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Comic Book / Raptors

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Raptors (Rapaces in the original language) is a Franco-Belgian urban fantasy/horror comic written by Jean Dufaux and drawn by Enrico Marini.

A series of bloody murders in New York City all have the words "YOUR KINGDOM IS DOOMED" written in blood at the scenes. A pair of police detectives investigating the crimes soon discover that it's part of a centuries-long struggle between different factions of vampires.

This comic provides examples of:

  • All Love Is Unrequited: Though they appear to be Heterosexual Life-Partners at first, Spiaggi does express romantic feelings for Vicky, who doesn't reciprocate. Unfortunately he Did Not Get the Girl by the end of the series.
  • Ancestral Weapon: The Molina heirloom sword and dagger used by the twins, which originally belonged to their father. Drago passes the sword to Aznar's mother, who later inherits it himself. He in turn hands over the sword to Vicky.
  • Attempted Rape:
    • Ronaldo tries to rape Sylvia in hear dorm-room, but Aznar appears just in time to completely pummel him.
    • After Vicky gets captured by the vampire council, one of the guards also attempts to rape her but Spiaggi kills him.
  • Arc Words: "Your kingdom is doomed". Don Molina's Dying Curse to his enemies before being slain and now his children carry out his revenge.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The vampires hail from Spanish nobility and all of them, both the Molinas and Y Cera's minions, are depraved monsters.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: When the vampires attacked Don Molina's castle, his wife Dona Anna set herself on fire in front of their enemies rather than give them the pleasure of letting them kill her.
  • Big Fancy House: Vicky's family house which both her and Spiaggi take refuge in after being presumed dead. Its surprisingly rich and opulent for a normal cop that lives in an apartment.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The council leaders are all dead by the end, their plot to convert humanity into zoo animals is stopped and Benito is promoted to Chief of Police. However, Drago and Camilla are also dead, Aznar and Vicky are also vampires and have shed all their ties to humanity.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Drago and Camilla are Half-Identical Twins who hunt down other vampires who have sworm off 'the old ways'. They also have some sort of telepathic link to each other.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: A Brother–Sister Team consisting of two vampire siblings who hunt down their own kind, Drago and Camilla, are in a relationship together. On a minor note, Vicky kisses her brother Newton on the lips just before killing him.
  • Child Eater: The ancient leader of the new vampire order, Don Miguel Y Certa, who is also known as "The Devourer", has a particular fondness for children.
  • Childless Dystopia: Don Miguel has been devouring children so regularly that the streets of New York City are pretty much devoid of them.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Despite being in a long-term relationship with Drago, Camilla is not actually this for him, but for Vicky. She declares that she is hers, even when her brother decides to have sex with Vicky in their bed and when Vicky ultimately refuses Camilla's advances, she doesn't take it very well.
  • Corrupt Church: According to the Don Miguel, the Church used to hunt vampires but by the time they made their plan to integrate with society, they already have several of their numbers in their ranks. True to that, some bishops and inquisitors are assembled in his council.
  • Corrupt Politician: Senator Paxton is an American senator and member of the vampire council.
  • Council of Vampires: The vampire council are running humanity behind the scenes, and are all European aristocrats who have settled in New York City. Pretty democratically too, since their leader has became an Orcus on His Throne obsessed with hunting new victims over the centuries and doesn't really care enough to micromanage the council.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Ronaldo, the ex of Aznar's girlfriend in college, to the point he attempts to kill him by knocking him unconscious into the pool and leaving him to drown, and later breaks into her room in an attempt to rape her, though he is stopped just in time by Aznar.
  • Dashing Hispanic: Drago and Camilla were both born into Spanish nobility. Drago is a Tall, Dark, and Handsome gentleman while Camilla is a Spicy Latina vamp, and both are Hot-Blooded and graceful, deadly fighters.
  • Daywalking Vampire: The vampires who have become more like humans have acclimated themselves to sunlight over the centuries, so it no longer harms them.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Vicky Lenore is the actual protagonist, but Drago and Camilla are featured on all the covers and are basically a Spotlight-Stealing Squad.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Camilla. While she has a romantic relationship with Drago and is shown having seduced another man before murdering him, she also claims Vicky Lenore for herself as her "plaything" and has no problem sharing her on the bed with him. Drago on the other hand seems to be straight however, since he only is seen having relationships with women.
  • Did Not Get the Girl:
    • Aznar rebukes his girlfriend Sylvia, telling her that he doesn't love her. She visits him later on his apartment and has sex with him, only for his vampire side to overwhelm him and drain her to death.
    • Benito survives and becomes the new Chief, but Vicky abandoned him to continue her hunt for other vampires.
  • Dhampyr: Aznar Akeba is the son of the vampire Drago and a mortal woman from India. He has pretty much all the strength of his father, such as durability and super strength, but at the cost of the occasional Horror Hunger.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Don Miguel is ultimately destroyed by a group of children, the very prey he had been feasting on to his heart's content throughout the centuries.
  • Dressed Like a Dominatrix: The vampire Camilla adopts this look while stalking her prey, wearing only a leather corset, long gloves, and thigh high stiletto boots underneath her Badass Longcoat. She does pose as a prostitute at one point, but she clearly only uses it outside of sexual situations.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Camilla, a beautiful vampire, has noticeably pale skin and dark hair because of her Spanish heritage.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Don Miguel has become increasingly decrepit and monstrous in appearance since his obsession with eating children became his only preoccupation.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The comic chronicles the fight between The Masquerade of vampires who have decided to give up their days of slaughter so they could replace humanity in the long run but found their powers diminishing through the ages, and a renegade vampire brother and sister who retained their powers and pledged to hunt down all the others while being unapologetic monsters themselves.
  • Face Death with Dignity: The old man who becomes Drago's first victim is very cordial towards his executioner, and they have a pleasant conversation beforehand. He even gives Drago his only picture of Drago's late mother, who he used to be in love with before she chose Drago's father.
  • Fair Cop: Lieutenant Vicky Lenore is a gorgeous redhead whose partner Spiaggi nurtures an unrequited attraction to her, and Camilla tries to claim her for herself.
  • Fan Disservice: Vicky gets naked several times during the story, but the one time that is not supposed to be titillating is when the council leader orders to have her stripped nude in her cell since he declared humans are now supposed to be like animals in a zoo.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Don Miguel technically serves as main antagonist of the story, since he is the leader of the vampire conspiracy and is responsible for setting the Molina twins' down their path of vengeance. With that said, he is completely detached from the narrative, with his underlings representing the most immediate threat to the main characters while he stays in his little corner. Ultimately, he is not even dispatched by the protagonists, but by completely unrelated minor characters.
  • Humanity Ensues: A villainous variation: the vampire council finds out to their horror that they are slowly becoming like mortals, and they can die normally or contract diseases.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: Drago and Camilla are a Brother–Sister Team duo of vampires who systematically hunt down all other members of their kind. The feud started when the majority of vampires chose to give up most of their powers and bestial instincts so they could walk around in the daylight and rule humanity openly. Drago and Camilla's father was opposed to this and murdered (along with his wife) for his defiance, leading his children to swear revenge after they were safely whisked away.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Drago and Camilla's father Don Molina refused to go along with Don Miguel's plan to infiltrate humanity and replace it from within because he wanted to prey on humans like a bestial predator rather than being their overlord. He got himself killed for this, but in the long run, he proved to be right as the vampires ultimately lost much of their powers and immortality, while his children who kept true to the old ways retained their powers.
  • Karmic Death:
    • In a rather ironic twist of fate, Drago and Camilla are killed by their own family heirlooms; Drago is stabbed with a Molina dagger by Don Miguel, and Camilla is ran with her father's sword by Vicky. In the latter's case, she is killed by the woman she wanted to make her "plaything".
    • After feeding on children for so long, Don Miguel meets his end when lynched by a mob of children.
  • Lady in Red: Camilla dresses in a red lingerie with a longcoat as befitting a vampire seductress. Vicky as well at the end of the series.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Drago and Camilla are remorseless predators, but their love for each other and reason for wanting revenge against the other vampires for killing their parents makes them just slightly more sympathetic. Unlike their arch-enemy Don Miguel, they also don't make a habit out of hunting children or orchestrating the wholesale purge of humanity.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Aznar Akeba turns out to be in fact Drago's son, resulting from his previous romance with a beautiful Indian woman.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Drago's manhood is on display a bunch of times. Of course, this is a European comic.
  • No Shirt, Long Jacket: Both Drago and Aznar Akeba wear long leather trenchcoats (red and black respectively) without a shirt of any sort.
  • My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: After being fatally shot, Carl experiences a childhood flashback before expiring.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: The blood-drinking immortals with sharp canines are not once referred to as "vampires" during the whole story.
  • One-Man Army: The Molina twins show how formidable vampires are in combat at the peak of their power. Drago is capable of slaughtering an angry mob in India unarmed and towards the climax, the council sends attack helicopters and fully armed SWAT teams to dispose of him. Later when Vicky's nature awakens, she is also capable of fighting off multiple of her family's bodyguards at once.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Don Miguel Y Certa, the master of the vampire order, doesn't really play an active role in the day-to-day politics of vampirekind and lets the Council of Vampires bother with such things, instead contenting himself with feasting on the food his servants bring him. In total, he makes about three appearances in the entire comic.
  • Out with a Bang: Sex with vampires is very dangerous for humans. Aznar ends up killing his girlfriend Sylvia when his vampire side awakens and he drains her dry, and Vicky nearly dies of exhaustion after being shared on the bed by the Molina twins.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: They appear to be a distinct race that evolved separately from humanity gifted with superhuman strength, longevity, Ideal Illness Immunity, flight, hypnosis and apparently shapeshifting. They do not spread their condition to humans and can breed normally. With that said, most of their kind chose to live among humans in hopes of conquering it from within and lost much of their powers, to the point they are barely distinguishable from mortals (they can die from conventional damage and diseases like leukemia) except for a distinctive cyst from behind their right ears. Drago and Camilla retain their abilities however and so does Aznar and Vicky.
  • Outside-Context Problem: An minor example from the backstory, but it still counts: Even for an fearsome vampire raptor that strikes fears into the hearts of his foes and is virtually unmatched except for his equally-deadly sister, the one enemy he couldn't defeat was the immortal sorcerer that enslaved his Indian lover, since he could reincarnate forever and ever.
  • Power at a Price: Physical power being traded by metaphorical power; The vampires managed to take over society by mingling among the humans and are replacing them at a very rapid rate. But they lost all their special powers in the process and are slowly becoming like humans themselves.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: This little exchange.
    Pimp: The two of us in a car. How much?
    Camilla: Your life.
  • Red Is Violent: Drago and Camilla usually dress in all-red, stripperiffic leather combat outfits while taking out hordes of mooks. As they're vampires, this simultaneously serves as a visual metaphor for their bloodlust.
  • Reincarnation: During his travels in India, the vampire Drago was involved with a beautiful woman who was enslaved by a local sorcerer. Drago killed the sorcerer to claim her for himself, but the sorcerer resurrected into a new body before going after them with a mob of followers. Since this put them both in a stalemate, neither being able to permanently kill the other, Drago relented and agreed to a bargain where he would leave his land for good in return for the woman's good treatment.
  • Shameful Strip: The council leader orders Vicky to be stripped of her clothes since he declared that humanity will be henceforth treated like animals in a zoo.
  • Shoot the Dog: Camilla kills a dog before murdering its owner, since he was part of the conspiracy she was opposed to.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: During his travels, Drago fell in love with an Indian woman who was enthralled by an immortal sorcerer. He tried to kill the sorcerer (which didn't work) to free her, but was ultimately forced to leave her for good. However, this did result in him fathering a son he didn't know about.
  • Stripperiffic: Drago and Camilla's "outfits" usually consist of a leather trenchcoat and leather pants at best. Camilla in particular resembles a dominatrix much of the time. Vicky and Aznar wear their outfits at the end of the series.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: The Molinas. The surviving twins, Drago and Camilla, are basically the spitting image of their late father and mother when they are shown in flashback.
  • Super Window Jump: The cover of the third album depicts Drago and Camilla bursting through a large plate glass ceiling window while looking down on their family's ancestral sword. The scene in the comic is somewhat different, in that it happens during a fight between the pair and Aznar, who is thrown up through the window onto the roof.
  • Taking Up the Mantle: At the end, Vicky Lenore and Aznar Akeba take up Drago and Camilla's mantle in hunting down vampires after the latter are both killed.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: In a stark contrast to Drago and Camilla who could easily stand out among the crowd, their vampire enemies look completely mundane due to having mingled with humanity, having completely plain appearances that range from obese or lank and deep down they are completely depraved monsters. The only way to tell them apart from humans is that they have a cyst behind their right ears. This trope is usually not a problem for the twins, but its terrifying for normal characters like Vicky and Benito, who discover that they can't trust anyone since the vampires have agents everywhere, in the police, politics and even Vicky's own family.
  • Three-Way Sex: After the Molina twins have captured Vicky, there's a threeway scene between Drago, Camilla, and Vicky, made rather uncomfortable because of the Twincest and Questionable Consent involved.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Vicky discovers that she is actually a vampire too, since her family is part of the conspiracy. With that said, she isn't "corrupted" like the rest of them and develops powers just like Drago and Camilla.
  • Thwarted Coup de Grâce: When Aznar tries to strike down Camilla, Drago blocks his sword at the last second.
  • Twin Telepathy: The Molina twins, Drago and Camilla, are shown as being able to communicate with each other through long-distance telepathy. This might be explained by their vampiric nature, however.
  • The Vamp: Camilla is introduced after having seduced a young man who is willing to give up everything to be with her, claiming the raven-haired Spanish beauty to be the most desirable woman he has ever known. She swiftly murders him, which she had been planning on doing all along. She's also seen luring in victims by pretending to be a streetwalker.
  • Vampire Monarch: Don Miguel Y Certa, while not literally a king (instead being of Spanish high nobility), is the ruler of all vampires.
  • Vampires Are Rich: Most of vampirekind are running The Masquerade to keep humanity around as lifestock, and are primarily composed of old Spanish nobility.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Drago and Camilla, the two vampire siblings, both portrayed as stunningly attractive and temptuous, as well as sensual lovers (including, incidentally, to each other). Their vampire rivals avert this (see They Look Just Like Everyone Else!).
  • Villain Protagonist: Drago and Camilla Molina are vampire twins that hunt their treacherous kind in revenge for their parent's murder. With that said, they completely embrace their predatory instincts as vampires and prey on mankind as they carry out their revenge. Though one could say that Vicky Lenore is the actual protagonist, the Molina twins actually carry the plot.
  • You Killed My Father: Drago and Camilla's motive for targeting the other vampires in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge is the murder of their parents at the hands of Don Miguel's followers.

Alternative Title(s): Rapaces