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Comic Book / Gilles de Geus

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Gilles de Geus is a Dutch comic book series by Hanco Kolk, later joined by Peter de Wit, about the eponymous character. It is set during the Eighty Year War between the Netherlands and Spain, when the Netherlands were occupied by Spanish forces.

The comic started with a series of short stories in which Gilles is a thief/highwayman living in a windmill near the city of Dubbeldam, who sets out as a comical anti-hero. When Peter de Wit became the writer however, the comic was retooled to a different format. The stories became longer, and Gilles became a true hero when he joined the Geuzen (the Dutch resistance movement at the time). He even becomes the unofficial right-hand man of prince Willem van Oranje. He still keeps some of his anti-hero traits for humourous value though. The series has been called "the Dutch Asterix" because it uses a similar formula, with many anachronisms and winks to modern culture.


Main cast:

  • Gilles de Geus (Geus is his family name, and he is called this before actually joining the Geuzen) is a thief and robber who decides to join the Geuzen after they (accidentally) save him from being captured by the Spanish. Although a comedic anti-hero at first, he evolves into a true hero later when the stories take a new direction.
  • Admiral Lumey is the leader of the Geuzen and the offical right-hand man of Willem van Oranje, but he's a tiny, vain, cowardly and clumsy man who gets Gilles and the others into trouble more often than not.
  • Leo is one of the Geuzen, and becomes a close friend of Gilles. He is strong but silent, rarely saying more than just "Hee" ("Hey"), but he can convey a lot of meaning with just that simple word.
  • Prince Willem van Oranje is in banishment, and constantly looking for ways to raise money to pay his hirelings so they will fight the Spanish forces instead of plundering the Dutch cities.
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  • The Duke van Alva is the Big Bad of the series, but rarely takes an active role himself. He's depicted as a sadist working day-in, day-out in his torture cellars.
  • 90-60-90 is a female spy and van Alva's right-hand woman. She's highly attractive and she knows it, effectively using her sex appeal to reach her goals.
  • De Bekkentrekker ("The Facemaker") is a recurring villain not associated with the Spanish forces, and an even bigger sadist than the Duke of Alva. Even the Spanish are afraid of him, and all of his appearances are treated as major Oh, Crap! moments by everyone involved, his own minions included.
  • Cornelis Drebbel is an inventor working for Willem van Oranje, and provides Gilles with the tools needed for his missions much like a medieval version of Bond's Q.


  • Alliterative Name and Alliterative Title: Gilles de Geus.
  • Anachronism Stew: Let's just say that historical accuracy was not the authors' goal.
  • Artifact of Doom: Willem van Oranje finds one in "De Batavia", a cursed cameo that enhances the worst habits of people under its influence. In the epilogue, we find out that later it would influence Napoleon and Hitler...
  • Badass Beard: Leo, Lumey, Willem van Oranje and the Duke of Alva.
  • BFG: "De Vuile Sloerie" ("The Dirty Slut"), a gigantic cannon used by the Spanish in one story. According to Lumey it's the only 60-pound cannon ever made.
  • BFS: Recurring villain "De Bekkentrekker" uses a huge Zweihander almost as tall as himself, and he is already a head or two bigger than most of the other characters. Gilles' ally Leo, and Gilles himself have also occasionally used one.
  • Big Bad: Duke van Alva, who is currently in control of the Spanish forces occupying the Netherlands.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Leo.
  • Butt-Monkey: Admiral Lumey.
  • Darker and Edgier: The two episodes in which De Bekkentrekker appears, "Smeerenburg" and "De Batavia", are notably darker and more serious than the rest of the series.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: This is 90-60-90's entire schtick.
  • Downer Ending: The story "De Papegaai" (The Parrot) resolves around Willem van Oranje and his army preparing for the battle on the Mookerheide. Sadly, despite all the protagonists' efforts to gain intell on the Spanish forces, they end up suffering a crippling defeat at the hands of Alva, just like in real life. The only good thing is that the main characters survive the battle relatively unscratched.
  • The Dragon: 90-60-90 is this to van Alva.
  • Early Installment Character Design Difference: The characters Prince Willem van Oranje and The Duke van Alva actually had a few cameo's in the early, short stories that the comic began with. But they look nothing like their apperance in the longer stories.
  • Epic Flail: Gilles' weapon of choice when he was a robber, but he hasn't used it after becoming a hero.
  • Evil Laugh: 90-60-90 and van Alva have actually hired someone to do it for them, because it's so bad for the throat. De Bekkentrekker produces his own, though: "GHAH! GHAH! GHAH! Ghah! Ghah!"
  • Eyes Always Shut: Leo is drawn this way.
  • Femme Fatale: 90-60-90, so very much.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Three unnamed Spanish soldiers who were trying to capture Gilles while he was a robber are still after him in the later stories when he's travelling all over the globe.
  • Hero Antagonist: Gilles himself in the early comics, when he used to be a robber. Averted after he joined De Geuzen.
  • The Highwayman: This was Gilles main profession in the early days of the comic. It was dropped when Gilles joined the other Geuzen.
  • Historical Domain Character: Prince Willem van Oranje, Admiral Lumey, Duke van Alva and Cornelis Drebbel all really existed.
    • Desiderius Erasmus, Michiel de Ruyter, Rembrandt van Rijn and Maarten Tromp also have had guest appearances.
  • Historical In-Joke: Countless!
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Gilles has a pretty long curl standing on his head.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Gilles was this before becoming a genuine hero. Some characters even gave him a friendly greeting or good advice when he was trying to rob them.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Well, Gilles used to be a thief...
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Gilles has a large chin.
  • La Résistance: The Geuzen.
  • Mad Scientist: Cornelis Drebbel, who even made a Time Machine...
  • Meaningful Name: 90-60-90 has very much the figure you'd expect from someone with a codename like that. (For you non-metric folk: These are centimeters, not inches.)
  • The Napoleon: The Admiral of Lumeij, a self-important and vain short-sized man.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: in "Storm over Dubbeldam", the first long story in the series, the three unnamed Spanish Soldiers, who usually are depicted as Harmless Villains, temporarily take a level in badass. They burn down Gilles' mill and actually manage to capture him. Gilles only gets away this time due to the timely arrival of the Geuzen.
  • Oh, Crap!: Recurring villain "De Bekkentrekker" is very good at invoking this reaction in both the heroes and his own underlings alike.
  • Only Sane Man: Gilles is often this to the Geuzen, much to his despair.
  • Shout-Out: The story Willem de Zwijger starts off with a parody of the opening of every Asterix album. We see a large magnifying glass appear and the narrator saying: In the 16th century all of the Netherlands are occupied by the Spanish. All of the Netherlands? YES, All of the Netherlands!! Then the magnifying glass burns a hole through the map. In the next shot we see Willem van Oranje in a burning city shouting: I saw it! I swear! A giant magnifying glass appeared and set the entire town on fire!, before he wakes up and it turns out it was All Just a Dream.
  • Super Strength: Leo. In one scene, he squashes several cannons and wrecks a city gate, portcullis and drawbridge with his bare hands, and he can deliver repeated pile-drivers to a person using only one hand.
  • The Quiet One: Leo, who remains The Stoic in all circumstances and seldom says more than the word Hee (Hey).
  • The Stoic: Leo.
  • Talking Weapon: Gilles gets himself a singing sword, but soon finds out how impractical it is for a robber if you don't know how to silence it.
  • Those Three Bad Guys: the three nameless Spanish soldiers who always try (unsuccesfullY) to arrest Gilles in the earlier comics.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Gilles became much more effective after joing the Geuzen and becoming a true hero.
  • Villain Protagonist: Gilles started out as this, but became a true hero after joining the Geuzen.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: Gilles is on several of them hanging all around Dubbeldam. In one short story, Gilles has to get into Dubbeldam to get groceries, but wanted posters of him are hanging all around the city gate. He goes to great lenghts to get into the city while avoid getting recognized, but all results fail. Fortunately for him, by the time he gives up and the guards at the gate finally manage to compare the picture on the poster with his face, an unnamed person has already vandalised the poster so the guards don't recognize Gilles anymore and allow him entrance to the city.

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