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Comic Book / Ferals

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Ferals was a monthly horror comic published by Avatar Press, written by David Lapham and illustrated by Gabriel Andrade. It ran for 18 issues, from December 2011 to October 2013. Set in the small, remote town of Cypress in Minnesota, the story starts with the murder of police officer Dale Chesnutt's best friend. While the attack looks like the work of an animal, its brutality suggests a human cunning and malevolence. Dale quickly becomes entangled in the world of the ferals, a race of deadly and aggressive werewolves who have taken a supreme interest in him for reasons that have yet to be divulged.

This series provides examples of:

  • All Women Are Lustful: Many women in the story, especially the women of Bergen, are depicted as considerably lustful with a penchant for rough sex. This phenomenon may be due to them being carriers of the Feral enzyme, but even women who are not carriers are shown as being eager for sex. Case in point with Pia.
  • Alpha Bitch / The Vamp: A lot of females in the story, especially the women of Bergen, happen to be unpleasant, vicious, sexually manipulative, or brutal in some aspect. It would be easier to ask what introduced female in the story isn't this trope.
  • Asshole Victim: Mark, Dale's best friend and the first victim of the ferals, is almost universally loathed by the rest of the town and view him as this. He probably still didn't deserve to have his limbs torn off and his penis stuck in his throat.
  • Body Horror: The glands inside infected women's uteruses.
  • Cain and Abel: Gerda murders her sister for sleeping with her husband.
  • Censor Shadow: Used on Dale when he is injured (and naked) in the hospital and crawling towards the closet containing his street clothes.
  • Covers Always Lie: While the covers are true to the spirit of the series, and therefore pretty honest, they never reflect the actual content of the story.
  • Cult: The town of Bergen looks and acts like an extremely conservative, Christian sect. While nothing specific has been said about who or what they worship, the subtext is clearly there.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dennis Chicker, the town coroner, never seems to change expression and is always ready to deliver an cutting remark. That being said, he is frequently ready to help Dale, even if it puts himself at risk.
  • Determinator: Not even an arm in a cast, a punctured lung, eight broken ribs, and internal bleeding can keep Dale from escaping from a hospital, via the third story window.
  • Eye Scream: When Dale rips out the eye of the feral attacking the police station.
  • Fat Bastard: Gerda's husband, Christopher.
  • Gorn: This series ratchets the blood and gore up to eleven within the first six pages of issue 1.
  • Healing Factor: Ferals naturally have this as an ability.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: This happens to be a large theme of the comic. Gratuitous sex is rampant and violence is a-plenty. It's the whole modus operandi of the Ferals, especially in terms of romance.
  • Lady in Red: Gerda Ingebritsen may be an extreme case of this, considering how quickly she seduces Dale.
  • Made of Plasticine: Human limbs get torn off too easily by the ferals.
  • Madonna-Whore Complex: The people of Bergen take this viewpoint to an extreme.
  • More than Mind Control: Women carrying the Feral disease can mentally influence the men that they have sex with to obsess over them and follow their commands. The men under their thrall feel enraptured by the women's scent and memory and feel compelled to search for them and violently protect them if needed. If the female dies, expect the male to go on a suicidal Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Offing the Offspring: Gerda murdered her son, a toddler.
  • Oh, Crap!: First happens when Dale sees his fingernails have turned to claws. However, considering the number of curve balls the series sends his way, it is certainly not the last.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The condition is called being Feral. It is a sexually transmitted disease, manifesting as a strange lump in uteruses. People with it are stronger, faster and heal quicker. They possess greater tempers and lusts, their nails lengthen into sharp claws, they have an enhanced sense of smell, and they tend to have dreams about hunting and the person who infected them. Women are only carriers of the condition, unless they are born as full werewolves: a result of a full werewolf mating with a Feral carrier.
    • The second form is a more advanced version of the condition, which resembles full werewolves. Besides being violent, powerful, and smart, they are stuck in wolf form, are vulnerable to traditional forms of injury, and have been described in-universe to look like a wolf, a bear, and a gorilla all mashed into one. The resulting creature has humanoid elements, but moves like a wolf and leans more towards the dire wolf flavor of lycanthropy, albeit one on serious steroids. A feral becomes a full werewolf by drinking a werewolf's blood.
    • Another variation is introduced in the second arc, which is smaller and smarter and possesses more of a Wolf Man appearance. They can be trained to a greater extent. This is due to drinking werewolf blood before turning completely Feral.
  • Red Right Hand: Ferals all seem to have unnaturally sharp fingernails (unless they trim them down), blatant hair trigger tempers and extensive body hair, which can make them easier to spot.
  • Really Gets Around: The first night we see Dale he manages two hookups, and it isn't implied to be a rare occurrence for him.
    • Common with Ferals due to their increased sex drive.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: The men, and probably most of the women, of Bergen believe this to be true.
  • Serial Escalation: The first arc features one full werewolf and more secretive Ferals. The second features packs of full werewolves, and a villain who wants to take over America. It ends with Salt Lake City being invaded by werewolves.
  • Shirtless Scene: Dale is prone to walking around without a shirt. Helps him show off his back tattoo.
  • The Men in Black: Shoe and his partner.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Bergen, Gerda's hometown, is one.
    • As the series progresses we find out there are multiple 'feral' towns spread across the upper West Coast and Midwest.
  • Viral Transformation: Sex with Gerda has infected Dale with something that is turning him into a feral. However, this is only an initial, partial transformation. Consuming the blood of a full-fledged Feral will turn him into a ravenous monster.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The audience never finds out what happened to Mark and Jackie's kids after both their parents were brutally murdered.