Richard: And what do you achieve by making me a hero?
Sophie: A song for little children.
The Overture is a dark fantasy webcomic by Jacob Gray. It follows the tale of Richard Olsen, A newly made Slave of the Sun who recklessly took on a creature of legend.
It didn't end well.
In exchange for his life and the lives of his family, Richard has agreed to become a hero. Not to save the world, but so the creature can write a song about his exploits.
As the series progress, the comic begins to focus on the other members of Richard's family. These include his loving warlord mother, cruel father and two younger sisters.
Did I mention the creature happens to be a little girl?
It can be read here.
Tropes featured in The Overture:
- Abusive Parents: Norbert's parental duties consist of yelling and smacking his son around.
- Action Mom: Vanessa Olsen is a dotting mother of four and brutal warlord with a knack for Decapitation Presentation. Those who oppose her have a tendency to disappear, including her own sister-in law.
- Ax-Crazy: The Demi are an entire race of unstable psychopathic killers but none so much as Sophie. A cute, sweet, little girl who tortures children in order to hear their screams.
- Book Worm: Janis impersonates being a priest in order to get access to the faith's library.
- Creature-Hunter Organization: The Slaves of the Sun were created soley to hunt and kill Demi.
- Dual Wielding: Younger nobles duel wield wakizashi blades. Richard Olsen only fight in this manner and does not carry the traditional katana of his fore-fathers.
- Decapitation Presentation: Seems a common a pastime in East Rondelin.
- Vanessa displays the heads of her enemies on pikes in order to instill fear.
- The headhuntress wears the rotten skulls of her victims around her belt. The rest she leaves in a large pile outside of her layer.
- Before burning Sophia Finley alive, Sophie places the decapitated heads of Sophia's bodyguards in front of her in order to give her death an audience.
- Dress Hits Floor: Done by Janis in an attempt to be sexy for Richard. It works.
- Hand On Womb: Vanessa Olsen is first introduced resting her hand over her womb, showing her two daughters that she is pregnant. She gives birth a few chapters later.
- Horned Humanoid: The most predominate feature of all Demi. The horns themselves vary between individuals.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Richard towers over adults and he's still growing. With her hair, Sophie barely reaches his chest.
- In Medias Res: The series begins in the middle of the story, when Richard is already enslaved by Sophie. Only after realizing how hopeless his situation is does the story jump back to the beginning.
- I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Sophie threatens to kill Richard's family if he does not become her hero.
- Knight Templar Parent: Norbert will do whatever it takes to make his son a Demi killer... and nothing else.
- Lawful Stupid: Richard blindly follows the Old ways, even though his order abandon them six-hundred years ago.
- Little Bit Beastly: All of the Demi are like this, resembling humans with minor changes to ears, eyes, and sometimes tails.
- Matriarchy: The Rondelin Empire is an extremely conservative society run by women. Childbirth is considered the most important function and as Men cannot bear children, they are viewed as "incomplete" and are forbidden from holding land and using money. Men are also required to keep their eyes hidden while in public and must wear special blindfolds while traveling.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Richard and Janis have been engaged since childhood and are good friends.
- Rapunzel Hair: Sophie's quill infested hair reaches to her feet.
- Pet the Dog: Angry, bitter Norbert tucking his daughter, Angela into bed.
- Shaking Her Hair Loose: Richard pulls the pin out of Janis Lashway's bun, revealing her long hair. The first step before the two make love.
- Spike Shooter: Sophie's hair is filled to the brink with porcupine like quills. Though not lethal, they are barbed and extremely painful to remove.
- Sibling Rivalry: Charlotte and Angela Olsen are consistently fighting one another for there mother's affection.
- Silly Reason for War: The Finley/Lashway war began over a dispute as to who owned desolate rock, a small, mile long island in the middle of the ocean with no natural resources or strategic value.
- Super Toughness: The headhuntress takes a face full of needles and is stabbed through the chin... She's still kicking.
- Treasure Room: Sunny O'Reilly sits in one of these on the chapter six cover.
- Teen Pregnancy: Vanessa Olsen was married at twelve and gave birth to Richard eight months later. Richard is currently seventeen and she has barely thirty.
- The Church: The Faith of Four Points.
- Webcomic Time: The first arc is a flashback that takes place three weeks before the prologue. Five months of real time later, and the story has yet to catch up with itself.