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Comic Book / Absalom

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Absalom is a comic that was featured in 2000 AD.

Police inspector Harry Absalom leads a team tasked with policing the terms of the Accord, a treaty between the British Crown and Hell.

On November 17 2022, a web animation Absalom: Fight Night! was released as a collaboration between Mashed and Rebellion (the latter being the owners of 2000AD). You can watch it here.

This comic provides examples of:

  • Big Bad: The Guv'nor ends up as both this and the Final Boss of the series.
  • Defective Detective: Detective Absalom copes with highly advanced stages of cancer by drinking a mixture of laudanum and whiskey that he carries in a hip flask.
  • Combat Parkour: Seems to be the specialty of David.
  • Deus ex Machina: Played with. On several occasions, Absalom and his team are saved by the appearance of the homunculi hit squad that usually make a short work of any threat. This seems like this trope invoked or just a backup brought in time, although in the last story it is revealed that they were sent by Dolly, one of the creators of the homunculi, who is able to control them directly and has an interest in protecting Absalom.
  • Drunk Driver: Double (Triple?) subverted. When his newest agent raises questions whether he should be driving whilst drinking from a hip flask, Absalom insists that she's got the wrong idea, and he's drinking from the flask for medicinal purposes... except the "medicine" is a very potent liquid mixture of opiates (Laudanum), which would be far worse than alcohol to be drinking while driving... and Absalom is mixing it with whiskey, anyway, to take the bad flavor off.
  • Fantastic Noir
  • Gambit Pileup: Various factions such as the Stylite Club, Church, Rathborne Family, Yolanda's group, Harry's squad & allies, and eventually The Guv'nor, all have widely different agendas going on, often at the same time.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Mr. Critch is introduced as a sort of Absalom's opposite number within Rathborne family, but ultimately sides with the detective in his final mission.
  • Heroic Suicide: Mr. Critch seemingly overloads his power source, obliterating all enemies in the vicinity in a fiery explosion to buy others time in their assault on The Mills.
  • I Know What You Fear: It is stressed that lower dungeons of The Mills possess this ability and can turn the intruders' minds against themselves.
  • Killed Off for Real: The Reverend Howard Grimalkin in "Under A False Flag" and Barnabas, Emile Randolph Rathborne, Mister Critch, D.S. Terence Sangster, Cecile & Dolly, The Guv'nor and Inspector Harry Absalom himself in "Terminal Diagnosis - Book Two".
  • The Masquerade: Many members of British high society are at least partially demonic after a pact between the British crown and Hell that ended with several marriage alliances.
  • Occult Detective: Absalom is a police detective attached to the department in charge of maintaining the peace deal between the British Crown and the forces of Hell.
  • People Puppets: It is revealed, that the homunculi, created as the brute force and shock troops, can be hijacked and controlled remotely by Dolly, one of their designers who, after suffering a stroke, is now in a seemingly vegetative state, but with her mind and psychic abilities intact.
  • Really 700 Years Old: It's inferred that Harry Absalom is centuries old, as he was present during the founding of The Accord, and is being kept alive as some part of the terms of the agreement, even as his physical body suffers from several advanced forms of cancer.
  • Resolved Noodle Incident: The entire plot is fueled by the existence of the Accord, a secret agreement between English government and Hell. Although referenced in the very beginning, it is never elaborated upon. Only in the very end of the last story it is finally disclosed why it happened in the first place. The high-ranking members of the royal court brokered infernal help to thwart the threat of Spanish invasion.
  • Shoot the Dog: Absalom and his men sometimes kill kittens to draw out vampires.
  • Spin-Off: Harry Absalom became the focus of his own series after making his first appearances in Caballistics, Inc..
  • Time Crash: An ancient stone carrying the memories of the city of London is used by a British fascist to create cracks in the time periods so that they'll overlap, like turning the wrong corner and ending up in the Great London Fire.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Rare non-villain example, although it doesn't say much given Black-and-Grey Morality or even Black-and-Black Morality present in the series. The ultimate goal of the institution represented by Yolanda, most likely Security Service a.k.a. MI5 is to completely eliminate Rathborne family, remaining demons and possibly also the Stylite Club, effectively unilaterally rendering the Accord void what they actually proceed to do in the end of the story. Their rationale is that although the Accord had its merits in the past, at the beginning of 21st century it brings more harm than good.
  • Your Soul Is Mine!: It is a modus operandi of a pedophile demon in Eastby-on-Sea the team hunts in Dirty Postcards. specifically, he traps the kids' souls with his camera, leaving only a soulless husk behind.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Mr. Critch is a creature that is never shown to be especially strong, but he is still able to single-handedly beat an Eldritch Abomination using his magic aptitude.