Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / Arthur Benton

Go To

Sir Arthur Benton is a French comic series created by Tarek in 2005.Due to its dark and realistic tone, it can be labelled as the comic counterpart to The Army of Crime.In contrast to the famous ligne claire school, it only uses watercolours, which gives a unique blurred effect to the drawings.The series is made of two cycles, one covering the 1930s and the Second World War, and the other the years 1948-1953.


The title character is an English officer who is sent to Germany by a group of British industriels to help the NSDAP gain more power. The mission succeds only too well. During a smuggling operation, Benton meets with a French agent, Marchand, and his partner, Brigitte Latour. Fooled by Benton, Marchand swears revenge and launches a wild hunt that will last for years, with the help of Brigitte and two German resistants, until things take a dramatic turn in 1945.


Contains examples of:

  • Action Girl : Brigitte does exactly the same job as her male colleagues, killing and bombing included. None of the guys ever says she should stay behind.
  • Ambiguously Gay : Brigitte firmly claims she does not like men, but has a very close friendship with her colleagues Helmut and Heinrich nonetheless, and spends a good deal of time patching them up when they are injured.
  • Arch-Enemy: how Marchand considers Benton - they have been fighting each other for more than 20 years when the series comes to an end. As far as Benton is concerned, Marchand is more a nuisance than anything else, but sometimes can be considered as a Worthy Opponent.
  • Asshole Victim : most of the former SS and Gestapo officers tracked down by Marchand and Benton fall into that category.
  • Berserk Button : never threaten Marchand's teammates. It will end badly. In the same way, never tell Benton that the Nazis were his "friends". Or if you're a Nazi, never disrespect Admiral Canaris in Benton's presence (if you do, chances are he will kill you on the spot).
  • Advertisement:
  • Better to Die than Be Killed : several officers involved in Operation Walkyrie commit suicide rather than being executed by the SS.
  • The Chessmaster : they all operate at different levels, but Benton, Canaris and Churchill are amongst the best exemples in-story.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture : the story deals first with the Nazis, then with the NKVD, so it's kind of hard to avoid it.
  • The Commies Made Me Do It : invoked several times in the second cycle. It's Cold War after all.
  • Destination Defenestration : what happens to Czech minister Jan Masaryk in 1948. Truth in Television, unfortunately.
  • Downer Ending : at the end of the second cycle, the Cold War is still going on, Helmut has been executed, Marchand executes Benton, and is likely to die from the wound received during the fight.
  • Enemy Mine : after more than twenty years of hunting each other, Marchand and Benton sometimes show shades of that.
  • Even Evil Has Standards : when Benton learns that the Nazis have planned the Final Solution, his first reaction is a horrified "Oh my God, they're really going to do it!" From a man who claims he doesn't give a damn about everything that is not killing Communists, it means a lot.
  • Fake Defector : Benton was this all along.
  • Gory Discretion Shot : averted most of the time; we see most victims being shot. One exception is made for Benton. We never see him dead.
  • Grey and Gray Morality : the main characters, Marchand and Benton, constantly play with this trope. None of them are good guys, but they both believe they are fighting for a good cause. The whole historical setting is more Black and Grey Morality.
  • Historical Domain Character : we get to meet Churchill, De Gaulle, Stalin, Kroutchev, Beria, Goebbels, Canaris, Heydrich, and many more...
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick : Brigitte, Helmut and Heinrich are this for Marchand.
  • La Résistance: Marchand, Brigitte and their team are all members of the French or German Resistance groups.
  • Magnificent Bastard : Arthur Benton, oh so much.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender : averted. Of the three women involved in the action, two are killed. The death ratio for the men is not much better, though.
  • My Country Rightor Wrong : all the characters have shades of this, whether it's their country, their friends, the Party... It gets almost all of them killed.
  • Not Afraid to Die : several examples through the story : the officers involved in the 1944 plot against Hitler, Marchand and his team. Benton is no exception, and just calmly lights a cigar when Marchand comes to kill him.
  • Oh, Crap! : at the beginning of the second cyle, Marchand and his team react this way when they discover they will have to work with Benton. Worse, under his orders.
  • Pet the Dog : Benton has some moments when he visits an officer who's going to be executed for plotting against Hitler, or when he shows some genuine compassion for the Jews locked up in the ghetto of Warsaw.
  • Reverse Mole : Heinrich and Helmut play this role, one by posing as a SS and the other as an Abwher agent. At the end of the first cycle, it is revealed that Benton - whose real name is Colonel Kensington - was sent on a mission to infiltrate the NSDAP and get as much intelligence as possible. No one expected the Nazis to win the elections and start a war, but it was too late to call Kensington back, so he went on with the task until the end of WWII.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!! : happens each time Marchand and Benton have a discussion. Most of the time it's Marchand yelling at Benton, particularly during the first cyle, but during the "Cold War" cycle, it's more often the other way round.
  • Taking You with Me : when Marchand finally gets his chance to kill Benton, he is injured by his enemy, and will likely die from his wound.
  • They Knew the Risks : quoted verbatim by Benton after Helmut is executed by Kroutchev's henchmen.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?? : in the appendix of the first cycle, it's revealed that Benton has two sons, one in the R.A.F. and the other working as a spy in Palestine. None of them is mentioned in-story, though. Add a bit of Fridge Horror in the mix, and it's easy to explain Benton's sudden careless attitude after the end of WWII.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: many Russians spies and Nazis agents are treated this way. After Stalin's death, Helmut receives this treatment, and Benton as well.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: