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Comic Book / Khaal: The Chronicles of a Galactic Emperor

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Khaal: The Chronicles of a Galactic Emperor is a 2017 series published by Titan Comics, written by French writer Louis and illustrated by Valentin Sécher. Set in a galaxy decimated by a brutal war, an ancient prison ship called the Empyreon floats alone in the void. Within its ancient walls a new battle rages, as three races (the humans, the psicogs and the ethereals) who inhabit the doomed ship vie for the resources that will ensure their survival. Peace is an impossibility, as Khaal, the leader of the humans, is as bloodthirsty and ruthless as they come. As he leads the decisive battle for control of the Empyreon, the ship is assaulted by an alien race that tries to devour its denizens, but Khaal succeeds in beating the invaders and taking control of them as well. Now in command of a massive empire, he turns his gaze towards galactic conquest of and as his enemies gather in the shadows, Khaal is thrust into the limelight to fight for his life.

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Khaal: The Chronicles of a Galactic Emperor provides examples of:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The Xenopsyllian Queen becomes attracted to Khaal and invades the Empyreon with the intent of making him her king. It ends badly for her when he decides to kill her and take control of her servants.
  • After the End: The comic is set in a distant future the golden age of space colonization came to an end with a galactic war of undreamed brutality. As it turns out, this civilization did not originate on Earth.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: If Khaal wasn't such superhuman One-Man Army, he wouldn't have been controlling the human faction within Empyreon.
  • Bald of Awesome / Bald of Evil: Though introduced with some hair, Khaal shaves his head completely when he is about to fight in the arena against rebels.
  • Bed Full of Women: Khaal is depicted in the first issue's cover lying on bed while surrounded by his Psicog concubines. After his victory in the arena, he celebrates by having sex with his female subjects who are all lined up to his bed.
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  • Black and Grey Morality: In one hand you have Khaal, a superhuman bloodthirsty psychopath with god-like delusions, no morals and a very short fuse. His rivals Lakh and Kur are revealed to not being much better than him since they have raped Khaal's mother. But at the end of the comic, Khaal proves he is much worse than they are.
  • Child by Rape: Its revealed in the second issue that Khaal and his siblings were the product of a female Psicog's gangrape by three separate men.
  • Dramatic Irony: The Empyreon was designed as a fate worse than death to its prisoners, locking them away to be forgotten. It ended up being the one thing to save its residents from the cataclysmic war that ended humanity's Golden Age.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Khaal dishes out brutal murder towards the smallest offenses. A man says something he doesn't want to hear? He will shiv or behead him on the spot.
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  • Downer Ending: Khaal captures his brothers and traps them forever in And I Must Scream state so they can never be harmed (and end his life), he succeeds in killing Lakh and Kur as they attempt to flee the Empyreon with his own reign uncontested. The comic ends with Khaal invading planet Earth and ruling it as a brutal God-Emperor, in short: The Bad Guy Wins.
  • Earth All Along: Inverted. Its implied at the start of the story that it takes place centuries in the future where Earth has colonized the galaxy and a golden age of civilization took place before a massive war brought it to an end. In the final chapter, its revealed that Earth is still in the early 21th Century just before Khaal invades and conquers it.
  • Enemy Mine: The Psicogs and the Ethereals lead by Ssi Lakh and Soryann Kur respectively are united by their hatred of Khaal, but they really don't trust each other and note they could have been enemies if the circumstances were different.
  • Establishing Character Moment: All you need to know about Khaal is illustrated in his first scene when he beheads an emissary and his guards for suggesting that his rule grew weak.
  • Fanservice: The comic features plenty of female nudity, specially from female Psycogs who are exotically beautiful. Khaal himself could qualify if one is into brutal, tyrannic bad boys.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Khaal was just a street orphan from the gutter, until the day he was reunited with his brothers Dalym and Shyl and discovered his superpowers. He would eventually become a bloodthirsty warlord and a galactic conqueror.
  • Galactic Conqueror: Khaal, naturally. Its in the title, after all. Though he doesn't start the comic out as one, being a mere warlord/crimelord of a prison space ship, he becomes one after conquering the Xenopsyllians and turning them into his servants, as he sets out to conquer the rest of the ruined galaxy.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: The female Psicogs are said to induce insane lust on males and are highly prized by their beauty, being handed out to the strongest of warriors.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take much to push Khaal into a murderous frenzy. Even letting him know what people are talking behind his back may sign your death sentence. Just ask the emissary in Khaal's Establishing Character Moment.
  • Hive Queen: The Xenopsyllians are a race of aliens controlled by a queen. After Khaal murders her, he becomes the new hive king.
  • Human Aliens: The reveal in the final issue is that the humans from Empyreon were not from Earth and came from an even more ancient inter-galactic civilization that has long disintegrated. Unusually, they are still referred as "humans" even though they don't share a common origin.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: Khaal and his siblings were born from a Psycog mother, but they derive their races from their respective fathers, who were a human, a psycog and a ethereal respectively.
  • Karmic Death: Lakh and Kur are ultimately killed by the son of the woman they raped.
  • Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex: While not shown onscreen, its mentioned in Issue #3 that Khaal had previously killed several female Psycogs during sex because of his monstrous strength.
  • Morality Pet: Subverted. Khanys is probably the only thing that Khaal ever treats well even more so than his own brothers who are little more than his lackeys and when Khanys is murdered by the Xenopsyllians, Khaal becomes utterly furious. With that said, as the Xenopsyllians correctly point out, Khanys was little more than a slave and an attack dog rather than a real friend to Khaal.
  • Pet the Dog: Almost literally, as the only being that Khaal ever shows kindness to is his mutant companion Khanys, who acts like a loyal hound around him.
  • Planet Spaceship: The Empyreon is a massive ship supporting its own (dwindling) ecosystem and at least three different civilizations fighting from control.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Khaal personally executes one of his own warriors for mindlessly butchering their enemies... Because he wants to take as many of them as slaves.
  • Scavenger World: Resources on the Empyreon are scarce and the three factions are struggling for its control.
  • Sibling Team: With the assistance of his brothers, Khaal rose to power and become the leader of the humans inside E.T.H.E.R.. Downplayed, since Khaal is clearly the dominant, while his siblings are his henchmen. When they decide to desert him, Khaal becomes even more mentally unstable than he was before.
  • Sins Of The Father: The current Empyreon residents descend from the original prisoners are supposed to suffer life-long sentences for their ancestors' crimes.
  • Synchronization: Khaal and his brothers' lifeforce are tied together. If one of them dies, the others will follow. He finds this out from his dying father while trying to murder his brothers in a fit of madness.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: In a sense, Khaal's companion Khanys is a young mutant who acts like a dog, who is often commanded to intimidate Khaal's foes and devour their corpses.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: The Psicogs look just like Twi'leks with long tailed head protrusions, while the Ethereals have long tails, three fingers on each hand and facial markings.
  • Transhuman: All nonhuman races that inhabit the Empyreon are actually evolved directly from humanity.
  • Villain Protagonist: Being a brutal warlord that keeps his people in check through fear and intends to steal resources, slaves and females from his enemies, the title character could have easily be the Big Bad in any other story.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Khaal gains control of the Xenopsyllians after murdering their queen.


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