trial in martial court.
- Anyone Can Die: it starts happening in issue #1.
- Artificial Gravity: all space travelling ships use anti-G engine, most of the plot bend around them.
- Attempted Rape
- Author Filibuster: in issues #5 and #6, various characters (Kalish, Kate and Admiral von Richtburg) expose the author's political view on "american capitalism".
- Back Story: each comic issue starts with a 3-pages backstory focusing on one of the main characters.
- The Battlestar: the Gengis Khan.
- Berserk Button: Mario is usually a coward, but he becomes berserk on a few occasions, when one of his friends is killed.
- Big Bad: Paul Thin, aka Mario.
- The Big Board: in the HQ room of the Gengis Khan.
- Black and Grey Morality: The main characters are all anti heroes of some sort. And The UEF isn't liked by most non western country (as shown in Milorad's and Amina's backstories), but at least they don't cut planets in half.. Can also be considered a Grey and grey morality as there are some empathetic figures in the CIC.
- Broken Ace: Balti.
- Burial in Space: Balti.
- Character Development: the main cast, special mention to Mario.
- Chekhov's Skill: Mario's engineering degree.
- Cool Starship: the Gengis Khan and some other spaceships have a really cool design.
- Crazy-Prepared: the author, who wrote the whole cycle before starting to draw, and claims that he's had the wireframe for two more cycles from the beginning. It backfired on 9/11 (see word of God below).
- Dark and Troubled Past: Amina. And Milorad. and Mr thin. though it's also Marios's dark and trouble present.
- Deus ex Machina: one of the few examples where a deus ex machina ending is justified by the plot. Also counts as a sequel hook, given the potential implications.
- Driven to Suicide: 'Balti' prefers to die in a trapped corridor because he thinks it is the only way to avoid a Temporal Paradox.
- Dumb Is Good: subverted, the most intelligent man, Kalish, is a good guy, while the dumbest, Mario, becomes evil.
- Dystopia: after the fall of the United Earthes.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: litterally.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom played straight with The rings of Saturn in the first book. And later planet Uranus and the Earth. Not an actual kaboom though: the wormhole tech isn't shwto broduce any sound.
- The Empire: the Colonisation Industrial Companies.
- The Federation: the United Earthes.
- Geek Physiques: Kalish (fat).
- The General's Daughter: inverted. The reason why Capt. Williamson leads a squad of 7 people is because she saved the admiral's daughter, who is also part of the squad.
- Gratuitous English: French graphic novel/comic book, english title...most in universe english is justified in the US dominated setting though.
- Heroic BSOD: Kalish, after the destruction of the Earth. And later when he achieves teleportation, and realises the potential uses of such an invention.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Balti, combined with Driven to Suicide
- Hurl It into the Sun: inverted, the Big Bad sends a space station into the sun, not to destroy the station but to destroy the sun !
- Mad Scientist: there is a double subversion: the scientist who invented the Space Station that generates the wormhole is the only one to care about a possible Time Paradox, so he kills the fools who want to 'go home' even if it may destroy the universe. He seems to be the Only Sane Man. However, when Kalish explains him there is no way to create a time paradox, the scientist refuses to listen and kills himself, showing that he is in fact insane.
- Multinational Team: in the main cast, there are two Americans, a German, a Columbian, a Serbian, a South African and a Bahraimi.
- One-Man Industrial Revolution: Kalish. Also, Mr thin, AKA Mario. He didn't actually invent anything, but he was able to help other people invent antigrav tech, resulting in the setting.
- Our Wormholes Are Different
- The Professor: Kalish, and his buddies in Harvard.
- Scenery Porn: Denis Bajram wanted the set to be epic and it shows.
- Science Hero: Kalish.
- Stable Time Loop: the whole plot is axed around this trope.
- Starship Luxurious: most starships are huge, with plenty of empty space.
- Supporting Leader: Admiral von Richtburg.
- Time Travel: in fact, Kalish discovers how to travel through Time and space.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: the story is set 100 years into the future, but the society and technology is almost the same as today. The only major scientific advantances are atomic fusion and anti-gravity. No intelligent robots, no cybernetics. The society ? Ruled by a U.N./NATO expy. And they bombed Serbia, like NATO did in the end of the 1990ies. the fast progress in thos two areas are due to a stable time loop, justifying a setting with huge spaceships but little other advanced technologies.
- Twist Ending: who is the Big Bad ?
- Universe Bible: each issue's title refers to an event of The Bible and each chapter starts with a quotation of the fictional Bible of Canaan.
- Insufferable Genius: Kalish. He is a misanthropist who is largely superior in intelligence to everyone else. He gets better over the course of the story.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Mario.
- Word of God: the comic issue in which New York (and the Earth) is destroyed was released soon after September 11th attacks. Some readers thought this was a very bad joke. The author had to write a note, explaining it was just a coincidence. sinced the whole scenario for the 6 books were wrtten ahead of the first books' publication.
- Wrong Time-Travel Savvy: most of the cast, mostly Balti, the CIC station's scientist.
- Zerg Rush: the 4th Fleet (dozens of cruisers and hundreds of space fighters) launches an attack against the 'Wall' and is nearly destroyed.