Comic Book / Block 109

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/serieblock109_5833.jpg

"Enter a world at war."

A French Alternate History comic book series written by Vincent Brugeas and (initially) drawn by Ronan Toulhoat.

World War II kicked off in 1939. Then ...

Adolf Hitler was assassinated in 1941, Heinrich Himmler took over the chancellery, Reinhard Heydrich became Reichsführer of the SS, Berlin was rebuilt to Albert Speer's designs and renamed Germania (much like in Fatherland). The Third Reich conquered Western Europe and most of Africa, launched its Ragnarok program in 1942, and massively nuked the USA and the United Kingdom on may 8th 1945. Operation Barbarossa was launched in 1944 but the forces of USSR proved to be stronger than expected and ultimately repelled the German forces out of the Soviet territory. Himmler created the New Teutonic Order and died in an accident in 1947, he was replaced by his right-hand, an ambitious yet unknown officer named Zytek. Zytek rejected the title of "Führer" and now calls himself the "Hochmeister" (which is also his rank in the Teutonic Order), and he has an agenda of his own...

Albums

  • Block 109 - The first album. It was published in 2010 in a 200 pages small format, and it is basically the keystone of The Verse. A "trailer" of sorts can be seen here. A small prequel motion comic can be seen here, explaining the story behind the empty Panzermann featured in the album.

Several large format albums followed. They're all one-shot stories set in the same universe between 1944 and 1953 (some major characters of the first album appear in them at some points):

  • Etoile Rouge - 2010
  • Opération Soleil de Plomb - 2011
  • New York 1947 - 2011
  • Ritter Germania - 2012
  • S.H.A.R.K - 2014
  • Maruta - 2016


Tropes

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     The whole series / universe 

  • Crapsack World: This might be one of the worst "Alternate WWII" scenarios. Hitler is assassinated in 1941, leading to The Purge and a more efficient leadership taking control of the Third Reich and focusing more on the west. The war expands to Africa, Asia, and South America. Then the Nazis develop atomic bombs and destroy most of North America. They finally declare war on the USSR in 1944 but get bogged down in a quagmire that still isn't resolved by 1953, by which time only 30% of humanity remains. Conventional weapons used by both sides get increasingly high-tech and exotic, culminating in the Nazis unleashing a viral plague that creates a Zombie Apocalypse. Grand Master Zytek ultimately decides the best thing for humanity is to destroy everyone and restart civilization.
  • Dirty Communists: USSR is portrayed as "the Red Beast" by Nazi propaganda.
  • The Empire: The Third Reich. And Japan, of course (though Japan hasn't been featured yet).
  • Historical Domain Characters: Many historical Nazis and some Allied leaders show up.
  • Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: No time travel is involved, but the cardinal rule - don't kill Adolf Hitler - is broken. It caused The Purge (see below) and a more efficient and devastating German take on the war against the Western countries, even though the war against USSR turned almost just as hopeless as it happened for Germany in real life.
  • Soviet Superscience: The Soviets got mechas and jet fighters too.
  • State Sec: There are actually two opposing ones within Alt-history Nazi Germany. The SS became Heydrich's personal organization after Himmler became Fuehrer, but Himmler also created the Teutonic Order led by an unknown officer named Zytek as a rival organization so that neither could become too powerful. This backfired when Himmler was assassinated anyway and replaced by Zytek.
  • Stupid Jet Pack Hitler: Advanced jet fighters, VTOL gunships, Panzermensch, V6 cruise missiles ...
  • Super Soldier: The propaganda potrays Ritter Germania like this.
    • The New Teutonic Order's Super Serum makes them stronger, but it kills them within a few days. It was tested on Der Ritter in New York 1947.
  • War Is Glorious: What the Nazi leaders continue to preach, much to Zytek's disdain.

     Block 109 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/block_109_pg00_7613.jpg

The story takes place in 1953. The Wehrmacht, the Waffen SS and the New Teutonic Order are desperately struggling against Soviet forces in the city of Marienburg, Pomerania, the bastion of the New Teutonic Order and the last line of defenses on the path to Berlin (it is basically the equivalent of the battle of Stalingrad in this alternate universe, up to the nickname "Cauldron"). Meanwhile, Zytek follows his own agenda...
  • Always a Bigger Fish: The Wehrmacht and SS forces in Marienburg repel a Soviet tank assault. Then the Soviet unleash their Walkers and Siberians. Suddenly, the Panzermann shows up, crushes some Siberians and tanks, and tears the Walker's arms off. The Panzermann is then destroyed by Soviet attack aircrafts.
  • An Axe to Grind: Miller's favourite melee weapon.
  • The Ark: The Block 109 bunker. Zytek gathered 6000 chosen ones in this sanctuary, allowing them to survive his planned apocalypse.
  • Board to Death: After disposing of Heydrich, Zytek gathers the other major Nazi leaders in the Third Reich's command room so he can kill them all in one fell swoop for their endless crimes against humanity.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The man who shot Hitler has a "109" tattoo on his wrist. As Zytek dies, we can see it again on his wrist.
  • Civil War: The final battle between the SS and the Teutonic Order in Berlin is basically this.
  • Colonel Badass: The Oberst piloting the Panzermann.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Soviet mechas and Siberian berserkers Vs. German mechas.
  • Death Seeker: Zytek. Because he lost the woman he loved and their child.
  • Depopulation Bomb: The Nazis wiped out 70 per cent of the world's population by nuclear fire. There are less than 800 million humans on Earth in 1953. And even less after Zytek's final nuclear attack.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Zytek, when he was Himmler's dragon.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Zytek. He replaced Heinrich Himmler after the latter's "accidental death" in 1947 (it's implied that either Zytek himself or Heydrich was behind it).
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Otto Skorzeny, who's something of a Memetic Badass of World War II, is unceremoniously killed by Slashed Throat after he boasts that he's the local SS commander to a member of the Teutonic Order.
  • Dual Wielding: Zytek wields two sabers in the battle between the New Teutonic Order and the SS.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: At the end of the first album Zytek ensures that the major powers of the world will be knocked back to the Stone Age to end the cycle of violence that already destroyed the world.
  • Faking the Dead: Zytek, during the SS assault on Berlin.
  • Final Solution:
    • 14 million Jews were killed in this universe.
    • This Holocaust and many others caused by the Nazis prompted Zytek to prepare a Final Solution against the warmonger humanity itself in the hope of ceasing the escalation of violence once and for all.
  • Gatling Good: The Soviet Walkers' weaponized arm. The other arm is a rocket-launcher.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Himmler created the New Teutonic Order, which upset Heydrich. There is basically a rivalry between the SS and the New Teutonic Order which culminates in the destruction of the former by the latter.
  • Lowered Recruiting Standards: As the war against USSR caused an increasing lack of Cannon Fodder, the Wehrmacht and the SS allowed non-Germans and women to join its ranks.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Charged with The Virus and nuclear warheads. It is Zytek's scheduled Last Stand against the Soviet Union.
  • Mole in Charge: Zytek was first recruited by the anti-Nazi Admiral Wilhelm Canaris before the war to infiltrate the Nazi Party. Zytek's decision to assassinate Hitler ended up creating an even worse war than he feared, but he was eventually able to ascend to leadership of the Third Reich so he could dismantle it from within.
  • More Dakka: The battles in the "Cauldron", including the trailer.
  • No Place for Me There: When Lisa accuses Zytek and his men of being monsters for trying to destroy what remains of the world while declaring themselves the chosen few fit to survive, Zytek explains that he has no intention of saving his own skin and deserves to die for what he has been part of.
  • The Purge:
    • Hermann Göring, Joseph "Sepp" Dietrich, Martin Bormann, Rudolf Hess and many other Nazi officials were arrested by the Gestapo and hanged after Hitler's assassination in 1941. Joseph Goebbels was spared, thanks to his propaganda talents.
    • A second one occurs in 1953. Zytek uses the New Teutonic Order to execute all the remaining Nazi leaders, including Heydrich, for what they've done to humanity, and annihilates the SS.

     Etoile Rouge 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/block-109-etoile-rouge_1179.jpg

October 1944. Three French pilots of the Normandie squadron fight alongside Soviet forces against the German invasion of USSR.
  • Cool Plane: Soviet Yak 3 (and later MIG 15) vs German jet planes (Messerschmitt Me 262, Focke-Wulf Ta 183 and Arado).
  • For Want of a Nail: A Soviet worker botches the reactor propeller of a new MIG 15, unvoluntarily. Marcel later flies on this MIG 15, and dies when the reactor explodes.

     Opération Soleil de Plomb 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/block-109-bd-volume-3-simple-19180_6622.jpg

October 1946. The SS invade Belgian Congo in order to seize its uranium mines. There, they face a harsh resistance by the remaining French colonial forces. In February 1947, a squad of convicts is sent to kill the resistance leader known as Colonel Leclerc.
  • Zerg Rush: The African tribes on the German commando.

     New York 1947 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/block-109-bd-volume-4-simple-28001_8494.jpg

December 1947. The US have been nuked two years ago. A German commando of six men is sent into the ruins of Manhattan for a very special operation.

     Ritter Germania 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/block-109-ritter-germania_6257.jpg

February 1950. Two Nazi officials are murdered in Berlin. The crimes are signed by someone who pretends to be the famous propaganda hero of the New Teutonic Order : Ritter Germania.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Joachim Stadler is sent to the hellhole that is the eastern front in winter instead of being executed, and freezes to death.

     S.H.A.R.K 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sharkbl109_8113.png

November 1946. Australia has become the last refuge for the remaining Allied forces who survived the nuclear apocalypse, and a huge camp for German prisoners. Worth, an untamed Australian fascist outlaw, enters the prison of Rabbit Flat, in the Tanami desert.

     Maruta 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/07_1.jpg


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