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Grandville, A Detective-Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard Scientific-Romance Thriller, is the title of a series created by British comic artist Bryan Talbot. Inspired by Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard's work of Funny Animal sketches (whose stage name was J.J. Grandville, the basis of the graphic novel's title), he made the graphic novel, along with inspiration from works of Arthur Conan Doyle, Quentin Tarantino and Rupert Bear.

Grandville is set in a fictional Steam Punk Europe, where France won The Napoleonic Wars. The setting is full of anthropomorphic animals... although there have been appearances of humans. The series stars Detective-Inspector Archie LeBrock of Scotland Yard, a huge, muscular badger, solving mysterious cases along with his sidekick Detective Roderick Ratzi, a rat.

The series has concluded with five books released. The first book is simply titled Grandville released in October 2009, while the second book is titled Grandville: Mon Amour (My Love in French) that was released in December 2010. The third book, Grandville: Bête Noire ("Black Beast") was published in 2012. The first book focuses on solving a murder of a British diplomat, which is soon revealed to be part of a wider conspiracy. The second book is Archie tracking down a mad, escaped convict named Edward "Mad Dog" Mastock. The third book is set in France, beginning when LeBrock's French colleague Rocher asks for help solving a murder case, but it quickly turns out to be more than it seems. A fourth album, Grandville: Nöel was released at Christmas 2013, in which Archie investigates a cult led by a charismatic unicorn, and its connection to a sinister political movement. The final book is Grandville Force Majeure ("Superior Force"), published in 2017.

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All books have been released in America by Dark Horse Comics. See Blacksad for another similar series (but with less fantasy).


This comic book provides examples of:

  • Ace Custom: LeBrock's signature blue coat is this, being specifically tailored for him by Scotland Yard's R&D and equipped with multiple hidden compartments that store a plethora of tools useful for crime scene investigation, pursuit, and self-defense. Its one-of-a-kind nature is also why he suffers from Limited Wardrobe syndrome and constantly has to repair the coat rather than replace it.
  • Action Girl: Billie the prostitute from Noel. She knocks out Apollo's guards during the mission to rescue Bunty by elbowing and headbutting them.
  • Act of True Love: A light example, but when Billie says she will only allow LeBrock to accompany her to an art exhibit she was invited to if he puts better clothes on, he actually spends a three week wages' worth on a full formal set.
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  • Adult Fear: Chance Lucas' daughter became wrapped up in a hyper-religious cult that eventually commits mass suicide. When LeBrock meets him, he's on a personal mission to take down the guy who did it.
  • Affably Evil: Prime Minister Drummond in the second volume, who's a rather affable chap even after it's revealed he conspired with Woolf to kill off all of the other resistance leaders at the Brick Lane Massacre, claiming I Did What I Had to Do.
  • A God Am I: Apollo from Noel gets this hard. As the species origin of Jesus is unknown, the cult hypothesis is that he must have been a unicorn to commit all his miracles and thus Apollo is the "second coming".
  • All There in the Manual: Bryan Talbot's official website includes a section listing and explaining all of the references and shout-outs he placed in the comic. There's a lot to read.
  • Alternate History: The setting is Britain that had lost the Napoleonic War 200 years ago, and the royal family were executed. It had then been part of the French empire until twenty-three years previous when it was begrudgingly given independence after a prolonged campaign of civil disobedience and anarchist bombings. Now it's called The Socialist Republic of Britain, a small and unimportant country connected to the French Empire by the Channel railway bridge.
    • The fourth book reveals that the divergence occurred much before then, sometime around the Biblical Flood. When Noah's Arc reached the dry land, the arc was somehow occupied by sapient animals instead of humans and animals. Exactly what happened there, nobody is sure. It also reveals that the Christianity in the Grandville universe posits Noah as God and is ignorant to the notion of the Abrahamic God as we know it, though it does have Jesus as an unknown specie. Knowledge to the contrary has been systematically destroyed over the centuries except for one copy of the gospels that state Jesus was a human and a single copy of Genesis in Hebrew that includes the first six chapters before Noah and the flood.
    • Strangely, although a newspaper in Mon Amour gives the year as 2010 (which fits with the timeline of the Napoleonic Wars), 19th-century figures such as Gustave Courbet and, it's implied, Sigmund Freud are alive.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Knights of Lyon, the cult responsible for the murder. It is even connected to The Knights Templar.
    • They were wrong though, that it was actually the Knights of the Lion, with the lion being Emperor Napoleon XII. In fact, the Knights of the Lion equates to The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: weapons dealer and newspaper owner Madame Krupp, The Prime Minister Jean-Marie Lapine, Reinhardt the Minister of War, the Archbishop of Paris, and Hyen the Chief of Police.
  • Animal Stereotypes and Animal Motifs: Largely averted. For example, the cops aren't canines at all. On the other hand, the emperor is a lion. Archie himself fits the stereotype of a steadfast and doughty badger.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The Knights of LyonThe Lion.
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: LeBrock and Ratzi's "standard procedure" pincer pursuit that gets used multiple times in every album.
  • Author Avatar: The fourth book introduces a piscine "true crime" writer named Byron Turbot. LeBrock is not impressed.
    • He later shows up in the fifth book, hoping to serialise the criminal cases of LeBrock. Once again, LeBrock is not impressed.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: LeBrock is always sharply dressed, even when he goes off to kill a lot of people.
  • Badass in Distress: Not for long, though. LeBrock and Chance in Noir are temporarily hypnotized by Apollo then knocked out and tied up. LeBrock just uses his teeth to bite the ropes binding them when no one's looking.
  • Badass Longcoat: Ratzi also belongs to that. Chance from Noel also has a good-looking brown duster.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted with men and played with for women. When LeBrock is seen topless, his chest is always anatomically correct, and women (well, mostly Billie) who are seen naked have their bits covered up by precisely chosen panel angles and poses that obscruct them with foreground objects or their own body parts.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted, often rather cruelly.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Billie admits that LeBrock, despite his tough and no-nonsense attitude, is probably the nicest guy she dealt with in her life, which is likely a major factor in her growing attraction to him.
  • Big Bad:
    • Grandville - The Knights of Lyon The Lion, which turns out to be an Omniscient Council Of Vagueness, with the lion being Emperor Napoleon XII.
    • Mon Amour - Prime Minister Drummond
    • Bête Noire - Baron Aristotle Krapaud
    • Nöel - Elvis Yorkshire, The Man Behind the Man for Apollo's cult
    • Force Majeure - Tiberius Koenig, along with a trio of high-ranking corrupt cops led by DI Pongo Dearly
  • Berserk Button: Do not call Apollo "John".
  • Bonding Over Missing Parents: One of the first things that allows Billie to warm up to LeBrock is him revealing his father died by french fire during the independence fights. Since both of Billie's parents died in a british separatist bombing, it allows to sink in for her that despite their opposing nations, they both know loss and have to live with it.
  • The Big Guy and by virtue Genius Bruiser: LeBrock.
  • Brutal Honesty: Billie NEVER beats around the bush and often says what's on her mind without considering how others will react. She also decides to adopt this approach in her blossoming romance with LeBrock and interactions with his friends and family.
  • Bulletproof Vest: LeBrock wears one under his waistcoat, though it looks to be like some sort of super-strong chainmail. Ratzi's also wearing one, though probably a different model due to being standard-issue model given to all Scotland Yard field operatives. Still, it effortlessly stops and breaks an attacker's knife upon strike.
  • But To Me It Was Tuesday: Working with LeBrock all this time has made Ratzi shrug off random mook attacks as nothing more than just minor everyday inconvinience.
  • Cannot Spit It Out / Interrupted Declaration of Love: From the third album onward, LeBrock realizes he is in love with Billie and tries to propose to her several times, but usually can't finish the question — either because the plot decides to attack at that exact moment or because he chickens out.
  • Carnivore Confusion: There's a scene involving LeBrock asking for a full English breakfast, which included meat. This is weird as there are, in fact, non-carnivorous anthropomorphic characters. The fourth book also mentions that some anthropomorphic animals do deviate from the diets of their -non-anthro counterparts. See also Furry Confusion.
  • Christmas Episode: Noel. Notably, aside from a MacGuffin, the idea of Christmas doesn't play a huge role in the main events of the plot besides the fact that it's winter and the final scene has LeBrock at a Christmas party.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Very few characters that have to fight someone in the story are NOT this.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Aristotle Krapaud in "Bête Noire" is this, with a hint of Wicked Cultured Bond villain.
  • Conspiracy Thriller
  • Costume Porn: With the setting being based on steampunk and Victorian visual cues, multiple characters wear great looking outfits and gear. Especially women, who often don clothes and dresses with fabulous, intricate details that allow even otherwise unappealing characters to look stylish and pleasing.
  • Crazy-Prepared: It's almost ridiculous how far ahead LeBrock can plan, and sometimes he develops various contingency plans and devices YEARS before he gets to use them. And many of them never get used at all - he created them just on the offchance they MIGHT be useful one day. This kind of "just in case" thinking saves his hide more than once.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Arguably in second and fifth album.
    • In Mon Amor, LeBrock would have to deal with "Mad Dog" Mastock one way or another, as his escape from death row was orchestrated by other parties, but Mastock developed a heavy grudge against the badger for putting him in jail in the first place and being rather brutal about it, so one of his side-objectives was evening up the score with him in a similarly nasty fashion.
    • The French kingpin of Parisian crime Tiberius Koenig decided he will make LeBrock's remaining life miserable only after he found out Archie killed one of his brothers while visiting Grandville. And he didn't even like the said brother, it was just a matter of principle to always retaliate with extreme force whenever someone messed with his criminal empire, intentionally or not.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Very few fatalities in the comic can be considered results of fairly clean kills, but the cake belongs to Tiberius Koenig from fifth album, as he first personally beats up many of his wrongdoers (or just collaterals) inches away from death and then, to make sure they stay dead, throws them into a powerful meat grinder he calls "The Mill" that's part of him main hideout's equipment.
  • Cultured Badass: Detective Ratzi. He may look like a pampered gentleman, what with the monocle and bow-tie, but he can kick ass.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Billie. Despite her profession and deceivingly fragile looks, she is by far the most the most combat-competent woman in the series. She knows many of Paris' secrets and quirks that are useful in avoiding jeopardy, is street-wise enough to carry a small gun in her stockings, and knows how to drive a motorcycle and fire a carbine rifle, among her various survivor skills.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Billie. Her supply of cynicism is endless, and her dialogue often shows that.
  • Death of a Child: When Koenig discovers that Billie is pregnant with LeBrock's child, he proceeds to punch her several times in the stomach. The baby doesn't survive.
  • December–December Romance: Subtly implied by LeBrock's mother to be the case with her and the new Warden of London Tower after he hosted the whole family for a time to keep them safe from Koenig's grasp in the fifth album.
  • Dirty Communists: Averted as a whole. "The Socialist Republic of Britain" shows nearly nothing that we associate with Communism or Socialism other than a brief, sarcastic mention of being a "classless society". It almost comes off as Informed Socialism.
    • The French Revolutionary Council is closer to actual socialism. According to the industrialists meeting at Toad Hall in "Bête Noire" the Council's policies include wide ranging nationalizations and universal healthcare and education.
    • We are told that the enemy in French Indo-China are the "Communards," however.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • Prime Minister Drummond either commits suicide by jumping off a skyscraper, or was thrown off by LeBrock.
    • Baron Aristotle Krapaud is thrown to his death by LeBrock while he was trying to flee in his airship.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Twice in book four. Once when Chance is pointing his gun at LeBrock and all he expresses is mild surprise and once when Chance and LeBrock try to capture Apollo in a dressing room before a speech and point four guns at him. Apollo weaponizes this, using his calmer speech to catch them off guard and momentarily hypnotize them.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: LeBrock usually avoids this without a problem, but when Billie offers him her services and a night together during the second album, after a moment of thought he agrees.
  • Distressed Dude / Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: "Mad Dog" Mastock made a terrible mistake by underestimating his hostage Billie while fighting LeBrock at the end of book 2, especially after the latter managed to release her from her bindings. Once LeBrock thought him to be dead, Mastock found an opening to punch the badger's lights out beyond quick recovery, but became so focused on dealing the finishing blow that he paid no attention to now-free Billie... who in the meantime grabbed one of his own guns and emptied a full clip into him.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Ground Zero. Just Ground Zero.
    • For those who haven't read the first book, much of the story is a metaphor for The War on Terror.
    • There are even protesters that are against the French war in Indo-China rallying in the streets of Paris!
      • This applies pretty much to the entirety of the whole book really.
    • In Noel, humans are not just a despised minority, but the one targeted by the Nazi-equivalents, and the Christianity of this world tends not to mention that Jesus was from this group (albeit through a conspiracy of silence rather than just glossing over it). Hmm...
  • The Dragon: Various throughout the series
    • Grandville - The Knights of the Lion are this to Emperor Napoleon XII, until most of them are killed, and Reinhardt very briefly becomes a Dragon Ascendant
    • Mon Amour - LeBrock's boss, Brigadier Belier is secretly this to the Prime Minister, while Edward "Mad Dog" Mastock is this to the Brigadier
    • Bête Noire - Baron Krapaud's unnamed secretary is this to him
    • Nöel - Apollo is revealed to be this for the book's true villain, Elvis Yorkshire
    • Force Majeure - Tiberius Koenig had several, including his brother, Quintilianus, who just had the one.
  • Eureka Moment: You know LeBrock experiences one when he looks into the distance and exclaims "Bugger!"
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Baron Aristotle Krapaud cherishes his pet toad dearly, and is visibly traumatized after she's killed in an explosion caused by a Chekhov's Gun LeBrock had.
    • Subverted with Tiberius Koenig. His motivation for going after LeBrock is because he killed his brother Gaius, but one of his henchmen mentions that he didn't like Gaius. Tiberius nonchalantly tells him he doesn't like any of his brothers; he's just targeting LeBrock because "it's simply a matter of principle."
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: "Better" is debatable. Tiberius Koenig appears to be a red Tyrannosaurus Rex, and he is by far one of the most deplorable villains in the entire series, along with being one of the more memorable, fleshed out villains.
  • Explosive Breeder: Detective Ratzi (a rat) has 26 children with his wife... last time he checked.
  • Fantastic Racism: The anthro characters aren't too fond of the humans, calling them with racist terms (see Fantastic Slurs below) and giving them menial tasks. According to LeBrock, they've not made it to Britain because they weren't allowed passports, as they were not granted citizens' rights. Some information from the fourth book suggests that the antis-human prejudice has much deeper and bloody roots.
    • The Archbishop in the first book expresses disgust at interspecies mating. It is uncertain if that is because he believes in the separation of races (akin to prejudice against mixed-race relationships) or simply because he sees it as a sign of general deviancy. Mrs's Doyle's (LeBrock's housekeeper) comments in Noel suggest the former is the case.
    • In the second book, a badger prostitute attempts to proposition two ducks, who turn her down because she "isn't even waterfowl."
    • The fourth book has some notions that the United States is a better off compared to France and England. According to Chance, since the U.S. won a war of independence against France, "doughface" is a slur and humans and animals are treated equally.
  • Expy: Chance from Noel looks a little like Clint Eastwood's "The Man With No Name".
  • Faux Affably Evil:
    • Apollo is quite personable with large crowds and potential followers, and is potentially crucial to his hypnotic/Glamour abilities. Any scene that doesn't have him in the public spotlight, however, shows him as a ruthless, crazed maniac with full-on A God Am I mentality who plans to use his powers for political extremist reasons. This is not helped by Elvis Yorkshire constantly being in the background and using this for his own gains.
    • Tiberius Koenig is a sociopath who cares about nothing but ruling by fear and dominating every gang in Paris and London. He's also a (mostly) level-headed mob boss who speaks to everyone casually, even when he's threatening to kill them. This is made blatant when he's beating one of his minions to death in a chair, all while he calmly talks about his childhood and how he came to be.
  • Fantastic Slurs: French animal people call the humans as "doughfaces".
  • Foil: Chance Lucas in Noir is this to LeBrock. He's also an agent from an outside country in France, he's pretty genial after the initial encounter, fights to disarm rather than to kill, and has much more sympathy compared to Sociopathic Hero LeBrock.
  • French Jerk: Something shown a lot in the first book. There's even a chef who would rather slit his own wrists than to serve an English meal.
    • Admittedly, in this world France and England have an EXTREMELY hostile relationship, so this may be justified.
  • Freudian Excuse: Koenigin was emotionally (and possibly physically) abused by his parents, forced to sleep in the basement, and was constantly picked on by his older siblings until he turned eleven, when he quite literally bit back at the world, starting with two of his brothers
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the third book, Rocher mentions that a cult has recently moved in to Paris and a bunch of places got robbed. It essentially sets the stage for the fourth book.
    • Similarly, the ending of the fourth book seemingly reveals a character that had already been mentioned in the past as a future villain.
    • Within the fourth book itself: during a fight with some mooks, Chance shoots them in the gun or the hand, disarming while doing little actual damage, then snidely comments on LeBrock for using excessive force. Despite chasing down Apollo for revenge for his daughter's death, he can't kill him even at point blank with Apollo knocked out. Subverted when he kills Elvis Yorkshire, who was behind Apollo's fanatic cult.
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: All the animal characters.
  • Furry Comic
  • Furry Confusion: In Coco's room, we see a bear rug.
    • And at least two minor characters (one of which is a waiter) are fish. Fish that breath air.
    • Other characters have been seen walking dogs or owning other non-anthro pets.
  • Glamour: Part of what makes Apollo so dangerous is that, according to Chance, unicorns have this by default. Anyone who looks at them directly will trust them completely. Apollo enhances it with his knowledge of hypnotism and cult processes.
    • Glamour Failure: In Noir, the unicorn Apollo's magnetism, and even his physical state, is completely tarnished when the horn is cut off.
  • Goth: Billie due the fact that she is almost never seen in clothes other than black (which also gives her a very stylish look due to their design and contrast with her white fur), and with her endless supply of cynicism, she also qualifies as the Gloomy type.
  • Grand Finale: Force Majeure is this, bordering on both Bittersweet Ending and Earn Your Happy Ending as well, with all of LeBrock's enemies finally dead, and his name now cleared following the exposure of all the Corrupt Cops on Koenig's payroll, with him also been made an honorary member of the Kalaharis clan, and all set to marry his fiancé Billie in Paris, BUT she still suffered a miscarriage thanks to the vicious beating which Koenig give her.
    • France, on the other hand, is finally set to become a Socialist Republic following the deaths of Emperor Napoleon XII, & his Govenment, along with Baron Krapaud and the arrest of what's left of his Cabalnote , with various other threats to its new Government also eliminatednote  BUT the "doughfaces" (or Humans) are still without any rights in the country.
  • Guns Akimbo: LeBrock wields guns in the comic like this. This is also apparent in the Grandville cover.
  • Gun Porn: Each album is literally littered with firearms of all shapes and designs, and rarely two of them look alike.
  • Happily Married: Detective Roderick Ratzi, with a whopping number of kids to boot. Chief Inspector Jules Rocher is definitely married, but whether "happily" applies depends on his awareness (or lack thereof) of his wife's extramarital interest in handsome, strong men.
  • He Knows Too Much: Basically the MO of the villains of the first album. This is how they deal with every single person involved in their schemes that outlived their usefulness and what happens to anyone who happens to catch wind of their plan in any, even faintest possible way. This bites them back in the end, as when they deal this fate to someone related to British government, they send LeBrock to investigate that death, and they do continue the silencing when he's already in town, unknowingly leaving him breadcrumbs to follow. It also doesn't help that not knowing who exactly he is, they try to kill him several times and push his berserk buttons in the process. They all end up dead and their grand scheme backfires spectacularly.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: André Pegasus.
  • The Hero and the Sidekick: Archie LeBrock and Roderick Ratzi. Chance Lucas the human Pinkerton agent temporarily takes this role in Noel.
  • Heroic BSoD: LeBrock undergoes one at the beginning of Grandville Mon Amour, following the death of Sarah.
  • Hidden Weapons: A common attribute of many characters within the setting. The most prominent ones are the heroes LeBrock and Ratzi who both use weaponised fashion accessories — LeBrock's umbrella hides a rapier-like blade while Ratzi's walking cane is a multi-shot gun. Though they often display the many ways they can waste enemies with them even before resorting to their hidden functions.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Emperor Napoleon XII is blown to smithereens by the same dirigible he intended to use in a terrorist attack.
    • Tiberius Koenig is thrown into the same meat grinder he was trying to throw LeBrock into.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Billie from Noel.
  • Humanoid Female Animal: Surprisingly averted, as the male and female animal people have the same level of anthropomorphism.
    • Though most of the female animals have human-style head hair, which all but two males animals lack...and those are a lion (his mane) and a hyena (who may have just slicked down his fur, from the looks of things).
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Prime Minister Drummond claims this in the second volume
  • Idiot Ball: Drummond shooting two police officers in wide view of public. He himself admits that it was stupid and that he panicked.
  • Immune to Mind Control: Billie looks directly at Apollo, defined as having extreme charisma or able to enact More Than Mind Control by looking someone in the eye, and is hardly affected by it.
  • Irony: The main tennant of Apollo's cult is that Jesus' specie was unidentified and must have been a unicorn to commit all his miracles thus making Apollo the possible second coming of Christ. They also stage an anti-human "doughface" riot and brutally attack a few humans trying to do a peaceful civil-rights protest nearby. A single copy of the Bible exists in it's original language stating Jesus was a human "doughface".
  • Improbable Weapon User: Multiple Combat Pragmatist characters use everyday objects they come across at the fight scenes. As long as they can deal damage, they are fair game. For example, LeBrock is able to kill a brothel runner by throwing a bottle of her own perfume in her face at close range.
  • In a Single Bound: Ratzi comments and demonstrates that rats have a natural talent for jumping much farther than an average mammal.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Billie in the matters of love. She is pretty, intelligent and quick on her feet, but also feels that as a prostitute, no respectable man would ever want her. This makes her both fully surrender to the idea of short-term flings with no commitment as the peak of her options in romance, and become verbally violent whenever someone suggests that finding a husband who would truly love her is actually within her reach.
  • It's Personal:
    • In the first album, a significant factor contributing to how LeBrock decides to stop the villains is that they killed the woman he was was developing feelings for.
    • Chance Lucas, the Pinkerton agent from Noel, is not following cult leader Apollo because of the Pinkertons, but because his daughter was killed in the mass suicide before he fled for France. He gets his revenge not by shooting Apollo, but by killing Elvis Yorkshire.
    • In the final album LeBrock going for the final showdown with the villains gets significantly fueled by the fact that their boss nearly beat his fiancee to death and in the process killed their unborn child. It says a lot that learning this is the only time the badger got so mad that he punched a hole in a brick wall.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Maybe not literally, but being of commoner background, LeBrock has no experience in high-class dining etiquette and constantly makes mistakes that leave the poor Rocher who invited him over perplexed, if not uneasy. His wife doesn't seem to mind, though.
  • Like Reality Unless Noted: Throughout the series, we saw plenty of Christian churches and clergy. What we didn't see was that the deity worshiped in the Grandville universe isn't God as we know it. It's Noah. As far as everyone believed, Noah's Arc was the beginning. Though a single complete version of Genesis in Hebrew exists.
  • Limited Wardrobe: LeBrock has just a single set of outdoor clothes to wear and admits to needing them constantly repaired due to all the gunfights he gets into during his investigations. This also means he's often underdressed for various formal events, and it takes Billie's influence to actually make him buy a proper evening dress.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: LeBrock is progressively becoming this for Billie as she realises she's not just a short-term conquest and he's genuinely falling for her, bringing her closer and closer to actually feeling happy in her life. The down side of this is that she's prone to strong, almost violent emotional reactions whenever she fears he may change his attitude to her or maybe even leave her.
  • Lions And Tigers And Humans And Robots Oh My
  • The Man Behind the Man: Quite a few villains throughout the series are revealed to work for or be patsies of someone else:
    • None of the Knights of the Lion are the main villains, as they were doing it for Napoleon.
    • Mastock's prison break in the second book was orchestrated by LeBrock's boss, Brigadier Belier. Belier in turn, did that on behalf of Prime Minister Drummond who wanted to cover up his involvement in a massacre during the British rebellion.
    • Charismatic cult leader Apollo from the fourth book is revealed to be a mere pawn for his Conman mentor, Elvis Yorkshire. While Elvis did not plan Apollo getting consumed by messiah complex or the movement turning political, he kept playing him to remain on top all the while pretending to be a frail old drunken man.
  • Mature Animal Story
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The nature of Apollo's magnetism straddles the two lines. Yorkshire admits that he taught Apollo about hypnotism and manipulation techniques but suggests that this only complemented his innate powers as a unicorn. Many characters insist unicorns are innately magical and magnetic and Apollo's ability to compel crowds just by appearing before them seems to support that. It's lost when LeBrock cuts off his horn with a hacksaw.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Tiberius Koenig has several, including his own brothers, Agrippa, Gaius, & Quintilianus, as well as Lois & Mister Croc.
  • More Than Mind Control: Even after Apollo's hold over the masses is broken and everyone can see him for what he really is, Bunty admits that she is still in love with him. In the end, she is the only one at his side as he dies.
  • Mr. Exposition: Chance has two moments in Noir, once while explaining Apollo's past and a second time explaining how cult indoctrination works.
  • Multiple Gunshot Death: Billie kills "Mad Dog" Mastock this way, after he gets distracted with trying to deal LeBrock a finishing blow, allowing her to pick up his gun and shoot him in the back. And then, seeing he's still breathing, she starts walking towards him while putting more and more bullets into him with each step. She doesn't stop squeezing the trigger even after she's out of ammo and he's out of life, and it takes Rocher's shoulder pat to snap her out of it. Justified in that Mastock led the extreme British seperatist cell responsible for the bombing that killed both of her parents when she was a child, robbing her of a normal life, AND murdered five of the women she worked with at the brothel. Killing him was the closest thing to a revenge for her and she'd probably do that multiple times over were it possible.
  • Mundane Utility: Woe to anyone who tries to bind LeBrock with ropes; he can chew his way out.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: completely averted with LeBrock and Billie, seeing that he actually met her at a high-class brothel during police work and being fully aware of her occupation as a prostitute. And he's totally fine with it, both using her services when she offers it and casually chatting with her about her work and potential clients when they hang out. This develops to the point where once she decides she likes him, she is the one more bothered by her profession out of the two.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: At one point Billie complains that life at the brothel became much harder after a new boss took over following the death of the previous owner. What she doesn't know (and what LeBrock would rather hide from her at the time) is that he's the one who killed her - she tried to shoot him during a late night visit and he just had a faster reaction time. From his tone of voice it seems he wasn't aware his strike was actually fatal until Billie mentioned it, though.
  • No Biochemical Barriers: Completely averted in this setting; you can only get pregnant if you sleep with someone from your own species. Which comes in handy for those who use their body for work.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Popular Unity Party in Noel, complete with swastikas.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: Police version. LeBrock is a high-ranking cop investigator, and while he is a no-nonsense One-Man Army that can be very brutal to get the job done, he is also very polite to friends and civilians most of the time, best shown in his interactions with Billie, whom he treats like a true lady: asks her out to dinners, brings her flowers when they meet and, probably most importantly from her point of view, never shuns for being a prostitute.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": One henchman reveals that this is the password to use for any of Koenig's men, if they want to enter the L'EnferTranslation  bar and lounge during its opening hours
  • Permanent Elected Official: The founder of the Socialist Republic of Britain and it's first Prime Minister is due to become this during the second book. Despite his respect for the Prime Minister, LeBrock disapproves the move, believing that it is the first step to becoming a People's Republic of Tyranny. In the end, he doesn't make it, having been revealed to have collaborated with Britain's former French military governor to massacre all of the other resistance leaders, and subsequently thrown off a building by LeBrock.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Billie. The only instances we see her smile is when she's spending her free time with LeBrock, and even then certain requirements must be met for her to put on a grin. Only after she becomes his official fiancee and moves in with him does smiling become her preferred expression.
  • Petting Zoo People: Moreso even than usual, as the "animals" turn out to have animal heads on 100% human, furless, tail-less bodies. They occasionally do their bestial reactions, but generally they belong to this category.
  • Poor Communication Kills: LeBrock tries his best to avert this with Billie, and whenever she has some doubts about him, he takes time to explain her where he stands on the given matter. He is actually thrilled whenever this happens, because the way he sees it, Billie getting angry about unclarified details means she cares about him and values their interactions.
  • Powder Keg Crowd: Taking place in a period of political upheaval, the books have a protest as a setpiece at least Once an Episode. Sometimes, they turn violent.
    • In the third book, a pro-human rally is marching in central Paris when LeBrock and Ratzi bump into the killer they've been looking for. A firefight breaks out, leading to a stampede.
    • In the fourth book, an anti-human rally happens across a group of human terrorists who were planning to bomb the rally but were interrupted before they could enact their plan. The crowd correctly deduces their intentions, the humans panic and open fire and things just get worse from there.
    • After LeBrock and Chance cut off his horn and prevent his hypnosis/magnetism, Apollo's followers who came to see him immediately see him as a liar and a fraud and turn on him. We don't see what they do, but it looks as gory as the other deaths in the series.
    • Happens in the fifth book, when the Kalaharis clan charge into what remains of Koenig's club, with the intention of finishing what LeBrock started.
  • The Purge: Force Majeure features one near the end when Detective-Inspector LeBrock nearly single-handedly takes on Tiberius Koenig, his surviving "Generals" and all the Paris mob bosses that are affiliated with him, as well as the remnants of his criminal organisation, with the help of the Kalaharis clan.
  • Replacement Goldfish: At first LeBrock is attracted to Billie because she reminds him of a lover he lost, but as time goes by, he learns to appreciate her for the individual person that she is.
  • La Résistance: The English Resistance came in both varieties. There was the more mainstream anarchist/socialist forces (of which both LeBrock and his father were members), and then there were the Angry Brigade, who were vicious anti-French terrorists. Both sides have a notable distaste for each other
  • Rich Boredom: Roderick Ratzi comes from a very wealthy family of former aristocrats, which explains how he can afford to live in a truly gigantic residence with his wife and father, and support enourmous number of offspring. Basically, he works for Scotland Yard as a full-time hobby.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Once Lebrock puts all of the pieces of his investigation from the first album together, he decides to end the imminent threat to people of France and Britain personally and thoroughly. This means attacking the perpetrators' secret base of operations, gunning down every single one of them and actually turning their master plan against them by aiming their superweapon at the person who ordered the whole thing. And since the game was played at French government level, during a single night Detective Inspector killed the Minister Of War, Chief of Police, a weapons/media magnate, the Prime Minister, and to top it all off, the Emperor of France himself. And he did it in such a way that no one was able to pin any of this on him. Though admittedly the villains did a great job of motivating him to do that by seriously hurting his partner and murdering his lover in attempt to get rid of him.
  • Running Gag:
    • Between LeBrock and Billie. With her being a prostitute, she charges him after each time they sleep together, but as they grow closer to each other, she also starts to offer him unspecified discounts.
    • Whenever she accompanies LeBrock and Ratzi, they have to stop themselves mid-word from saying what she truly does for life when asked and find a more society-friendly way of finishing that sentence.
    • LeBrock trying to endear Billie to British humour and failing miserably.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Billie, but perhaps "comfortable with her physique" is a better term, as she does not flash people left and right outside of her jobs, yet firmly states that she's not ashamed of her body when other women try to burn her by commenting on the nude act paintings she posed for and implying just that.
  • Sherlock Scan: Thanks to his past training LeBrock is an absolute monster in analysing crime scenes, being able to spot, memorise, and cross-examine details any other police officer wouldn't even think mattered.
  • Shirtless Scene: LeBrock hides in a steam bath, going nude with only a towel covering him. Also with Coco.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Averted with LeBrock and Billie. While true that he proposed to her when she told him she's pregnant with his child, he wanted to marry her much sooner and just failed to pop the question due to various circumstances. And he's still interested in making her Mrs. LeBrock after the said pregnancy is terminated due to the events of the final album.
  • Shout-Out
    • Snowy/Milou, of Tintin fame — as a delusional opium addict. In addition, the dreams Snowy mutters about in the scene where Brock is questioning him are all references to various Tintin adventures.
    • Then there's the human bellhop at LeBrock's hotel.
    • Bécassine shows up at the hotel too.
    • Doughfaces being from Angouleme is probably a reference to the Angouleme International Comics Festival, the biggest comics convention in Europe.
    • We don't need no stinkin' badgers!
    • Some background characters in a jail in the second book evoke of Disney Characters.
    • LeBrock's reminiscing of his times in La Résistance seems evocative of Monty Python's Life of Brian ("Frenchies Go Home"). Especially how he refuses to elaborate any further.
    • An anthropomorphic Marsupilami can be seen in the background in book two.
    • French Prime Minister Jean-Marie Lapin is a reference to real-life French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen, former leader of the far-right Front National party.
    • Omaha the Cat Dancer appears on a poster.
    • The second volume gives us Miss Piggy as a French prostitute, as well as Donald Duck as a pervert who wrongly confessed to the murder of the prostitutes, and French comic book character Gaston Lagaffe as a street tough who tries to mug Ratzi.
    • The second volume also includes an aardvark ranting about women being evil temptresses and men being superior. Sounds familiar...
    • Prime Minister Drummond, who is a bulldog, is probably a reference to the Bulldog Drummond series of detective stories.
    • The town of Nutwood is a reference to Rupert Bear. (And Word of God is that Billie is named after Rupert's friend Bill the Badger.)
    • Baron Krapaud's home of Toad Hall shares its name with the residence of another aristocratic toad who infuriated a no-nonsense badger.
    • Paddington Bear is seen chugging down a bottle near the beginning of the third book.
    • A darker version: Apollo's cult's first appearance in the U.S. before he flees to France looks very similar to the fate of the real-life Jonestown cult.
    • In the fourth book we got Asterix and Obelix speaking at a rally for human rights, and LeBrock teams up with special agent Chance Lucas.
    • Bunty's bedroom in the fourth book has a poster of a handsome beaver with "Justin" written underneath. Bieber means beaver in German.
    • In the fifth book there's an appearance by The Cat in the Hat as a street entertainer.
    • There's also a music hall troupe called the Baxendales, who are clearly based on The Beano's The 3 Bears, as drawn by Leo Baxendale.
    • As well as DI Pongo Dearly and two uniform coppers: a black and white cat named Korky and a basset hound named Fred.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: "Divine" Sarah Blairow. She only appeared in one album and mostly served as the Damsel in Distress of the week, but she managed to make a big impression on LeBrock and even seemingly made him develop feelings for her almost instantly after just one night together. Her death caused him to go on an extreme revenge tour and he felt guilty for not being able to save her for over a month and a half, rendering him a psychological wreck during that time. And when he was forced to come back to investigating, he projected her likeness on any badger woman roughly her age, which is how he met Billie. And while he finally got a semi-closure with her demise at the end of the second album by visiting her grave, her memory still affected him for the rest of the series.
  • Smoking Is Glamorous: at least in case of Billie, who puffs a cigarette quite often, it is.
  • The Snark Knight: Billie has a tendency to act like this, but she can tone it down enough not to get in the way of her work.
  • The Sixth Ranger: Billie and Rocher.
  • The Smart Guy: Ratzi.
  • Socialist Realism: The mural commissioned by the French Revolutionary Council in "Bête Noire" is this.
  • The Sociopath: The main big bads of the final three booksnote  would certainly qualify, as would Edward "Mad Dog" Mastock from Mon Amour.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Downplayed with LeBrock. He is capable of horrific brutality, even if all his targets are Asshole Victims. This is especially shown in Volume 1, where he tortures an Archbishop and burns him alive, and later massacres the entire French cabinet and the Emperor.
  • Species Surname: Very common, though some are subtler than others;
    • French Prime Minister Lapine has the bonus of having a name that relates to rabbits (which he is) and the French nationalist politician Jean-Marie Le Pen (which Lapine also is).
    • "Brock" itself is an archaic English word for a badger.
    • The name of the mob boss Tiberius Koenig is a truly masterful application of this trope. Tiberius comes from Roman Emperor Tiberius who was noted to be a tyrannical ruler by historians. Koenig means "king". And of course, he is a Tyrannosaurus Rex (literally, "Tyrant King").
  • Spit Take:
    • LeBrock has one when he tries gaspacho at a dinner with Rocher's family and doesn't realise it's SUPPOSED to be cold.
    • And one more later, courtesy of Billie when he realises she told his kids about her job as a prostitute.
  • Starving Artist: The Artists at "The Agile Rabbit" in "Bête Noire" lament about being this. It's soon revealed that they are merely without comissions at the moment, hinting that they're not as badly off as they like to portray themselves being.
  • Steam Punk
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Both Ratzi and LeBrock have this in spades. In the second book, Ratzi is mugged by two human street toughs and is only mildly annoyed, even when they try to stab him in the back!
  • Sword Cane: Both. LeBrock uses the standard sword-in-cane while Ratzi uses the cane-that-shoots-bullets version. Elvis Yorkshire nearly shoots LeBrock with one at the end of Noel.
  • Talking in Bed: Billie and LeBrock do this a lot, and this is actually how their relationship begins — they start talking about their differences after their first night together (at this point simply a job assignment for Billie) and discover they do have things in common, which allows them to begin bonding on an emotional level.
  • Temporary Love Interest: Sarah from the first book.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Christianity in Grandville believes that the world began with Noah and the flood, and the actual species of Jesus Christ is not known. LeBrock finds out over the course of Noel both that a single copy of the entire Bible including the first six chapters of Genesis exists and that Jesus Christ was a human "doughface". The nun who translates this for him doesn't even want it for posterity's sake because it could upset the already tenuous balance of religion in this universe and gives it to LeBrock effectively to dispose of it. LeBrock ends up burning it in a fireplace.
  • Torture Always Works: Or at least usually works. Archie tortures everyone he captures in Book 1, and gets results based on how much they know. If they know a lot he gets complete, accurate information in minutes.
  • Translation Convention: As France had ruled England for a few hundred years in the history of this world, every character is actually speaking French (which leads to some French idioms being directly translated to English). Early on the first book Ratzi asks what the weird language some country folk are speaking in, only to be told they're speaking English.
  • Trophy Wife: Baron Krapaud from the third album, a short and rather unappealing frog, is married to a beautiful gazelle clearly much younger than him.
  • Wall of Weapons: LeBrock habitually picks up guns and other weapons he finds on the enemies he defeats or from places he visits, many of them being used later in that album or possibly being stored away somewhere. People around don't seem to mind as long as the said weapons did not belong to someone they knew personally.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It receives a passing mention but otherwise, there is very little in the second book to indicate that mere three weeks ago France suffered a revolution after the French Emperor and his Government were practically wiped out in a bloody attack.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: While LeBrock has no problem with going Demolition Man on criminals, he is allergic to attacking innocent bystanders and letting him know one did just that is one of the easiest ways to get on his bad side.
  • You Are Better Than You Think: One of Billie's defining traits is her extreme awareness of the fact that as a prostitute (and a very cynical and life-savvy one), she is "damaged goods" that is very unlikely to ever find true happiness in life. It takes a lot of effort on LeBrock's part to even make her begin to reconsider this, let alone actually change her attitude to herself.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Inverted with Detective Ratzi.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: Goes without saying really.

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