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Comic Book / Funky Koval

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Funky Koval is a Polish science fiction comic book, created in the 1980s by writers Jacek Rodek and Maciej Parowski and artist Bogusław Polch (who also illustrated The Witcher comic books). The eponymous hero, a detective working for the Universs Agency, gets tangled in an interplanetary political conflict involving two alien races: the Droll and the Ankuz.

Started as a strip in the magazine "Fantastyka" in 1982, the comic was later moved to a book format, with four albums being released: "Bez Oddechu" ("Without Rest", 1987), "Sam Przeciw Wszystkim" ("Alone Against All", 1988), "Wbrew Sobie" ("Against Oneself", 1992) and "Wrogie Przejęcie" ("Hostile Takeover", 2011). In 2011, it was announced that the production company Astrablu would film an adaptation of the first book, but the film still remains in Development Hell.

Tropes include:

  • Ace Pilot: Funky. Originally a lieutenant of the Air Space Force, decorated with the Silver Star of Palantir, he gets promoted to commander in "Wbrew Sobie".
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: the latter two albums feature noticeably different coloring and linework than the more famous first two.
  • Back from the Dead: the Great Planner revives Rhotax for some unknown reason in "Wbrew Sobie".
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: On DB-4, Funky gets the idea to sic the Stellar Fox forces on the secret weapons lab by claiming that its commander, Toth, switched sides and allied with Universs and the guerrillas.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Dogma of the Temporist Cult featured in "Bez Oddechu" without any major consequence is mentioned by Funky as the explanation of his ability to navigate the space-time in "Wrogie Przejęcie".
  • Cowboy Cop: Funky himself.
  • Dirty Cop: In "Sam Przeciw Wszystkim", the files Funky stole from Stellar Fox reveal that a lot of policemen are on their payroll.
  • Faceless Eye: The Droll Great Planner is a huge eye-like sphere with a red iris and vertical pupil.
  • Flying Car: Flying cars and bikes are very common, and often armed. Funky uses a heavily armed police flying bike to storm the Stellar Fox HQ.
  • Gainax Ending: The entirety of "Wrogie Przejęcie" is... confusing, to say the least, and it ends with Funky and the corrupt security advisor Hellbright fist-bumping and quoting Leonard Cohen's "First We Take Manhattan", and the Droll Great Planner turning around to reveal a hologram of Funky's face.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: The goggles worn by Drolls allow them to see through illusions on Xa'Ghu, serve as a communications device and a beacon for the teleportation system.
  • Hidden Supplies: A spaceship launch platform, complete with a "secret null-space glider" is hidden under a backwoods shed.
    Funky: "In that shed, boss? We're gonna fly to Denebola in a tractor?!"
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How Funky gets his revenge on the President's secretary.
  • Inconsistent Coloring: Funky's hair, of all things. The cover for "Bez Oddechu" above shows it as grey, but various frames, variant covers and promotional artworks drawn by the original creator have it dark blonde, dark blue bordering on black, lilac, powder blue or simply black.
  • Latex Perfection: In "Bez Oddechu", one of the Stellar Fox goons sent to intercept a flight to DB-4 wears a mask that makes him look like Funky. In "Sam Przeciw Wszystkim", it's Funky who dons a latex mask to get to the Moon by impersonating a high-ranking police officer.
  • Lost Superweapon: The main objective of Stellar Fox's expedition to DB-4 - an insanely powerful Wave-Motion Gun that disintegrates people and knocks spaceships out of the sky running on 0.01% of its maximum power.
  • Monumental Damage: The Eiffel Tower gets blown up in "Bez Oddechu".
  • Mushroom Samba: In "Bez Oddechu", Funky has a chip implanted in his brain to "paralyze his superego", causing him to act like a complete Jerkass. A side effect of that is a hallucination where he's sitting in front of the mirror in his apartment and looking at his reflection having devil horns, and then a huge hand breaks through the mirror to drag him into a bizarre sexual fantasy world.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Rhotax, "the Super Killer".
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: Stellar Fox. They have politicians and police on their payroll, they kidnap a senator and fake his death, conduct underhanded deals with alien civilizations and seek highly destructive alien relics.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The corrupt TV personality George Fanner is based on the then-government spokesman Jerzy Urban, and Funky even confuses the two when he's teleported to 1981 Poland in the side-story "White Noise".
  • Psychic Block Defense: Funky somehow resists the Drolls' attempts at mind reading and mind control.
  • Psychic Powers: Yarps Dritt'Adr-Atta, the Droll guerrilla from DB-4, causes the Mad Scientist Conti and weapons lab commander Toth to tear each other apart in order to stop them from researching the disintegrator cannon any further. Yarps Laar's mook sent to impersonate Dritt in "Sam Przeciw Wszystkim" tries it against Funky and Brenda, but they're not evil enough for his power to work.
  • Psycho for Hire: Rhotax.
  • Punny Name: Visa-Vinego, when read in Polish, sounds like "vis-a-vis niego" - "across from him" or "opposite him". Quite fitting, since he's the antagonist.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Yarps Laar and his lackeys escape when Funky teleports into the control room to save Dritt.
  • Shout-Out: Happening more often in the later two albums:
  • Sinister Shades: Visa-Vinego, the leader of Stellar Fox, wears characteristic black goggles.
  • Stable Time Loop: How Funky saves the kidnapped supermodel from the Temporist Cult after they send her into the past as a sacrifice offering. He suggests that the model is a distant descendant of the Temporist high priest's daughter.
  • Thinking Up Portals: How the Droll leader, His Illuminated Highness Yarps Laar'Ut-Tann, walks out on Stellar Fox after Funky storms their HQ in "Sam Przeciw Wszystkim".
  • Those Two Guys: Jack Roddy and Matt Parey, Universs agents dealing in minor exposition and less story-important operations.
  • Time Skip: A five-year one in the last album.
  • Tuckerization: The creators admit it in the foreword to the 2002 omnibus.
    • Brenda, Funky's lover, is based on Boguslaw Polch's wife.
    • Paul Barley, Da Chief of Universs, is based on editor and translator Lech Jeczmyk.
    • Those Two Guys from "Sam Przeciw Wszystkim", Roddy and Parey, are based on the writers themselves.
    • Two other employees of Universs, O'Raymouth and Zhvicks, are drawn to resemble sci-fi writers Marek Oramus and Wiktor Zwikiewicz. Zwikiewicz helped with the writing for the first album, "Bez Oddechu".
  • You Have Failed Me: Rhotax kills Stellar Fox's chief of security, Hawker, after Funky storms their HQ in "Sam Przeciw Wszystkim". And when Visa-Vinego confesses that he accidentally revealed his plan to exploit Drolls, the other Stellar Fox members beat him to death in "Wbrew Sobie".