A comic book series by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, set in the WildStorm universe, combining Noir and superheroes. Originally introduced as 12-issue mini-series (March, 2003-March, 2004). It spawned the one-shot "Coup D'Etat: Sleeper" (April, 2004) and the sequel "Sleeper: Season 2". The later was another 12-issue series (August, 2004-July, 2005). Sleeper was preceded by a 5 issue miniseries called Point Blank that effectively acts as a prelude, so tropes present in Point Blank are discussed here.Holden Carver used to be a black ops operative for the American government agency known as International Operations. When his late father was revealed to have been a traitor, Carver stole a retrieved alien artifact and went rogue, eventually joining a syndicate of super-powered criminals run by supervillain Tao (formerly of the WildCATS).Except that's not true. Carver unintentionally became bonded with the artifact while on a mission; he was recruited to infiltrate the syndicate by his mentor John Lynch. The preceding is just a cover story.That is until a failed assassination attempt sent Lynch into a coma, and the cover story became, for all intent and purposes, reality. Carver then has to find his own way out while doing more and more questionable things to maintain his cover.Has a character sheet.Not to be confused with the Woody Allen film.
All Girls Want Bad Boys: Supervillains often get groupies who are “young girls who need to be close to bad for a few hours at a time.”
Art Shift: When characters tell each other their origin stories, the artwork becomes a bit simpler with much less background detail to emphasise it's simply a story being told; all you see is all you need to know.
Bad-Guy Bar: The Tird Street Arms and the Alter Ego, with such trappings as Hero-faced dartboards, masked strippers and portraits of “Old-School” villains like Dr. Mind, The Undertaker and Hugo Lark on the walls.
Bad Powers, Bad People: Several characters but Miss Misery is especially notable. There is no good way to use her particular talents.
There sort of is, but you have to convince her it’s a totally reprehensible thing to do.
If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: Turned on its head. The mission to get Tao is so important, Holden will do anything and everything to keep his cover, including mass murder. A lot of his character arc revolves around him reconciling how he deals with eating so many kittens and can still be considered a "good guy."
Not What It Looks Like: Grifter walking in on Kenesha A.K.A. Savant having sex with a supervillain in a parking garage. He assumes the villain is raping her and is disappointed to find out that his “heroic rescue” was a mistake.
Oh Crap: Grifter wakes up groggily after a skirmish and finds himself face-to-face with Tao.
OOC Is Serious Business: When Genocide Jones reveals his origin story, he becomes very somber, a stark contrast to his usual Boisterous Bruiser personality. Also applies within the context of the story. Origin stories are meant to be told in the third-person, but as Jones's story goes on, he switches to the first-person.
Powered by a Forsaken Child: Lynch’s decoding facility is based around a kid with a giant brain hooked up to incredibly painful machines. When Holden sees this, he shoots him and tells Lynch that he is a monster for doing this. Lynch claims that the man in the machine was a 30 year old mutant who just looked like a child, but he may have been lying and that doesn’t make it much better.