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Comic Book / Les Démons d'Alexia

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Les démons d'Alexia (Alexia's demons) is a Belgian supernatural comic book series written by Vincent Dugomier and illustrated by Benoît Ers.

Alexia is a young exorcist recruited by the C.R.P.S note  in order to help them with the study and the fight against supernatural forces.

When she arrives in the building, the skeleton of a witch regains its flesh and people in town are devoured by a black hound. It also turns out the Center had a disaster in 1985: 42 scientists were slaughtered and the former director, the sole survivor, has been in the coma ever since.

  1. L'Héritage (The Legacy, 2004)
  2. Stigma Diabolicum (2005)
  3. Yorthopia (2006)
  4. Le Syndrome de Salem (The Salem Syndrome, 2007)
  5. Le Sang de l'Ange (The Blood of the Angel, 2009)
  6. Les Larmes de Sang (The Tears of Blood, 2009)
  7. Chair humaine (Human Flesh, 2011)

The first four books constitute the first cycle, the fifth and sixth books constitute the second and the seventh and final book is a standalone story.

The series also had four short stories that were published in Spirou and eventually printed in the omnibus collections: "Les démons d’Alexia" (the first story published for the series), "La Fresque" ("The Fresco"), "Durandal", and "Exorcisme communautaire" ("Community exorcism").

Les démons d'Alexia contains examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: When Zünd notices that Alexia has the mark of devil on her lower back and starts raising her shirt, the girl immediately slaps his face.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Alexia and Bérénice share a strong Pseudo-Romantic Friendship but also comment on guys being attractive. At one point, Bérénice outright says that she would be in love with Alecia if she were a man. A former lover of Alexia is alluded in Salem Syndrome but their name and gender isn't revealed.
  • Ambiguously Evil: The necromancer Zünd and the mysterious medium Paolo Capaldi give creepy vibes and are unpleasant and morally ambiguous despite being of the side of the C.R.P.S.
  • Ambiguous Situation: At the end of Tears of Blood Bérénice uncharacteristically encourages Alexia to kill Gabriel. It's unclear whether or not she was being possessed by Paolo. When Alexia asks her about it, she refuses to answer.
  • Another Dimension: Yorthopia, world of the occultism, isn't situated on Earth as Alexia finds out in Salem Syndrome. The cursed Zone 85 was built on the portal to this world.
  • Arc Symbol: A pair of symmetrical wings appears in various places during the second cycle. It turns out to be a message from the forces of good to motivate Alexia into killing Gabriel.
  • Artifact Name: After Gabriel retires from his inn "At Gabriel's", his successor Denis decides to keep the name.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: The rise in supernatural phenomenons during the second cycle is caused by Alexia's witch heritage being stronger than her exorcist side. To counter it, the forces of good tries to have her kill the angel Gabriel in order to bring the balance back.
  • Big Bad: The witch Sarah Perkins is the main antagonist of the series being responsible for the massacre of the Zone 85 and Alexia's legacy of darkness. Initially set up as a Starter Villain, she returns as a ghost after the first book.
  • Body Horror: Pyrothoraxes are small gaseous entities that will attempt to penetrate the human body, even through the skin, and dissolve the lungs.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: The Greek soldiers in Human Flesh tasked with clearing out the ferret-infested island refer almost word for word to their flamethrower as this. Truth in Television, flamethrowers are no longer in common military usage.
  • Buried Alive: In Yorthopia, a vengeful ghost who's suffered this fate resurrects those who are being buried in the cemetery just to make them die a second time.
  • Cut Short: When the edition pulled the plug on the series, the authors decided that the last book would be a standalone story instead of wrapping up the story arc. In the last page, Alexia mentions that she'll take a much-needed vacation.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: One scientist attempts to stab the slowly resurrecting corpse of Sarah Perkins. The knife becomes incredibly hot, melts his hand and falls on his torso, burning through it and slowly making its way down to the Earth's core.
  • Dying Curse: While being Buried Alive, Olav Krag cursed the cemetery in order to have its people share his fate.
  • Eaten Alive: Two Redshirts and Nikis are devoured by ferrets in Human Flesh.
  • Extra Eyes: In the original short story, the priest has four pairs of eyes in his spider form.
  • False Flag Operation: Sarah Perkins put her mole's life at risk twice to dispel any doubt about his loyalty to the heroes.
  • Forbidden Zone: Zone 85 is sealed off by the CRPS. Anyone trying to enter dies immediately, and robots immediately fail.
  • Foreshadowing: In the first book, Alexia accidentally hints something that would only be revealed three books later when she tells Gabriel: "Thank you, you're an angel".
  • The Fundamentalist: The former director is a fanatic who considers himself to be the successor of the Inquisition.
  • Genius Loci: The hospital in The Blood of the Angel is a living monster who uses the mortuary to feed.
    • Yorthopia is heavily implied to be this.
  • Golem: In "Stigma Diabolicum", Zünd creates one with a corpse in order to spy Zone 85.
  • Guardian Angel: In Yorthopia, Gabriel is revealed to be Alecia's angel and the one who gave her the power of exorcism. Unfortunataly he was cast away from Heaven because doing so, he transgressed the divine laws.
  • Hellhound: The first volume features one rampaging through the local town and devouring people. The flesh it eats goes to Sarah Perkin's skeleton, helping her resurrect. When she is finally alive again the dog just turns to dust.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Paolo Capaldi always rants that women are all witches and shouldn't be in the C.R.P.S.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Paolo Capaldi never appears in the entire series only heard or posessing people. It turns out he isn't human but a Yothil, an inhabitant of Yorthopia. Still whatever he looks like is up to the reader's imagination.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: In the first short story, Alexia faces the ghost of a priest condemned to starvation who lures women in his chapel to eat them.
  • Karma Houdini : As a result of the cancellation of the series:
    • Sarah Perkins remains undefeated.
    • Alexia and her friends are still clueless about Pleston being a traitor.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: At the end of the series, Alxia decides to takes long vacation.
  • Man on Fire: Alexia burns while entering to Yorthopia. It's revealed that anyone who enters or leaves the world experiences their future death which means that Alexia is fated to die by burning as a witch.
  • Mark of the Beast: Alexia gets the Stigma Diabolicum, mark of the devil, on her lower back.
  • Medical Rape and Impregnate: To have a son, the director plots to artificially impregnate Bérénice since he's too old to actually rape her. Thankfully, Bérénice gets rescued in time.
  • The Mole: Harold Pleston is actually working for Sarah Perkins.
  • Monster of the Week: While Sarah Perkins is the Big Bad, the series also has some episodic villains.
    • The first short story has Alexia facing a ghost who lures women to eat them.
    • Stigma Diabolicum has the spirit of a sacred Oak who kills people who tresspass his domain.
    • Yorthopia has the ghost of Olav Krag who resurects the dead so they can die a second time inside their coffins.
    • The Blood of the Angel has a living hospital who uses the mortuary to feed itself.
    • Human Flesh has no one. The man-eating furrets are just driven by starvation.
  • Motive Rant: Harold Pleston gives one in private to his deceased father explaining that he sided with a witch just to spite him.
  • Mundanger: The man-eating furrets in the last book turn out to be driven by starvation and forced to feed from a hidden cemetery.
  • N-Word Privileges: The Lighter and Softer short story where Alexia helps exorcise Belgium features Belgians cracking self-deprecating jokes (doubles as a meta example, since the authors are Belgian). When the French Bérénice joins in the Belgians are offended and say only Belgians are allowed to mock Belgium.
  • Oddly Small Organization: Deconstructed. After the massacre of the entire staff in book 4, the C.R.P.S is reduced to Alexia, Bérénice, Pleston, Zünd, Paolo and Gabriel. They soon realize they are severely outnumbered by all the supernatural manifestations. By Human Flesh, they hire new members.
  • Salem Is Witch Country: It's stated that most victims of the witch trial were innocent women but there were actual witches among them including Sarah Perkins. The directors of the C.R.P.S are all descendant of the inquisitor who had the latter hanged.
  • Shown Their Work: The Greek soldiers in Human Flesh mention that the flamethrower they're carrying to clear out ferrets is an obsolete weapon. They also specify they're not so much burning the ferrets as they are burning the oxygen in the air vents to asphyxiate them. This is entirely Truth in Television. One of the major use of flamethrowers was clearing out bunkers and other fortifications, not just by fire but also asphyxiation. They fell out of favor because thermobaric bombs and modern artillery can do the job more practically.
  • Spoiler Cover: Played with the cover of The Tears of Blood. It shows Alexia standing in front of a coffin revealing that one character (other than Alexia obviously) will indeed die. However, Paolo Capaldi already predicted the death of a member of the cast in the previous book.
  • Standalone Episode: The last book Human Flesh is a self contained story with no ties with the Story Arc aside from Alexia getting over Gabriel's death. This is because the authors knew it would be the last and decided not to rush the story.
  • Stripped to the Bone: Inverted, Sarah Perkins is resurrected by having flesh, organs and skin slowly growing on her skeleton.
  • Take a Third Option: In order to enter Yorthopia, Alexia has to choose between signing the white book for exorcists or the black book for dark arts user. Alexia choses to signs both books cementing herself as half witch and half exorcist. Unfortunately, this has dramatic consequences when some locations of the other world are forbidden to her.
  • This Way to Certain Death: In the original short story, when Alexia enters the creature's lair, she sees the skeletons of past victims.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: In The Blood of the Angel, Paolo warns Bérénice that one of them is going to die soon. Bérénice asks him if "one of us" is the both of them of the one or the six members of the staff. The medium refuses to precise. The cover of the next book features a coffin. Gabriel bites the dust in a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Harold Pleston's motivation for working with Sarah Perkins boils down to this.
  • White Void Room: The Portal to Yorthopia is a white room with three books.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Alexia becomes pyrophobic after being burned when she entered and left Yorthopia.
    • Berenice is scared of frrets ever since she saw one devoring chickens when she was 9 years old.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: How the witch legacy works. When Alexia is tricked into killing her ancestor Sarah Perkins, she becomes a witch against her own will.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Reconstruction. When Alexia reveals she is fated to die by burning alive, she throws up and is horrified, but Gabriel reassure her that by knowing she will die by fire, she knows all the ways she won't die, and thus can take more risks knowing that it won't kill her.
  • You Are in Command Now: After the massacre of most of the C.R.P.S staff including the director, Alexia is elected as the new director despite being a newcommer.