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Comic Book / Fanhunter

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A Spanish comic-book series.

Fanhunter tells us the story of an alternate world: In 1996, in the city of Barcelona, Alejo Cuervo (an insane ex-librarian who thinks he is possessed by the spirit of Philip K. Dick), proclaims himself as the new Pope Alejo I (killing the old one blowing up the Vatican City), submitting (and bribing some governments) all of Europe to the boring "Dick's Rule" by forbidding almost any form of subculture (video games, comics, DVDs, role-playing games, hopscotch...) allowing just what he likes (the works of Philip K. Dick... and, strangely, Breakfast at Tiffany's) Alejo I decided to create a special force, the Fanhunters, and use the cloned soldiers "Tintin Macutes" (not so intelligent) to annihilate the civilians who still resist: otakus, gamers, comic fans and geeks left in Europe. Barcelona is renamed as Barnacity, being the capital of Europe, now renamed Europe of Dick.

To defend themselves, the rebels created a group, The Resistance, to fight against Pope Alejo I and his evil forces. Many fans organised to defend their ideals and lifestyle, stopping the destruction of imagination that moves the World, using their knowledge of movies, comics, TV shows, books, manga & anime, etc.

It started as a self-edited fanzine, and its creator-artist-writer Cels Piñol personally distributed it among the comic book shops. As time went by, its popularity rose, and then it became a nationwide phenomenon, and went outside Spain, attracting the interest of the South American readers.

Graphically limited (simple, but effective artwork), Piñol attracted the attention of thousands of readers who are identified with his comics, games, characters and concepts. In the 1990s, Fanhunter passed from a fanzine to a big publisher, Planeta De Agostini, and there was a huge production of the series. An expanded line with different authors, role-playing games (Fanhunter, Outfan...), novels (Fanhunter: Herencia...), etc. was created.

The humoristic world of the future that Fanhunter reflects, where everything related with comic books, Internet, video games, role-playing games and other expressions of leisure are forbidden, is a subtle and intelligent reflection about the dangers of totalitarian regimes, intolerance and fundamentalism.

And. It's. Awesome.

You can find more info here.

This comic provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Belit, Leona Vaskez.
  • Action Mom: Belit, with a dose of Mama Bear.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Don Depresor in the Fanhunter USA oneshot. He's still a Too Dumb to Live walking disaster, but an heroic one.
  • Affably Evil: Alejo I. He's the bad guy, but very charismatic.
  • Affectionate Parody: Most of the characters are this (John Constantine -> John Konstantin; Ellen Ripley -> Ellen Replay; etc.)
    • Don Depresor deserves an special mention. His name is a pun on the early Spanish translation of Daredevil. Spanish censorship wouldn't let a hero be called "Devil", so they changed his name to Dan Defensor (Defending Dan). Don Depresor could be translated as "Mr Gloomy", in a Shout-Out about the Miller/Nocenti run of DD.
  • Alternate Continuity: In an alternate continuity John Konstantin dies getting run over by a De Lorean -yes, that De Lorean- and it results in a new timeline with Alejo as The Hero -and married to Belit- against a new Big Bad, Morsa (a member of the Resistance in the original universe)
  • Alternate Universe: We have the Fanhunter universe, the Fanboria universe, the Outfan universe (thought this one is probably just a distant future to the Fanhunter one). There's also the Positive Zone... our world.
  • Author Avatar: Cels Denbrough.
  • Badass Preacher: Father Merrin, who uses Bibles as throwing weapons. Bibles signed by Mike Tyson and Jet Li.
    • Also X-tremo (Milton O'Roke) in the elseworld Savage Kiusap Tales.
  • Berserk Button: Don't insult Sigourney Weaver in front of Ridli... Just don't.
  • Big Bad: Professor Lokie, Alejo I (he becomes The Atoner afterwards), Muermammu and Killer Dog (temporarily)... but the real Big Bad is the MEEP (Mal En Estado Puro, Evil in its purest form in english)
  • Big Damn Gunship: The Guagua de la Muerte in The Final Conflict, with its surprise return and attack against the fleet of the MEEP.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Alejo is really Bev, a member of the Fenicius species. They obtain energy and expand their lifetimes (with near inmortality) with business transactions.
  • Bounty Hunter: Bob A. Feet.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Erika Konstantin does this a few times in the novel (when the narration is interrupted by a reader)
  • Chew Toy: Don Depresor (a Daredevil parody)
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Almost all the cast has elements of this more or less, but the main examples are Don Depresor and Alejo I (occasionally).
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Cels Denbrough is frozen in carb...frozen in shit!. Cheaper and easier to work than carbonite.
    • Depriving Konstantin of his cigarettes is also a good punishment for him.
  • Cowboy Cop: Starsky Hutch.
  • Crossover: Fanhunter: The Final Conflict, the final arc, is a Crisis Crossover between all the in-universes of the series: Fanhunter, Outfan, Fanboria...
  • Culture Police
  • Disguised in Drag : The Liquidator, a parody of Terminator, is a muscled male robot coming from the future. Naked, he looks for the clothes of a nearby person. He uses the clothes of a female Flamenco dancer, believing it is some kind of urban camouflage gear.
  • Elseworld: Barnacity by Gaslight, Savage Kiusap Tales.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The end of The Final Conflict implies that the Fanboria universe will become a new Fanhunter universe, with a new Big Bad -this time centered around Robert E. Howard, not Philip K. Dick- and a new Resistance...
  • Face–Heel Turn: Al Fonso, also know as the villainous Guerrero del Antifan
  • From Bad to Worse: Alejo left the power forced by Muermammu, and things got worse. Muermammu is defeated leaving the goverment in the hands of Killer Dog, things got even worse. Alejo came back and just when it looked things will got better, even hinting an agreement with the Resistance, he's shot by an sniper and everything goes to hell.
  • Funny Animal: Morsa (an anthropomorphic walrus), Killer Dog (anthropomorphic dog) and Chigusa (anthropomorphic alien rodent).
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Kayleigh in Outfan.
  • Guile Hero: John Konstantin.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: John Konstantin
    • Also, Max Pospo. And Erica and John Patrick Konstantin, who are 1/4 Fenicius.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Alejo, at the very end.
  • Heroic BSoD: John Konstantin, after the Luke, I Am Your Father moment below.
  • Homage: Most of the characters, being parodies, are also this: (John Konstantin/John Constantine, Doctor X-traño/Doctor Strange, Ellen Replay/Ellen Ripley, etc.)
  • Humongous Mecha: The Mazinguelion. Piloted by Don Depresor.
    • Also, the AKD 2988 Knight of Dick from Fanhunter: Manga Wars, piloted by Belit for a crowning moment of both funny and awesome.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: But not only applied to videogames. If you're a comic book fan, an otaku, a gamer or a geek in the Fanhunter universe, you're probably a freaking potential superhero.
  • La Résistance: Well... The Resistance.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Alejo I to John Konstantin
  • Mad Scientist: Doctor Deflipe.
  • Mama Bear: Belit, especially when Alejo visited her newborn twins (his grandchildren): exhausted woman who has just given birth threatening the current Big Bad with katanas.
  • Mind Screw: Erika's dreams in the novel Fanhunter: Herencia.
    • Max Pospo's dreams in The Final Conflict too. Being the cousin of Erika's father, maybe is a family thing?
  • Mooks: The Tintin Macutes, with elements of Red Shirt Army. This gets averted at times: even if they are pathetic and laughable (they're claustrophobic and can't walk and chew gum at the same time), their big numbers can made them a true menace (and we better not talk about degenerated macutes or the zombified ones in The Final Conflict)
    • The Fanhunters are more of Elite Mooks.
    • In the other hand, the female macutes are quite intelligent (and in the side of the good guys, of course).
  • Most Common Super Power: All the female characters.
  • My Greatest Failure: Konstantin and the Newcastle incident: He sent more than 50 comic book artist to HELL by error. Ouch.
  • Never Mess with Granny: The Ninja Granny in Goldenpussy.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Fanpires. They don't drink blood... they eat comic-books.
    • According to the Fanpiro RPG book, there's another breed of fanpires, the ones infected by the Barrabás virus, who don't need to eat comic-books - though some do -, just play games and read books and comics enough time to calm their vice.
    • Then there's Dracula, though.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: X-tremo.
  • The Plan: The reveal of Konstantin's plan in the last issue of The Final Conflict.
  • Punk Punk: Fanhunter describes itself as "cutrepunk", which could be translated as "shabby punk".
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
  • Redemption Equals Death: Alejo.
  • Retcon: In the original Battle of Montjuic arc the Tintin Macutes are driven to suicide when they are made to believe that a painted-in-white Gusa is Milu (a.k.a Snowy), Tintin's dog, took as hostage in a ridiculous plot orchestrated by Don Depresor of all people. In The Remake it's revealed that the surrender and suicide of the Macutes was caused by mental suggestion by Alejo, who didn't want to see Konstantin die.
  • Rule of Cool
  • Running Gag: Don Depresor (extremely blind and Walking Disaster Area) as a driver. They just don't learn.
    • Also, X-tremo deluding himself in having mutant superpowers. It's not real... until they become real!
  • Shout-Out: Tons.
    • No, seriously. Given its nature and plot the series is a big conglomeration of shout outs to movies, comic books, manga, videogames, literature, etc... the characters themselves, certain cameos and Expys, dialogues, some situations of the plot, jokes... The list of shout outs in Fanhunter is dreadfully long.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: The beginning (and most) of the relationship between Konstantin and Belit.
  • Straight Gay: Rupert, Erika's best friend in the novel.
  • The Chosen One: Max Pospo, Konstantin's cousin from the Fanboria universe.
  • The Dragon: Killer Dog, with elements of The Starscream.
    • Captain Alvariño becomes Alejo's new Dragon, an extremely loyal one.
  • The Empire: The Reverso Oscuro de la Pichurrina (Dark Side of the Pichurrina)
  • The Federation: The Federación de Planetas Federados (Federation of Federate Planets).
  • The Remake: Some of the older self-edited fanzine issues and story arcs of the series had been remade (by Cels and other authors) to fit with the more developed continuity of the recent ones. Some examples are Celquest, The Battle of Montjüic (which is also an expanded version subtitled Redux) and the Kiusap Gothic: Robin Hood remade as Green Hood/Green Dixk.
  • The Vamp: Pussy Malone in Goldenpussy.
  • Time Travel: Ridli and Konstantin, to World War Two. Awesomeness Ensues.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Jack Konstantin (John and Belit's son and Erika's brother). The trauma? Too much interdimensional/time jumps.