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Comic Book / Alan Ford

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Alan Ford, also known as Alan Ford and Group TNT, is an long-running Italian comic book of the Spy Fiction and Black Comedy genre. It was created by writer Max Bunker (real name Luciano Secchi) and artist Magnus (Roberto Raviola, prolific author who also did Satanik), and first published in 1969.

Set in a Deliberately Monochrome World of Ham, the comic tells of the wacky exploits of Group TNT, a non-government secret agency based in a dilapidated, flowerless flower shop on Fifth Avenue, New York City. They fight crime with no money, competence or abidance to the law, yet are surprisingly effective and have a large, if silly, Rogues Gallery.

Around volume 427 (2005) the series takes a sharp turn of events and Group TNT officially disbands, though Alan, along with his newly acquired fiancé Minuette and Number One, opens a detective agency, from which the heroes' adventures continue undisturbed (as of this writing). Generally, about the first 200 volumes are considered to be "classics" and are published as such.


The main concept elaborated by Magnus and Bunker was a parody of James Bond, of course lacking the hero's wealth, luck and gadgets. From the first volume onward, the comic book deeply dabbled in satire and tongue-in-cheek parody of society, political parties, capitalism and typical spy fiction tropes, usually interposed with running gags revolving around the members of the group and their antics. As the story proceeded, the comic book never strayed too far from the original humor, though sometimes racier material started to pop in the story (for example, an entire arc set in Brazil has an almost-always topless beauty as an important character).

Later on Magnus left the series (in order to experiment with new styles) and other authors took up his place, namely Paolo Piffarerio and later still Dario Perucca.


It was a success in Italy, but where it really hit it off was Yugoslavia, where thanks to Nenad Brixy's amazing translation it has been a cultural phenomenon since 1972, and continues to be so in its successor states.

It also had a one-episode animated adaptation that can still be found (subtitled) on the net.

Now with a Character Sheet!

This work is absolutely Troperiffic, but mostly unknown in the English-speaking world, so tropers from Italy and the former Yugoslav states are welcome to add trope examples and anything else they can think of. This page definitely Needs Wiki Magic Love.

This Comic Book contains examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • At the start of the story, Alan is the object of unwanted affection from his landlady's ugly daughter.
    • Later on in the series, a homely secretary he was trying to help istantly falls for him and force him to run away from her embrace, asking himself why there were always uglies falling for him.
    • In Number One's retelling of the Odissey, Odisseus, Number One and Homer have to choose which one of them will become the husband of princess Nausicaa, who's a truly hideous lass. Eventually Odisseus manages to weasel out, and Number One leaves Homer to marry her.
    • In vol. 150, Alan catchtes the eye of Satanik from the comic book of the same name, who invites him for sex after drinking a potion... which alas gives her a serious case of Facial Horror mixed with Rapid Aging, scaring the crap out of poor Alan.
  • The Ace: Minuette Macon from the late series is a pretty lady and skilled motorcycle pilot, a good shooter, brawler and also knows some magic tricks.
  • Action Girl: Minuette, as stated above, as well as Margot on the villainous side.
  • Affably Evil: Many of the recurring villains are corteous and well-mannered, such as Big Caesar, Aseptyk and in some cases Baron Wurdalak.
  • Affectionate Parody: Early on, it was a parody of spy stories pastiche, adding on detective stories, parodies of superheroes and politicians as well as sometimes horror and fiction tropes.
  • The Alcoholic: Superciuk fuels his power with bad-quality wine, though later on in the series he uses instead juice obtained from a tomato/onion hybrid bred by a couple of farmers.
  • All for Nothing: A common resolution for some of the villainous schemes and plots.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The origins of the villain "Centurion": handsome billionaire Mr Duls is madly in love with the humble but bad-tempered miss Boia, who rejects him because she'a attracted only to "villains". In order to win her heart, he starts a villainous carreer as the "Centurion" in order to win her over.
  • All Myths Are True: While the story is mostly set in modern times, things such as vampires, ghosts and trips to other dimensions are possible and do exist.
  • Always Identical Twins: Parodied with the hitmen Frit and Frut, who are so identical they cannot even tell each other apart from themselves.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Mr Trip's henchwoman from vol 41 is extremely well-muscled but still beautiful.
  • Ate the Spoon: Running Gag has a character, hostile to another, offering the latter a drink, only for the latter to pour it on the table, marvelling sarcastically as the drink eat a hole through the wood as the former sheeplishly comments on how strong the drink was.
  • Author Avatar: Among the main characters, Count Oliver and Bob Rock are caricatures of Bunker and Magnus, while more explicit caricatures of each other often appear in older stories.
  • Back from the Dead: Superciuk somehow survives being Swallowed Whole by a shark. Also, the Conspirer, somehow, managed to revive himself after being corroded into a pile of bones by a chemical mist. Also, Number One in volume 200 reveals that he faked his death.
  • Bad Boss: Most villains have a knack for killing their own henchmen when they outlive their usefulness, but most notably Baron Wurdalak, after finding out that his dimwitted servants drank all the blood in the castle (thinking it was red wine.)
Baron Wurdalak: "According to the Transylvanian Treaty of 1326 I am not allowed to feed on my own servants, but I never liked that treaty, nor have I signed it!" (proceeds to drain his minions to death).
  • Bald of Evil: Zigzagged with Big Caesar, former Emperor of Crime who eventually works for the good guys and even opens a sub-group in Los Angeles. He eventually returns being a villain and dies for real.
  • Bald Women: Violet, daughter of the villainous Doctor Alsar, becomes one when Alan accidentally pours an extra-effective anti-growth formula on her head. Also, the villain from El Rapador and her modus operandi.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Bob Rock hates being mocked for his height or his massive Gag Nose, and has quite a temper which usually leads to more disaster.
    • Cariatide doesn't like being mocked, especially by Bob Rock, and actually runs after him with a butcher knife when he tries to boil his beloved pet Squitty.
    • Mr Tromb loathes being called fat, and throws a tantrum whenever this happens.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Alonisius is a rather nice, apparently harmless fellow. He still has no reserves about staking to death Wurdalak's servants after they were drained and turned by their master.
    • Count Oliver, while not exactly a good guy, is of the non-violent persuasion. However, when he finds out that Bob har ransacked his secret stash of loot he downright challenges him to a Duel to the Death.
  • Big Eater: Being mostly poor and forced to sussist on meager soups of dubious qualities, all the members of the group are quite good eaters whenever there's a chance of chowing something decent. Also, Doktor Kreuzer, after his third appearence and a long period in prison, is always seen eating on a snack.
  • BFG: Deconstructed with the hitman "Bazooka" Joe: as the name implies, his weapon of choice is a bazooka, which he uses with great efficiency, but since he also trains in his spare time he ends up burning all his money on ammo, with he himself pointing out that he's spending more than he's gaining.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: What makes the Number One The Dreaded with the USA governemnt and much more: whenever people try to stop him, he'll reveal a small black notebook of his and start narrating embarassing/hot info on the person in question, causing any resistance to cease. He also usually threatens the "Three Pigs" with something about the "Lacrima Christi".
  • Breath Weapon: Whoelse but Superciuk? His dreaded bad breath can knock people senseless and even melt machines and pistols if so he wishes. It's fueled by cheap barbera wine and later by a concoction made from the fictional Onioned Tomatoes. If he keeps himself sober or drinks too much champagne, the breath will fail him.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: In volume 180, with the apparent death of Number One, the Group is disbanded, safe for Oliver, Alan and Bob Rock.
  • Brick Joke: Sometimes, a background sketch or event will re-appear later as a punchline. For example, half-way through one story the Number One orders an extremely fat person to do 7000 push ups in order to lose weight so that he won't be in the way. Near the end of the story, the poor guy did so many of them he reduced himself to a still-moving skeleton.
  • Bungling Inventor: Otto von Grunf's worksmanship leaves much to be desired and has a tendency to either crumble into a pile of junk or explode. Subverted by his glass-busting whistle and his boomerang hand Grenade, which prove to be useful Chekhov's Gun gadgets.
  • Butt-Monkey: Both Alan Ford and Bob Rock are subjected to a lot of bad luck, the former usually more for drama than the latter.
  • Captain Obvious: In his stories, the Number One had a tendency to state obvious things, but most notably the priceless advice he gave to Horatio Nelson:
Number One: "Horace, my old boy, I'm too old to assist you in this battle, but remember my advice: if you want to win, then you mustn't lose!"
  • Clothes Make the Superman: In volume 212 The Cursed Idol, Alan is suddenly capable of acts of incredible badassery because, as he lampshades, he's dressing as Indiana Jones.
  • Comically Small Demand: A plot point in Sergeant Gruber: the titular villain has stolen a nuclear missile and is threatening the World, so that the States will finally give in to his request: Because of a mistake when he was in the military, he was never acknowledge as a Sergeant, so he'd like to have his unpaid salary given to him.
  • Continuity Nod: Events from early on in the series are referenced and continued in future stories.
  • Corrupt Politician: Pretty much the entire higher-ups are either this, or sleazy. Most notably the "Three Pigs" ruling New York city are arrogant, obnoxious and only enforce the police if rich people are involved.
  • Crapsack World: As mentioned on the page description, New York city is a dirty place with a massive gap between dirt-poor civilians and jerkassish rich people, the three leaders are corrupt and vain and everyone but our heroes are either jerks or stupid.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Otto von Grunf has always been nothing more than a comic relief, but in Save Us please, Thanks! he actually plays a Big Damn Heroes moment by storming Napoleon's ship, indirectly causing Napoleon's death with one of his inventions and beating the crap out of the entire crew with nothing but fisticuffs and his dreaded whistle.
  • Culture Chop Suey: While the story is set in America, many elements regarding food, politics and dialects are far more rooted in Italian culture rather than American.
  • Didn't Think This Through: After Aseptyk reveals his intention to launch a polluting missile which will make Earth uninhabitable and poisonous from the inside out, Alan points out that he too will die in the process. After stumbling a little, Aseptyk answers with the following, convicing explanation.
Aseptyk:"I... I won't die, because I'm actually wearing a safety mask on my mouth!"
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: In volume 449, opera singer Domitilla lures Alan in a cabin, locks the door and tries to force herself on him; by the time Minuette arrives and blows the door open, she's stark naked and busy ripping open Alan's clothes. It is played seriously as a bad thing, though the only reason why Alan didn't fought back is because he feels bad about hitting a woman.
  • Driven to Suicide: Recurring Extra De Suicidis is an extremely unlucky man trying to commit suicide in various ways, only to be thwarted at each turn. Beside this, suicide is often employed as a way out by many villains, including Sergeant Gruber.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: In Superciuck Strikes Again, Alan does this twice after finding out what happened to two of his love interests.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Drug smugglers and drug users tend to be portrayed in a rather negative light. Most notably, is because of drugs that Alan's love Brenda became a criminal and eventually was killed.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Early on, Cariatide was actually a stern, no-nonsense leader, and in his first appearence Number One looked like a benevolent if senile old goof, though later appearences implies it was because he drank an entire bottle of champagne earlier.
  • Easy Amnesia: Margot suffers one after falling in a cellar and hitting her head. After several episodes revolving around her memories (since she saw the T.N.T.'s hideout they'd had to kill her to preserve the secrecy). Eventually she regains her memories and everything is solved.
  • Epic Fail: Given the humor of the series, it's not uncommon for both villains and heroes to make terrible blunders. A golden example is Slaszlo from The Secret Message: he tries to kill Number One with a grenade... but he accidentally throws the pin and swallows the bomb, with... predictable results.
  • Famous Last Words: Another famous running gag is having deceased characters snark or making funny comments as they die, even when it shouldn't be physically possible for them.
  • Fan Disservice: Beppa Josef, a massive and hag-like banditess, in a skimpy bikini.
  • Fat Bastard: Mr Tromb is an obese madman who was bullied for his girth and plans to get his revenge by blowing up the world. Superciuk is quite fat himself, but because he wears a bodice while disguised, this is mostly downplayed.
  • Fed to the Beast: The most creative so far being Aseptyk, who coats his henchmen in honey before releasing a swarm of killer bees on them. Also, the Royal Hunchback is fond of tossing people to his piranha pets.
  • Femme Fatale: Margot, the first and main example of this trope before becoming a rather Friendly Enemy. Others not-so-friendly examples include ghost gangster Baby Kate, Betty Prettylegs and opera singer Domitilla Scannagatti.
  • Floorboard Failure: Well, roofboard, volume 29 Circus has the obese hitman Jhonny Guts falling through the roof he was standing on because of his own weight (as he blames the whole pork he had for lunch). Subverted when he walks out of the door below unscathed, if angry.
  • Foreshadowing: After being helped by Mr Lamp in dealing with Superciuk, Alan tries to have him enlisted in the Group, but Number One refuses. Much later, Lamp will be officially hired as part of the Los Angeles team.
  • Forgot to Pay the Bill: How Doktor Kreuzer is defeated in his first appearence: he forgot to pay the bills for his Island Base and thus was arrested. This is also how Sergeant Gruber is ultimately done is, as he cannot cover all his expenses for his base, army and submarine and opt to suicide rather than live in shame.
  • Funetik Aksent: In the animated adaptation, Grunf speaks with a german accent, while the Count has the typical British accent.
  • Gender-Blender Name: During the Melissa trilogy, the titular, mysterious villain is thought by most to be a girl because of the name, however, as Clodoveo helpfully points out, Melissa originally meant "bee" in Greek. It turns out that the real Melissa is an old bee farmer fell in disgrace, and an aquaintance of Number One himself.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • In a Society Marches On example, early volume "Formulae" made fun at the expenses of the Communists, a subject which, at the time, was a serious no no in Italy. As mentioned in an anedoct in the end of the volume, even communist people who read that story still found it hilarious.
    • Magnus wasn't shy in the pretty girls department, though sometimes they appeared in the nude or topless. Under Perucca, things were pushed even further, especially with the introduction of Pochita, a Brazilian Ms. Fanservice who kept her breasts bared for most of her appearences.
    • In Superciuk Strikes Again, the Nazi-looking director of the clinic where Superciuk was confined makes some... interesting comments about Bob Rock's Gag Nose and black hair.
    • In the special volume parodying The Betrothed, the character played by Betty subtly hits on Margot's character right after suggesting that she should forget his boyfriend and making some ambigous comments about showing her her legs.
    "If they're as good as I imagine, our near future could be most enjoyable..."

    • A previous volumes ends with Minuette receiving the advances of a female hostess who has apparently spiked everyone elses' drinks so that they can have intimate fun later.
  • Giant Spider: Two-shot villain Arakno is a mutated spider who grew into humanoid size and proportions. Subverted in that he's more goofy than scary and that he dislike being a giant spider and would rather return to his original size if he could.
  • Gonk: Some of the characters are draw in an exaggerated style, both men and women. Notable examples are the extremely pudgy Mr Tromb and the pig-like ministers ruling the city.
  • Gratuitous English: Parodied, after the Conspirer's return, the previously named Trius Fantasticus add two more members to their ranks and so are renamed the "Fantastic Faiv" [sic], after the Italian pronunciation of five.
  • Happily Married: Against all odds, Superciuk with Beppa Josef, Mister Duls with Pochita, and eventually Alan Ford with Minuette.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Cirano, the Group's dog, tend to side with villains if they provide him with food. Eventually, Big Caesar as well.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: The Conspirer's face was never shown during the entire run of the comic. The only time he's seemingly unmasker, it's revealed that he was wearing another mask over his usual hood.
  • Historical Jerkass Upgrade: In the tales of Number One, many historical characters such as Julius Caesar, Leonidas, Horation Nelson, Napoleaon and George Armstrong Custer are revealed to be incompetent, cowardly buffoons.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: The Fetish has the group working on the murder of a young singer apparently killed with a voodoo doll: Reality Ensues, she simply had a stroke, the voodoo ritual was a coincidence. Also, an outburst of voodoo magic is how the ugly and massive Beppa Josef became the beautiful Morgana.
  • Homage: The entire volume 150, Kriminalissimo, is one big love letter to Magnus and his other works, with many characters such as Satanik'' making a cameo and interacting with Alan.
  • Horned Hairdo: Played straight by the villainous Doctor Alsar, averted (depending on who you ask) with Number One, who's otherwise bald.
  • Hotter and Sexier: As the series approached number 200, content became more risqué and slightly racier, which includes showing the aftermath of a sexual encounter between the Count and another lady, or having Les Yay moments along the way.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: During some of his appearences, Big Ceasar bitterly comments on how the great Emperor of Crime has been reduced to obeying an old geezer. Eventually he tries to rebel, but ends up being dead.
  • Hypno Fool: Hypnos is normally a third-rate music teacher who loves the piano and just wants to make money and polish his art. However, playing or hearing a certain piece of Classical Music will turn him into a ruthless bandit who will use hypnotic powers to mind control people and rob them clean of their goods. In his first appearence, this is put to a good use to finally arrest Gommaflex.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Linda, Alan's first love, was quite beautiful, but a short and sad marriage turned her into a bitter fat crone, which devastates Alan. Inverted with Beppa Josef, who's turned into the gorgeous Morgana thanks to a freak accident of magic.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Pyromaniac twins Abs and Estos can somehow survive igniting themselves.
  • Jerkass: Pretty much a solid 90% of the population of the World is this.
  • Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: Number One is greedy, tyrannical, rambling, bossy and sometimes mean, but deep down he's a good and decent fellow who deeply cares for the wellbeing of his men.
  • Joker Immunity: Superciuk due to his popularity. Deconstructed with Mr Duls/The Centurion: while he's caught and exposed as a criminal, his sheer wealth and status makes him untoucheable and has always evaded arrest.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Inverted with Superciuk: he robs the poor and gives to the rich: being a sweeper, he came to loath the poors who always make a mess and dirty everything, and values the riches, who are cleaner. Eventually he becomes disillusioned with both parties and tend to work for himself.
  • Kick the Dog: Big Caesar killing Brenda in front of Alan.
  • Kill It with Water: Wurdalak and his friends are extremely vulnerable to water, and will be Killed Off for Real if they even fell into it. Oddly enough, this weakness extends to snow (which is,technically, solified water).
  • Killed Off for Real: A few characters, excluding one-shot ones. Amongst the fallen we have Aseptyk, Sergeant Gruber, Brenda and Big Caesar.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In Doctor Cancer, the cigarette tycoon who laughed off the titular doctor earlier for his anti-smoke campaign and dismissed his warnings, is given a super-concentrated cigarette, which poisons him to death as he takes a sniff.
  • Laughably Evil: While some of the villains can be threatening, most of them come off as funny because of their quirks, shortcomings or misfortunes.
  • Laxative Prank: Volume 16 Hotsprings Cure, the people who drink the "spring water" of the clinic suffers this, except for Big Caesar, somehow. This is also the first time the group can play a prank of the Count.
  • Lost in Translation: Cariatide is called "Big Boss" in the foreign translation, while in the original his name referred to a statue, for his approach to most problems.
  • Mad Scientist: The series had his share, including:
    • Doktor Kreuzer, former Nazi scientist who was supposed to spend 300 years in prison (298, if you ask him) and is often employed in shady schemes.
    • Aseptyk, and ecologist who secretly wants to destroy the entire world with pollution and turn it into a desolate wasteland.
    • Doctor Cancer, who wants to prove the danger of smoke by forcing his subjects to smoke extremely toxic cigarettes made of concentrated tobacco.
    • The Croc's Head has the Conspirer wanting to pay off and kidnap a nuclear physician to force him to commit evil acts... however, when the Conspirer's agent reveals why he's here, the physician is actually elated, as he always wanted to be a proper Mad Scientist rather than a good guy.
  • Master of Disguise: The first in the series is the charming French thief Arsenic Lupon, who's actually a toothless, bald old midget in disguise. Later on there's Gommaflex, a bandit whose gum-like face allows him to take the appearence of anyone he likes, even giving himself beast-like faces.
  • Meaningful Name: Related to the above, Cariatide's real name is Gervasius De Statuis, while the costantly-ill Geremia's surname is "Lettiga" (Gurney).
  • Meet the New Boss: The bulk of the Number One's story about the Central-America revolutions, with him dethroning his predecessors and eventually abdicating before the next rebellion kills him.
  • Mind Screw: The entire volume 100 The Black Hills of South Dakota: the group visits the grandfather of Number One, whose nearby gold mine is targeted by a shotgun-wielding goon. Inside the mine, the group faces ghosts of their previous enemies, while Number One confronts the shooter, only to suddenly find himself in a traditional western duel, which he wins. Then, everything but his grandad's dilapidated hut vanishes, leaving only a note and the family parrot Clodoveo behind.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: A common type of minion employed by the villains.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Quite a fair amount, though usually evil, including:
    • Top example, superspy Margot, who first appear in a cleavage-baring, leg-exposing black gown. Later on though she tend to dress rather modestly.
    • Aptly-named Prettylegs Betty, a seductive lady with long, detailed legs.
    • Brazilian beauty Pochita, who spends most of her introduction wearing nothing but a skirt and showing off her naked boobs for all to see.
    • Minuette Macon is a downplayed example, though she's still rather pretty and wanted in universe by both guys and ladies.
    • Domitilla Scannagatti is very beautiful and tend to dress in revealing outfits showing off her body.
  • Mugging the Monster: In a rare case of The Dog Bites Back too, volume There was once a Bounty... has a barely-disguised Stampel trying to mug both the agents of T.N.T. and Number One of their hardly-gained bounty. Among various things he's clubbed on the head, pelted with bricks and run over by a wheelchair.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The above-mentioned Hypnos is actually horrified by the evil acts committed under hypnosis, and would rather live honestly if he could. Also, Magician Drake went depressed and rant-prone after accidentally releasing the Ghosts from the binds of time and space.
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: The Mangia sect, a global secret organization who ends up being an Arc Villain for some time before being finally disbanded.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Crocodiles and Alligators make appearences, and in some stories, such as The Croc's Head, Alleged Safari and Fiction they end up playing a pivotal role in the story.
  • Nice Guy: Alan Ford himself is an incredibly nice, shy and naive guy, who alas tend to suffer a lot because of this.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Alan Ford himself is based on Peter O'Toole.
    • Bob Rock and Count Oliver were based on Magnus and Bunker, respectively.
    • Villain Anten-Man is a caricature of notorius Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi.
  • Noble Demon: Both Superciuk and Gommaflex are ruthless robbers, but rather affable outside of their crimes and both make a point of never take lives. (Though the latter did try to drown the heroes to death).
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Starting from volume 18 (The Million Dollar Dog), the group adopts the Italian Pointer Cirano. Later on he's joined by the hamster Squitty, the talking parrot Clodoveo, the alcohol-loving python Xeres and finally Pellicus, a tamed pellican. After the 2005 reboot, only Clodoveo was left, along with Prudy, a cat belonging to Number One's sister.
  • Non-Indicative Name: In Bu Bu's Plot, it turns out that the titular lost pet Bu Bu is a cat, not a dog as they thought.
    • The Mute Malaysian can actually speak pretty well, is just that he does it only on Thursday. From that episode on, he's usually called "The Mute-safe-on-Thursday Malaysian".
  • Noodle Incident: The "Lacrima Christi" affair. Whatever it is, it makes the three Pigs quiver in fear and obedient to the Number One's orders.
  • Odd Couple: The latest volumes introduces the duo Tiger and Pansy (Tigre and Mammolo in the original), a duo of former singers and now thugs for hire consisting in a camp Manly Gay and his tomboyish Butch Lesbian.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In When the Heart Goes Tu-tum!, a suddenly healthy and optimistic Geremia is seen with suspicion... because he's an impostor in disguise.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Baby Kate and her Gang were a criminal band from the 20ies, accidentally brought to life by a spell cast by failed magician Drake, which apparently tore a wall in the dimensions of space and time, rather than through the netherworld. They can interact with solid items, are icy cold and disappear with a ghostly wail whenever someone says "Ghosts" out loud. Averted with the mysterious Idem Idem, who appears to be a ghostly gentleman holding a copy of his own head under his arm, but is actually a hoax, using a special fluorescent paint and a mannequin.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Baron Wurdalak and his associates are of the Classical Movie Vampire type, can turn into bats, are driven away by garlic, crucifixes, sunlight and even water, which more often than not is used to defeat them or drive them away. Oddly enough, they do not have Super Strength and can still be poisoned or gassed. Vampire expert Alonisius managed to create a serum that make people immune to vampirism and can even cure recently-turned people. Otherwise, Vampires must be either drowned or receive a Wooden Stake to the heart.
  • Paid Harem: Many rich extras are often seen with beautiful ladies with them. Beppa Josef provides a Reverse Harem example.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Justified example, the Number One goes to great lenghts to make sure that none of his employees gets too rich, since more often than not they end up losing everything in embarassing ways. Averted for a while when the Count took over the Group.
  • Police are Useless: Especially under the lead of bumbling inspector Brok.
  • Punny Name: All over the place, such as Inspector Brok (after Brocco, Fool), Stampel (after Stampella, crutch), Superciuk (After ciucco, alkie) and much more.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: Big Caesar is guarded by a trio of dangerous animals: Teddy (a bulldog), Betty (a black panther) and Theodor (a gorilla).
  • Really Gets Around: Pochita often mentions how much she'd like to marry with a handsome husband, has sex with both Big Caesar and Count Oliver and also considers Alan an eligible partner.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Number One was around during the Trojan War, already canute, and at one point he mentions that his earliest acquaintances were Adam and Eve.
  • Rogues Gallery: Becomes a plot point near the end of the first series, when it's revealed that the Number One keeps a series of photoes of the various villains inside his lair.
  • Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Baron Wurdalak was a villain in Comic Book/Satanik before.
  • Running Gag:
    • Alan having bad luck with women.
    • Bob Rock getting mad at something, or being pelted with snowballs in winter, or being mocked for his nose/heigth.
    • Count Oliver stealing everything in sight and calling his good friend Bing.
    • Cirano trying to eat Squitty/getting bribed with food by a villain.
    • Grunf making a ridicolous contraption or falling asleep in improbable places.
    • Mr Tromb blowing up a globe with a Cartoon Bomb.
    • The three Pigs mocking the crime-of-the-episode, only to be forced into action when a rich and influent person is targeted.
  • Samurai: In Go Samurai Go!, Number One meets the anachronistic samurai Ikado-du, who's enduring a quest to obtain enough honor to become a full-fledged samurai, and proves to be a useful and loyal companion, skilled in kung fu and sword fighting.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Doktor Kreuzer becomes paranoid when the Group agents are involved, and is quick to get the hell out of the place to avoid another blunder.
  • Self-Deprecation: Especially during the Magnus era, the authors weren't afraid of insulting each other during their in-story appearences.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Most of Alan's love stories before meeting Minuette, especially with Brenda Sterling who ultimately ends up dead in front of him.
  • Shout-Out: Big Ceasar's name comes from the movie Little Ceasar.
    • The Royal Hunchback's secret is a portrait he enchanted the same way The Portrait Of Dorian Gray did, but because of a twist, while his body is still ugly and hunchbacked, his portrait actually keeps growing younger and younger.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Turns out that Number One's sister Strabalda is still alive and kicking (well, wheeling), and is a bitter archenemy of the former.
  • Slipping a Mickey
    • Arsenic Lupon's modus operandi when it comes to poisoning his victims. Somehow failed against Gommaflex when the two met.
    • Often used by villains who want to capture the heroes alive, usually taking advantage of their perpetual hunger/thirst.
    • In a variation, during the closing panels of volume 443 Hollywood Calls has a Bifauxnen flight attendant flirts with Minuette before revealing that the champagne she offered to all the other passengers will make them sleep, so that she can join her later in the hostess compartment so that she can tell and "give" her something.
  • Sleazy Politician: Do not expect to see politician coming off lightly or in a positive light in this series.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: A common reaction from the perpetually-hungry members of the Group, though sometimes even enemy mooks are not exempt. Examples include Zoo Symphony (a villain decides to eat some peanuts rather than stay on guard) and Mystery at the Farmhouse (the group is distracted by a ham sandwich waved around by Number One).
  • Something Completely Different: After the big turn of 2005, the tone of the story changed entirely, focusing more on Alan and Minuette.
  • Sore Loser: Criminal Rapiner likes to force people to play poker with him, using blank cards so that he can claim he made the biggest score, and gets childishly angry if others try to counter. Later on, a portly gangster by the name of Bombolo Flit loves to play billiard, but will smash the stick on his opponent if they point out he's cheating.
  • Spy Fiction: A parody of the genre, though some elements are played straight.
  • Stalker with a Crush: In the latest series, billionaire Fitzgerald Diamond for Minuette and Domitilla Scannagatti for Alan Ford. Preceding them both, but only for Alan, there was Baby Kate, the ghost she-bandit.
  • Sticky Fingers: Count Oliver has a knack for stealing everything that's not glued down, and it runs in the family.
  • Stripped to the Bone: Those who come too close to the area polluted by Aseptyk's bomb meet this fate, including The Conspirer, who somehow manages to reform himself from that!
  • Suddenly Sexuality:
    • While in the original stories the Count looked more interested in wealth and valuables rather than women, a few scenes in later volumes has him bedding beautiful women.
    • In the adaptation of The Bethroded, Betty's character suddenly makes an ambigous proposition to Margot.
  • Take That!:
    • Formulae audaciously (for the time) depicts the Comunists as bumbling, guillabe idiots who are easily swayed by Alan and behave quite immaturely.
    • Golpe features a fascist movement as the villains, and they're all depicted as boasting, foolish and secretly cowardly fools.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: In A Surprising Idea, the obese Bombolo Flit escapes the heroes by hiding in a sauna and upping the temperature to the point that he's very skinny upon leaving. However, he's recognized by Cirano and find refuge in a pizzeria, where he decides to have a meal to make up for the sauna. Unfortunatley, he eats so much he ends up becoming fat again and being recognized.
  • Terrible Trio: Bob's three twin brothers Tim, Tom and Tumb. Later on the three villains Alsar, Conspirer and Stampel form one, named the Trio Fantasticus.
  • Those Two Guys: General War and his right-hand man, Bert, are usually seen together.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Doktor Kreuzer was a former Nazi scientist, as well as his mentor, who's enlisted by the American Governemnt to work for them. A one-shot villain had a secret plan to use the gains of his smugglings to rebuild the Nazi from scratch... because he thought they were fashionable!
  • Threatening Shark: During his fourth appearence, Superciuk apparently dies after being eaten alive by a shark. For several volumes, a talking shark asking people for wine is repeatedly mentioned. Eventually, said shark is hunted and fished, and Superciuk released once more.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Most mooks employed by the villains tend to fall victim to their own stupidity or being guillable enough to trust notorious Bad Boss types.
    • Mr Tromb, during his first appearence, ends up throwing a tantrum and pressing the Doomsday Device button ahead of time... before realizing what he had just done. He survive though.
    • Alonisius, after figuring out an antidote which not only makes him immune to vampirism but also immortal and decides to just walk in Baron Wurdalak's castle and show him his immunity. Wurdalak ends up locking him into a dungeon for ages, where he's unable to starve or perish, though in the end Alonisius isn't too shaken by the experience.
    • Wurdalak's servants, Kott and Krud, not only angers their masters with their ineptitude, but also mistakenly drink all the blood reserves of the castle, mistaking them for wine, which makes Wurdalak angry enough to feed on them and call it a day.
    • The arab rebels from Foreign Legion fail to realize that they're buying slightly-modified toy guns for their revolution.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: Parodied in vol 370: a rich criminal hires three beautiful women for sex, though whey they are alone and the ladies naked, he has them using a series of gym tools to build up some sweat, all while moaning in pleasure to fool listeners, so that he can make his guests believe that he had an orgy by himself without breaking a sweat. One of the ladies even admit he's quite crafty.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Number One, though "hero" may be a little of a stretch. For one, he's ready to use murder to make sure the T.N.T. Group's secrecy is kept.
  • Villain Decay: Most of the recurring villains tend to become less and less threatening with each new appearence, such as Superciuk, Dr Kreuzer and Wurdalak. The latter in particular blames Bram Stoker and Luciano Secchi for his misfortune, as their works made people too Genre Savvy around Vampires.
  • Villainous Glutton: Since most rich people tend to eat well and be portly, this is a common feature of most bad guys. Most notably Mr Trip from vol 41 Rich Mission, an obese devil-like man who's almost costantly feeding on pastries during the duration of the story.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Minuette is in love with Alan, and is ready to defend him tooth and nail against others women, especially Domitilla.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Female example with the beautiful Pochita, though she eventually wears an almost see-through blouse upon leaving Brazil.
  • Weaksauce Weakness:
    • Superciuk cannot keep up his alcoholic breath if he restrains from drinking bad wine or if he drinks class wine such as champagne.
    • Wurdalak and his cronies are extremely vulnerable to water, and will perish if submerged.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Subverted with Aseptyk: at first he looks very reasonable and sensitive, but eventually his ultimate goal will destroy all life on earth for no clear reason.
  • White Sheep:
    • Bob Rock is the only member of his family who hasn't become a criminal.
    • General War is actually a member of Mangia, but has always refused to join them.
  • Wicked Witch: Minuette's teacher's rival, Witchcraft, is one. She often appears as an antagonists, though she pulled an Enemy Mine and helped Minuette and Alan escape trouble.
  • World of Snark: Pretty much everyone has a sarcastic comment ready to be fired. And you can hardly blame them.

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