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Comic Book / Les Innommables

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The big guy is Mac, the short one is Tim. Tony is probably sulking in a corner somewhere.

Les Innommables is a French-Belgian comic book series by Yann Le Pelletier and Didier Conrad. It tells the adventures of a trio of deserters from the US Army, McButtle a.k.a. Mac, Tony and Tim, who wander throughout post-WW2 Asia, looking for a quick buck and for Mac's one true love, a Chinese girl named Alix Yin Fu. The latter is a fanatically committed agent of the Chinese Communist Party and goes through numerous adventures in her own Spin-Off series, Tigresse Blanche.

Contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: Though she's comparably prone to being overwhelmed and captured just like in the main book, Alix is notably more competent and dangerous in her own spin-off.
  • Alternate Continuity: After the publication of the third album was cancelled, the series was suspended for a while and then started over with various retconned elements.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Tony was initially assumed to be heterosexual, and in fact behaved as a bit of a Casanova. But in the rebooted version he turned out to be gay.
  • Anti-Hero: Three of them. Mostly, they're the good guys because everyone else is worse.
  • Area 51: Here, the "crash-landed spaceship" is actually an experimental Russian aircraft, with a Human Popsicle Russian woman onboard.
  • Armored Closet Gay: Just about every American character who stands for traditional 50's values is one.
  • Ascended Extra: Alix.
  • Asian Babymama: Alix bore Mac's child while they were estranged, and he only finds out a few years later. In an interesting twist, Alix's brainwashing results in partial amnesia, and she herself forgets about her daughter.
  • Band of Brothels: While in Hong Kong, Mac bought himself a brothel.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Mac, Tony and Tim.
    • For all his talk of hating the other two, when separated from Mac and Tim, Tony ends up finding himself a Replacement Goldfish with a fat prisoner and a short one (with completely different personalities).
  • Batter Up!: Tim is constantly toting a baseball bat, which he uses to painful effect against adversaries.
  • Black Is Bigger in Bed: A black guy is refused entry into an Asian brothel because the girls are afraid he's far too large for them.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The first two panels of "Matricule Triple Zero", the first album, depict the character who was ostensibly going to be the real hero of the series, a USAAF pilot with rugged good looks inspired by Buck Danny. And then he gets unceremoniously run over by a Jeep and is never seen again.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Yes, the world was racist back in the forties-fifties, but U.S. Navy personnel probably never went around publicly beating foreigners for "not being American" or "not being white".
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Roseau Fleuri and most of the employees of the Crimson Lotus.
  • Dragon Lady: Alix is a ruthless secret agent, highly trained in martial arts and assassination.
  • Eagle Land: Just about every American character is a type 2 (who believe themselves to be a Type 1). As an example, a trio of U.S. sailors in a bar try to pick a fight with a British man "for no being American". When his Indian manservant steps in, they decide to beat him up "for not being white".
    • Exaggerated when the action shifts back to the U.S. Featuring: backstabbing carrerist generals, scientists who work on their own brainwashing techniques, totally-not L Ron Hubbard, a severely-repressed sheriff, a colonel who gouges out his eyes after shooting his gay son dead, his White-Dwarf Starlet wife who tries to kill Mac's daughter, the CIA guy who tries to divert an unmanned moon rocket to nuke Moscow (the Russian retaliation strike won't have the range to hit the U.S.)...
  • Eaten Alive: Mac's interference botches Colonel Lychee's attempt at seppuku, leaving him helpless, but alive, in close proximity to hundreds of carnivorous rats.
  • Facial Horror: The sorceress No-Jaw doesn't have a lower jaw. Despite this, she can still talk, just with a Japanese Ranguage problem.
  • Femme Fatale: Ching Soao is possibly the most insane example in a series rife with this archetype as there's almost no situation she can't fight and/or fuck her way out of. The closest she gets to comeuppance is when Lychee and the dog-man put her in a small cage and kick her into the surf, but even then Captain Mumu O' Rouke happens to be nearby and accidentally busts the cage open while having sex with her through its bars. He then lets her go after he gets weirded out by the backstory of the tattoos that suddenly appeared on her body after she achieves a number of orgasms in succession even though she had tried to castrate him not an hour earlier.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Inverted with one character, introduced with "Give him an aircraft carrier and a month, he'll give you a tugboat!"
  • Government Conspiracy: While trying to get a private detective agency started, the Innommables get involved in a FBI conspiracy to assassinate the governor of New York State.
  • Guilt-Induced Nightmare: Subverted, where Colonel Lychee is seen dreaming of all the people he had thrown into locomotive furnaces during World War 2, their ghosts crying for vengeance... and is smiling happily about it.
  • Hammerspace: Lampshaded with Tim's baseball bat. The other characters wonder how it's possible for him to always have it at hand, even when he hasn't taken it with him.
  • Haunting the Guilty: Subverted with Colonel Lychee, who dreams of the Chinese people he had thrown alive into locomotive furnaces during WW2... with a big happy grin on his face.
  • Heir Club for Men: Gender-Inverted, Alix wants Mac's baby to be a boy so he can take revenge for her.
  • Historical Domain Character: Marilyn Monroe and a few other figures from 1950s American history. The Song sisters also appear in the spin-off series.
    • The Jardines are descended from the "Iron-headed old rat" William Jardine", an opium merchant.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Roseau Fleuri.
  • In the Original Klingon: One Chinese character says Marco Polo stole the concept of pasta on his journey through China; in fact they were thought up separately.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mac.
  • Kavorka Man: Despite their ungrateful looks, Mac and Tim are both very successful with beautiful women.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Alix had Blank White Eyes while under the telepathic influence of a psychic.
  • Multiple Endings: The episode "Alix-Noni-Tengu" has two different possible endings, a happy one and a downer one. The downer is the canon one.
  • The Napoleon: General McErnest.
  • Official Couple: Mac and Alix.
  • Papa Wolf: Mac.
  • Pirate Girl: The three characters are at one point abducted by Pirates led by a female captain. She gets a crush on Tim and has Mac and Tony thrown overboard.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Lychee, the dog-man, and a random crewmember go dig up some buried bones. Lychee shoots the sailor, telling the pissed-off dog-man that he can't talk anymore. The dog-man points out that they could just as easily killed him on the ship, now Lychee has to row alone.
  • Psycho for Hire: Colonel Lychee, who really enjoys his work. In one case, he's haunted by the memdreaming of all the Chinese people he threw into locomotive furnaces... and is smiling happily.
  • Racial Face Blindness: One U.S. scientist declares to a board of Army higher-ups that they've figured a way to reverse Communist brainwashing. He produces his specimen, who starts reciting "Chairman Mao does not like freedom... Chairman Mao is not God...". Then the scientist brings in a new test subject (who hadn't undergone brainwashing), and gives him a gun and tells him to shoot. The prisoner happily complies, shooting a dozen generals before he's taken down. The scientist brushes giving the gun to the wrong man off, saying "these Chinese all look alike".
  • Red China: The Chinese Communists are depicted as utterly merciless and depraved, but the main character's love interest is a fanatically loyal Communist agent. And the other sides aren't depicted in a much more favorable light either.
  • Rescue Romance: How Alix falls for Mac although the second rescue that ultimately thrusts her into his arms was actually Tim's doing.
  • Second Love: Alix is this for Mac after the death of Roseu Fleuri, who he cared deeply for and whose demise haunts him for several volumes.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Happens with regularity.
  • Shoot Your Mate: Subverted. An American scientist claims he has reversed Chinese brainwashing techniques and proposes to demonstrate in front of high-ranking officers. He gives one of the two Chinese prisoners a gun, and tells him to shoot the other. The man immediately perks up and empties the gun... into the generals. Turns out the gun had been given to the wrong man.
  • Shorttank: Claire, a former street urchin that the Innommables have taken in.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In Alix's spin-off series, she's partnered with a Chinese guy named Eh-Nak.
    • An Air Force pilot is named Sonny, while one girl's erotic fantasy involves Buck Danny calling Sonny and Tumbler for help.
    • The British antagonist of the Alix spinoff looks like Blake from Blake and Mortimer (in appearance only though), with Mortimer's expy (named Marmalade) seen getting blackout drunk on "That Awful Day", the anniversary of India's independance.
    • A scene where a rocket is hijacked (by the CIA, who want to nuke Moscow with it) is blown up before it's out of range, reminescent of a similar plot in Tintin.
  • The Slacker: All three started out as complete slackers, but while Mac and Tim shaped up to some extent, Tony has remained one.
  • Straight Gay: Tony, in the rebooted version.
  • Too Dumb to Live: A detective character is unceremoniously written off when we see his body pulled out of the water. It's classified as suicide, he was seen showing money (flipping a coin) while at the docks.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Mac and Alix, though they aren't technically married.
  • Ugly Spouse Sentence: Basil Jardine discovers (after having his father murdered) that in order to inherit his father's fortune, he must merge his company with its biggest rival, and the most convenient way of doing that is marrying the daughter of its CEO. Said CEO is perfectly aware of his daughter's ugliness and bad personality, but given that he also has nothing but contempt for Basil, is all too happy to make the marriage go through. The daughter has similar feelings for Basil and has every intention of making him a Henpecked Husband.
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: Happened with Raoul, the trio's pet pot-bellied pig, who turned out to be female.
  • Values Dissonance: In-universe, one of the Englishmen in Hong Kong takes offense at Sir Jardine's secretary wearing white at his funeral. His employer reminds him that in China, white is associated with death.