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Comicbook: The Great Powerof Chninkel

Your fate has been determined, J'on... thanks to you the world will be at peace.
How excited you must be at the beginning of a new era, which will be the greatest of all.

Le Grand Pouvoir du Chninkel (alternatively known as The Great Power of the Chninkel, De Chninkel, Szninkiel, or Chninkel and the Great Might) is a comic by Jean Van Hamme and Grzegorz Rosinski. Published in 1986, the comic is an allegory of Christianity that deconstructs many of the tropes found in hero myths with a dark sense of humour.

The land of Daar is constantly ravaged by war as the three immortals battle for dominance. O'ne the Creator, tiring of this, grants former slave and chninkel J'on a Great Power in order to bring peace to the world. If Daar isn't tranquil by five sun-meetings, the world will be destroyed.

Le Grand Pouvoir du Chninkel was critically-acclaimed but did not sell as well Van Hamme's other works. The comic, originally in Belgian French, was translated into Polish (the illustrator's native language) and Dutch. It has yet to receive an official English translation, but fan scanlations can be found floating around the Internet.


  • Apocalypse How: Planetary. O'ne threatens a Class 5 or possibly a Class 6. A Class 4 happens, though a handful of tawals do survive... to become the ancestors of modern man.
  • Attempted Rape: A trio of kolds to G'wel.
  • Crapsack World
  • Creepy Crossdresser: Perfume-Jargoth. It's revealed later that he puts on perfume to mask the stench of his advanced leprosy, but that doesn't explain the lipstick or the women's clothes.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: O'ne annihilates almost all life on Daar in a fit of rage, and eons afterwards no one will remember J'on's sacrifice.
  • Date Rape Averted: G'wel by J'on. Multiple times.
  • Deconstruction: Of hero myths.
  • Deus Sex Machina: J'on must bring Volga the Soothsayer to orgasm in order for her to deliver a prophecy.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Volga by distance makes her amulet fall into acid.
  • Distant Finale: A serious contender for Most Distant Finale Ever as it shows how, after Bom Bom and some Tawals survived O'ne's rain of fire by taking refuge in deep caverns, it shows how life crawled back from the brink of annihilation by evolving back from single-celled organisms into complex lifeforms over hundreds of millions of years, up until the time where the Tawals' descendants, by then looking like early hominids (AKA modern humanity's ancestors), finally go out of their underground lairs... Only to see The Monolith that is O'ne and start worshipping it, while the narrator, actually the last of Bom Bom's descendants to remember the old stories, tearfully lament that J'on's sacrifice and the destruction of the old world was All for Nothing, as O'ne's return means that It will once again spread Its tyrannical notions of worship to what the reader now realises was Earth All Along.
  • Divine Intervention: The Almighty Creator gives J'on a Great Power.
  • Downer Ending
  • Earth All Along: A "before the origins" variation.
  • Elfeminate: The archers of Perfume-Jargoth are explicitly referred to by the text as "androgynous", too.
  • End of an Age
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin
  • Fantastic Racism: The chninkels are less than nothing to most other races.
  • Forever War: The three immortals are immortal, so Daar's war could go on forever. Unless O'ne nukes the place.
  • High Fantasy
  • Hobbits: The chninkels.
  • Interspecies Friendship: The chninkel J'on and the tawal Bom-Bom, and chninkel G'wel with Mag Mel's faeries.
  • Interspecies Romance: J'on and Volga.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Invoked again and again throughout the story.
  • Kill 'em All: Everybody dies except Bom Bom and some Tawals.
  • Jerkass Gods: The Almighty Creator is willing to annihilate an entire planet and its life but not willing to just kill the three warring immortals Itself. O'ne actually does kill almost all life (save a few tawals living underground) by raining fire on the planet's surface. The reason? The heretic king N'om called It out on Its dickery and how everything was a conspiracy to make everyone worship It for all eternity. Though at the very least It kept Its promise not to destroy Daar.
  • "Last Supper" Steal: A pannel in the fourth chapter represents the chinkels impersonating The Last Supper from Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Medieval Stasis: Technology and architecture remains unchanged from even before the three immortals' advent.
  • Messianic Archetype: J'on.
  • Mostly Normal Animal: Bom-Bom the tawal. Though he can't speak, he picks up language easily and by the end of the book he's able to communicate the story of J'on to his descendants through simple sounds and hand gestures.
  • One-Gender Race: The kolds (male), amazons (female), and Mag Mel's faeries (female).
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: The kolds.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: The faeries of Mag Mel have tails. They're also the daughters of a Starfish Alien instead of being spirits of nature.
  • Punctuation Shaker: Chninkel names.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Ar'th who sold Jo'n to the Kolds ends up being sent to the Immortal with him.
  • Screw Destiny: J'on, unsuccessfully, tries to duck out of his role as the Chosen One several times throughout his mission.
  • Seers: Volga.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: According to Bom Bom's last descendant, J'on died for nothing.
  • Shout-Out: U'N looks like the black monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. as it turns out, It acts in a very similar way towards the hominid descendants of the Tawals...
  • Starfish Aliens: Volga.
  • The Chick: G'wel.
  • The Chosen One: J'on.
  • The Chosen Zero: The Maelar Elders don't think too highly of J'on when they first meet him.
  • The Fair Folk: The faeries of Mag Mel are traditionally mischievous, but not malevolent. They just pull their pranks for laughs.
  • The Quest: End all war on Daar or the entire world will be destroyed.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The heretic chninkel king N'om gives O'ne a particularly scathing one, asserting that everything, from the time he blasphemed against the Creator, was a ploy to ensure everyone on Daar would worship It for all eternity. O'ne replies by raining fire on earth and wiping out almost all life.
  • The Mole: Ar'th. Whilst always having faith in J'on, Ar'th leads him to the kold stronghold after being captured and offered gold for bringing the Chosen One alive.
  • The Monolith: The Almighty Creator.
  • Time Abyss: The Almighty Creator may have been this at the start of the story, but It definitely is by the time of the (very) Distant Finale.
  • Title Drop: In the first chapter by the Almighty Creator. Also invoked by J'on whenever he tries to save himself.
  • Unlikely Hero: J'on. Lampshaded numerous times by said hero. O'ne says the only reason he was chosen is because It's too busy taking care of other worlds and he'll "do just fine".
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: G'wel and J'on. They attempt to have sex twice but are interrupted.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Happens to all three immortals when J'on forgives them on behalf of O'ne.
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