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Ric Hochet is Franco-Belgian Comics series written by André-Paul Duchâteau and drawn by Tibet, better know is Gilbert Gascard. It was first published in 1955 in Le Journal de Tintin and the first album came out in 1964. The series also has many shorts assembled in albums called "Hors-séries". The titular character is a journalist for the newspaper La Rafale and collaborate with the French Police in Paris on various criminal investigations. The series debuted very much like a carbon copy of Tintin. However, it eventually took a sharp turn. Stories became more focused on series of murders that needed to be solved and Ric Hochet became more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Ric has talented gift for reasoning, observation and an incredible instinct. The series came to a halt in 2010 with the passing of Tibet with 78 albums released since 1964.

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In 2015, a reboot was made entitled The New Adventures of Ric Hochet. It will be written by new authors, Zidrou and Van Liemt, and will have a slightly different art style. The new series will give a new spin to the usual tropes either by deconstruction or reconstruction. Ric will deviate more from his usual self and become a more flawed character.

The main cast consists of:

  • Ric Hochet, main character, journalist at Le Rafale and frequent collaborator to the police.
  • Commissioner Bourdon, head of the police in Paris and Ric's longtime friend.
  • Nadine Bourdon, Ric's love interest and Bourdon' niece. Suffer from many kidnappings but is a competent detective herself.
  • Ledru, a police detective and Bourdon's right-hand man. He is bitter over his boss, because he's being denied a promotion for many years. He eventually becomes the head of the counter-terrorism branch, but there are still some friction between him and Bourdon.
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  • Richard Hochet: Ric's father and former Gentleman Thief. He still has ties to the criminal underworld and usually provide an "off the book" approach.
  • Professor Hermelin, a Nobel prized scientist who's much more comfortable with his inventions than people.
  • Bob Drumont: Ric's best friend and colleague and later, editor in chief of Le Rafale. Becomes less present and disappear for a long time.
  • Le Bourreau (The Executioner), Ric's Arch-Nemesis. He was a former intelligence director for an Eastern Bloc country and war criminal. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, he's a very dangerous adversary.


Tropes:

  • The Ace: Ric has many skills under his belt. He's good at hand-to-hand combat, an excellent driver, knows how to use a firearms, pilot and aircraft, fence with a rapier. Combine with his deduction skills and profession as a journalist, there's nothing this guy can't do.
  • Actually Not a Vampire: Alister Devill is led to believe he is a vampire, just like his ancestors Derek and Ferguson. It was all a lie from his cousin to kill him and inherit his money.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Ric is a journalist and is not a detective by profession. He's been collaborating with the police for years and never officially received any kind of rewards.
  • Anti-Hero: Richard may have put his criminal past behind him, but he still carry shades of gray. He kept his contacts with the criminal underworld and prefer to do things outside of the law.
  • Arch-Nemesis: Ric and Le Bourreau. Ric has squared off against him more often than any other villains. Interestingly, Le Bourreau considered an French General Val his Arch-Nemesis for many decades. After his first defeat at Ric's hands, Le Bourreau now consider Ric his worse enemy. It probably has something to do with Ric crippling his legs.
  • Avenging the Villain: The Black Group rock Paris with terror attacks to avenge Raphael, their leader who died fighting the police during a riot. They made everyone believe that he was still alive and pulling all the strings, while he died years ago.
  • Badass in Distress: Ric is prone to kidnapping because of his recklessness.
  • Banana Republic: The fictional country of Varaiso in South America which is dominated by cruel military dictator. A great destination for tourists while its people are struggling with poverty. In a break from police detective work, Ric gets embroiled in civil unrest, political revolution in a cat and mouse game.
  • Batman Gambit: Used many times by Ric, like this one: Someone committed a series of thefts. No one knows the mastermind and only the lowly crooks were caught. Ric suspected one of the victims being the real thief. Ric blurted out to the captured accomplices that their employer intentionally betrayed them so he could get away with stolen goods. Enraged, one of the crook immediately jumped on the mastermind.
  • Bigger Bad: Chameleon escape from jail with outside help and commits thefts in the country. In reality, his mysterious benefactor impersonated him and wanted a sequestrated Chameleon to become his scapegoat, while he gets away with the stolen goods.
  • Body Surf: The mysterious Dr. X has invented a process that transfer the brain of a patient to another body. He then then offer his service to criminals at very high price. As an aversion, it turn out to be a lie to scam criminals. Dr. X will simply remove the brains and dump the bodies.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: This become the core of a story. The whole city of Paris is in state of alert as anarchists are killing civilian authorities in very brutal manner: firearms, explosives, grenades, knives, nothing was spared
  • Butt-Monkey: Bourdon is often the victim of various antics either be jokes, misfortunes, hazards, bad luck, angry monkeys. It's eventually downplayed as the series goes on.
  • Catch-Phrase: Bourdon's trademark swearing: "Bonsoir de Bonsoir!"
  • Captain Ersatz: Jimmy, the main villain of the horror movie Jimmy. Jimmy looks exactly like Freddy Krueger, except he uses a knife instead of razor-clawed glove and a wears a battered trench-coat.
  • Cardboard Prison: Exploited with Le Bourreau because he's an invaluable asset to the Eastern Bloc. Everytime he is jailed, foreign powers request his release in exchange for France's captured secret agents.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The series started with harmless detective work in same line as Spirou and Fantasio or Tintin. Then, murder solving became the staple of the series where blood and violence became more explicit and graphic.
  • The Chessmaster: Le Bourreau is not only ruthless, he manipulates everyone and always has many plans in motion to achieve his goals.
  • Clear My Name: Ric Hochet was once falsely accused of theft and police was hunting him down.
  • Cliffhanger: By the mid '90, the series had its first cliffhanger. There will more to come later stories.
  • Cool Car: Ric rides a yellow 356 Porsche and later, a yellow 911 Porsche. It get destroyed several times, sometimes more than once in the same story.
  • Cool Old Guy: Commissioner Bourdon is a pleasant old fellow. Richard Hochet also qualify.
  • Corrupt Cop: Over the years, the series had many policemen who secretly played both sides. Their motivations varied from one to another:
    • Revenge against a fellow cop.
    • Personal gain. When money talks, people listen.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Ursula was found bloodied and crucified. She wasn't a very nice woman, but it wasn't pretty.
  • Darker and Edgier: The series became more mature as time went on. Violence became more graphic and blood was shown. Shots were fired and people were shown getting hit. The most graphic was a decapitated head and a bloodied crucified woman.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ric always has a sharp tongue while even under threat to his life.
  • Death Trap: How Chameleon planned to kill his hated enemy Bourdon. Had he killed the commissioner right on the spot, he would have won.
  • Distress Ball: Nadine is kidnapped constantly, sometimes many times in the same story.
  • Enemy Mine: When anarchists have plunge the whole city in terror, the police are patrolling the streets around the clock. With no luck finding the anarchists, Ric and Richard team up with the organized crime to take them out, as the increase in police patrols have affected their business.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Le Bourreau is never refer by his real name as no one knows it. He has an alias and is something referred as "B".
  • Evil Counterpart: Bex Turner. An American detective who's as good as Ric in solving crimes as brawling. He turn out to be malevolent.
    • Between General Val and Le Bourreau. Both are leading secret services agency, for France and the Eastern Bloc respectively. They are both very cunning, resourceful and make use of secrets agents. They also have disabilities: Val is missing an arm and Le Bourreau has "a head injury that made him a diminished man" according to him.
  • Evil Laugh: Le Bourreau was strangling General Val. The secret agents fired at him, but he was wearing bulletproof vest and let out his evil laugh.
  • Evil Plan: Every criminal in the series has a plan to commit the perfect crime.
  • Fatal Flaw: Ric's flaw is pride. Too many times, he stubbornly goes alone to confront the suspect and is either kidnapped or injured.
  • Fat Bastard: Le Bourreau is very corpulent and a ruthlessly evil individual.
  • Foil: Ric and Bourdon. Ric represent near perfection while Bourdon is the unwitting Butt-Monkey.
  • Gentleman Thief: In his younger years, Richard was famed gentleman thief in the UK, nicknamed "Richard Lionheart". He was never caught.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In page, we get a bird's eye view of Ric and Nadine near a swimming pool. The details are very small, but Nadine was clearly topless.
  • Goshdang It To Heck: Since swearing wasn't allowed, Bourdon will always say "Bonsoir de Bonsoir!" (Good evening of good evening!).
  • Government Conspiracy: Horace Doriaz had killed a Canadian tourist with a plague virus. He threaten to unleash a plague on the city of Nice, unless the government gives in to his unusual demands. While the tourist's daughter is on a tour of the city, he wants the hotel staff to lie to her and say she doesn't have a room at their hotel. All knowledge of her mother was to be denied. With little time, no cure and a city under threat, the police had no choice but to comply with Doriaz's demands. The tourist's body was removed, their hotel room was hastily converted into a laundry room and the hotel staff had to cooperate with the charade.
  • Great Detective: Ric of course. There hasn't been any case he couldn't solve, thanks to deduction skills and instincts.
  • Hanging Judge: Corrupted judge Vautrin set up a mock trial for captured civil servants and sentenced them to death.
  • Harmful to Minors: Children are usually kept away from harm, but there are some instances where they aren't safe:
    • A small boy as ran over by a car driven by crooks. The boy recovered.
    • Another boy was trapped in Le Bourreau's twisted hunting game for weeks.
    • Yet another boy was kidnapped and had a remote controlled bomb strapped on him. He was actually an accomplice to the kidnapper.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: In The Rich Hochet scandal, Ric thwart a robbery and the crook was shot in the back. Ric swore he intentionally misfired to scare him off and didn't aim for his back, but many outraged witnesses spoke against him. This is the beginning Ric's popularity going downhill as others incidents are tainting his reputation. Some powerful and unknown organization was responsible for the smear campaign, as it wanted Ric out of the way before moving its operations in Paris.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ric and the Bourdon.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Anna, one of Le Bourreau's newly recruited agent turns on him and helps Ric. This was because of Le Bourreau killed Anna's brother in his recruitment campaign.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Austin Chapin hires Ric to investigate his cousin, Alister Devill. Alister's family bloodline is afflicted by a vampire curse. Every 100 years, someone in the Devill family will turn into a vampire and attack people. He will then be killed, but will regenerate from his wounds and mysteriously disappear without a trace. Austin thinks Alister is next to become a vampire. After many attacks and strange occurrences, Alister is outed as a vampire, killed and his corpse is locked in a crypt. In the end, Ric discovered that everything was a lie, there never was any curse or vampires, Austin killed his cousin to seize his vast fortune. Austin hired Ric so the reporter would have confirmed his "theories" about Alister being a vampire. Had he not hired Ric, he would have gotten away with it.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: In Le Bourreau's second appearance, some foreign power had him set up a training camp for new field agents. Criminals were busted out jailed and were thrown in a vast territory. They were being hunted down like animals and occasionally fed. Those who survived and were deemed worthy by Le Bourreau were being recruited to hunt others and became new agents.
  • Idiot Ball: Ric wants to write an article about life behind bars, so with Bourdon's permission, he is given a false identity and placed in jail for a few days. The police had comb the entire list of detainees to make sure Ric wouldn't ran into his old enemies. And of course he does. Detective Ledru had reviewed the list, but has forgotten that Philippe Manière was an alias for Pierrot Volcan Jr., AKA The Chameleon.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How Joysane Vautrin died. She fell and was impaled on a huge piece of shrapnel.
  • Irony: In a village in France, a band of friends made a pact to stage fake accidents and illegally collect the insurance money. Unfortunately, someone has overheard them and turn their plan against them. The perpetrator caused them accidents and severe misfortunes. He then blackmailed them for the insurance money. One victim was freaked out and actually had a real accident before the perpetrator could make his move on him.
  • Jerk Ass: Professor Hermelin is a very grumpy individual and never keeps his tongue in his pockets. He despise Bourdon for some unknown reason.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ric Hochet evolves into this to distinguish himself from Tintin. He steps on people's toes and pokes his nose where he's not supposed to. Sometimes, he knew the suspects were perfectly innocent, but provoked them to gauge their reactions. Despite all this, he does have a heart and is compassionate, just like Tintin.
  • Joker Jury: Corrupted judge Vautrin set up a mock trial for captured civil servants and sentenced them to death. All magistrate's staff were criminals who had a bone to pick with the defendants
  • Killed Off for Real: Two major characters are killed in less than an hour. Bob killed by Le Bourreau. Le Bourreau himself dies from a heart attack when Ric fires a gun at him, which was loaded with blank bullets.
  • Large and in Charge: Le Bourreau is very tall and has a massive frame. Over the series, he had many underlings and none surpassed him.
  • Latex Perfection:
    • Bex Turner, when impersonated a kidnapped businessman.
    • Josyane Vautrin disguised herself as her father, an old corrupted judge. She even had gloves that served as fake hands.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Ric wore the same clothes since his introduction. White jacket, red shirt and blue jeans.
  • Long-Runners: Ric Hochet made his debut in 1955 in Le Journal de Tintin and the first album came in 1964. The series came to halt in 2010 with the death of Tibet. A reboot has been made by different authors in 2015.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Richard reveals to Ric that he is his father. Ric doesn't buy it since to him, Richard was just another crook trying to flee the scene of crime. However, Richard point out his astonishment when he first saw his face and noticed the resemblance. Ric admitted this was true and started to believe him.
  • Missing Mom: Ric never met his mother Allégra and is absent for the whole series, until she eventually turn up in the 74th installment.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dr. Vogler, a former Nazi scientist, who has a zoo and experimented on animals with mind-controlling drugs.
    • There's the mysterious Dr. X who's face is covered in bandages and offer services to criminals. He's actually a disfigured Dr. Volger.
    • Double Subversion with another doctor. Bourdon asked him his profession and he says he is a doctor in Law. He's later revealed to be an accomplice to Dr. Vogler.
  • Manchurian Agent: Ric becomes one when Dr. X inject him with a mind-controlling drug.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Le Bourreau which is French for "The Executioner".
    • Alister Devill and his ancestors, Derek Devill and Ferguson Devill.
  • No Social Skills: Professor Hermelin is more comfortable with his inventions than with people.
  • Not Me This Time: Chameleon escaped from prison with the help of accomplices and publish his next crimes in the newspapers. Despite the police being present, robberies are successfully committed. Ric eventually found Chameleon, but he denied any involvement in the crimes. He was telling the truth: the man that busted Chameleon out of jail was responsible for the robberies and only freed him so he could take the blame.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Being a mastermind, Le Bourreau loves to manipulated everyone around him and make them do his bidding. This is justified since he's a valuable VIP to the East who can't afford to lose him. Also, his head injury and massive weight prevent him from doing anything useful on the field. Later becomes enforced as he lost the use of his legs and is confined to a wheelchair.
  • Out of Focus: Bob Drumont, Ric's close friend becomes less and less present as the series went on. It's so bad that he eventually disappear. He eventually return only to be killed.
  • Paparazzi: Lambert, the nosy reporter for Paris-Night, a gossiping newspaper. He's every bit of the anti-Ric Hochet. He lacks ethics, act cowardly, is easily corrupted and is physically unfit.
  • Parental Abandonment: Installment 9 reveal that Ric was orphaned and never met his parents. His father is revealed to be Richard Hochet, a famous Gentleman Thief in the UK nicknamed "Richard Lionheart". Because of Richard's lifestyle, he couldn't raised him, so he placed him in orphanage and secretly sent him money every month. His mother, Allégra, turn up much later in the series and is working as a photograph.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Unlike Tintin, Ric can be seen doing his job as a journalist. This doesn't happen in every album however.
  • Plot Twist: The series runs with this. Some famous plot twists:
    • The two infamous Wolzak brothers were causing many violent attacks in the mountains. They were famed because of their ambush tactics: one will always attack while the other always provide cover fire. Ric was cornered in a mine and was about to be killed. Ric made a gamble and confronted one of the brother head-on, risking getting shot. In a twist, it was revealed that there was never any brothers, just one individual. Wolzak always made his attacks alone and feint having a brother to gain tactical advantage. Ric deduced this by observing a single track in the snow leading to the mine.
    • A series of murders occurred in a small village. Everyone suspected the local rich businessman, since the victims were his enemies and he wasn't very liked by other townsfolk. It turns out that the businessman really was the murderer. He killed everyone, except for the first victim. The first murder was committed by the businessman's daughter who has severe mental illness (so severe that she's can't even recall committing the act). When her father found out about the murder, he killed all his enemies to rid of them and placed all suspicions on him to protect his daughter.
    • There was a series of murders and it was believed it was because of inheritance. In the end, every suspects were killed and all the inheritance money automatically went to various charities. It may have been the work of an unknown third party and it became the only case Ric couldn't solve. However, the album had an extra hidden page at the end of the book. Ric did found out that the last suspect was indeed the murderer. It was Jacques, his friend and colleague. Jacques done so because his wife and child badly needed money and his health was failing. Seeing he was discovered, Jacques committed suicide. Not wanting Jacques's family to learn he was a murderer, Ric covered the whole thing up and never revealed the truth to anyone.
    • Ric was on the trail of international criminal Horace Doriaz who blackmailed the city of Nice with a plague. There were three suspects who may have impersonated Doriaz: Anny, a daughter of a rich woman, Harold, a chemist and Hörnbiger, a rich businessman, all staying at the same hotel. After eluding an assassination attempt, Ric hid in Hörnbiger's room. Ric confined to him that Harold is Doriaz and Anny his accomplice. Harold created the plague, killed his uncle to inherit his vast wealth. Same goes for Anny who wanted to inherit her mother's fortune. Ric then ask the Hörnbiger's help him hide from Harold and Anny until he can figure out his next move. After hiding all night in Hörnbiger's room, Ric quietly goes to the police while the Hörnbiger promise to keep Ric's secret. Later, Doriaz makes his ultimatum and demand 1 billion francs and is holding Anny hostage. To his surprise, Anny sprayed him with a liquid in his face. Ric and the police subdue Doriaz who is unmasked as the Hörnbiger. Ric deduced that Doriaz was Hörnbiger and intentionally went to him for help in order to mislead him in a false sense of security. Anny was provided with the spray as Ric anticipated that Doriaz would have taken her hostage.
  • Pride: Ric's Fatal Flaw as well as Le Bourreau. In the latter case, he used one of his underling as a suicide bomber to kill General Val. Ric then insulted Le Bourreau that he couldn't do things himself and has to rely on others. Le Bourreau then yelled back that he is a self-made man and everything he does is his doing. He then entered the bombed zone to show Ric his handy work... only to find General Val and his minion alive, falling into Ric's trap. The hidden bomb was discovered and defused earlier by Ric.
  • Punny Name: Ric Hochet.
  • Refuge in Audacity: While on a cruises ship, professor Hermelin was closely watched by Ric, Bourdon and the police, but was kidnapped in the end. The boat was thoroughly searched and he was found unconscious. While recovering, Ric noticed something odd about him and found out he was wearing wig and a fake beard. The imposter was arrested and the search for Hermelin resumed, although he couldn't be found. Once the ship arrived at its destination, the mysterious kidnapper had the imposter freed. Ric and the police gave the chase and after a lengthily chase and struggle, both were captured. However, Hermelin was still missing and the kidnapper refused to cooperate. Ric finally deduced it in the end: the imposter was... Hermelin himself. He was captured and subdued, his head was shaved and beard cut. In short, they disguised Hermelin as himself to pass him up as an accomplice only to have him sprung out of custody later. The kidnapper gambled that even if he talked, no one would believe that the imposter was Hermelin because of his abrasive personality.
  • Red Herring: The series constantly ride on this, giving many misleading clues to confuse the reader.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Every once a while, Ric will meet a good friend or colleague he always known, such as Josyane (reporter), Jacques (reporter) or Karen (coroner). Savvy readers will quickly become suspicious of those new characters and see them as the guilty ones. This is why Story Arc and foreshadowing were introduced later.
  • The Resenter: Detective Ledru is this. While he does respect Ric and Bourdon, he's very bitter of being denied a promotion for years by the latter. It goes badly one day and Ledru accuses Bourdon's of incompetence and adds that the only reason for his success is because of Ric.
    • Inverted with Ledru's secret and estranged son Jean-Pierre. He sees his father as a loser because of his father's lack of advancement in his career.
  • Revenge: This is one of motives of various criminals. Some examples:
    • The mysterious criminal named Chameleon only motivation was to make Bourdon suffer. His true name is Philippe Manière. He purposely joined the police as a detective to get close to Bourdon. Then, he sabotaged ongoing investigations so Bourdon will be ridiculed by the press. Bourdon's superiors then removed him from the Chameleon case because of lack of results. Finally, Chameleon planned to kill Bourdon in a Death Trap. All because Chameleon's foster father was a crook named Pierrot Volcan that Bourdon arrested years ago. Volcan died in jail and Chameleon swore to avenge his father.
    • Le Bourreau blamed General Val for ruining his life. In WWII, Le Bourreau committed unspecified war crimes, prompting General Val set a trap for him. While Le Bourreau escaped, his head was severely injured. He made a vow to kill him and there are hints that he made several attempts before Ric finally subdued him. General Val mentioned that because of precautions, he wasn't even allowed to shave by himself.
    • Horace Doriaz, a dangerous international criminal, sought vengeance against the family of a judge who condemned him, but also against the descendant of the hotel manager who did his mother terrible wrongs. Early in the 20th century, his mother and grandmother attended a Universal Exposition. When his mother return to the hotel they were staying at, the manager told her they had records of her ever checking-in, nor anyone ever saw her before. They also said she never had a grandmother and told her she was crazy. With no one helping her, Horace's mother then return to her home country, very distributed, grief-stricken and she never saw her own mother ever gain. It's only many years the truth was revealed: the grandmother had the plague during her stay and died. Such revelation would had caused a panic and the Expo would had been a massive financial failure. So with help of the authorities, they made this cover-up story to make her leave and save the Expo. Horace wanted to avenge his mother's pains, by enacting the same scenario on the judge's family and kill the descendant of the hotel manager.
    • Josyane wanted to avenge her dead father, a corrupted judge, who was sentenced to jail. She impersonated him and set up a tribunal for captured policemen, judges and prosecutors. After putting them in a mock trial and they were sentenced to death.
  • Reverse Whodunnit: This happened only once in the series. A crook named Daniel Menard wanted revenge against Ric and his face and identity was revealed straight from the start. As a subversion, Daniel Menard was just a fake ID for a suspect who wanted to deflect any suspicion away from him. He also wore a fake beard and glasses to hide his true face.
  • Running Gag: Ric's yellow 911 Porsche getting destroyed several times in many destructive and yet, creative ways.
  • Science Is Bad: Professor Hermelin get called out many times because of his inventions are used for crimes. He counter by saying that they were created for civil usages and it isn't his fault that ill-intentioned individuals use them as weapons.
  • '70s Hair: Following the trend, Ric had sideburns when the series were in the '70. This was removed as another decade went by.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Two detectives Larsan and Gonfalon resemble Laurel and Hardy. Gonfalon turn out to be a Corrupt Cop.
    • There are many references to Tintin. In one scene, Ric almost get crushed by a falling crate full of can of sardines, just like Tintin. Many characters wore Haddock's trademark blue sweater and black pants.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Justified with The Bourreau. His massive weight and later his handicap require him to remain sited.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Le Bourreau loves playing chess and is not above playing unfair or cheating. Ric is also a very good chess player.
  • Strictly Formula: While the series had different stories, a typical one work this way: A series of murders occurred followed by Ric questioning suspects and witnesses. As more bodies pileup and the plot thicken tension rises, clues are examined and theories are formed. In the climax, Ric confront the murderer and indulge in much Exposition with the inevitable revelation.
  • Story Arc: By the Turn of the Millennium, the series started to introduce story arcs and foreshadowing.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Richard is basically an aged-up Ric. Even the latter was astonished by the resemblance when they met the first time. A flashback shown that Richard look very much like Ric in his younger years.
  • Suicide Attack: Le Bourreau used one of his agent Witek as a suicide bomber, twice. Witek was to rip a photograph of his daughter in front of his target, General Val. The photograph contained a chemical that would have exploded when exposed to air. The second time was a backup plan. Prior to his mission, a powerful explosive was inserted in Witek's tooth and was intended to be detonated remotely. Both were neutralized before any harm could be done.
  • Super Dickery: Early in a album, Ric is arrested by the police much to the consternation of his neighbors. It turn out that that Ric wanted to write an article about life in prison and wanted to get the real impressions of being arrested.
  • Theme Naming: A band of crooks used gemstones as codenames so they wouldn't reveal their true identities. When they are all arrested, Bourdon makes the obligatory joke of collecting those precious gemstones and taking them away.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: When a small village is being haunted by specters, angry villagers wanted to lynch to local novelist who wrote about the ghosts, blaming him for the deaths that occurred.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Le Bourreau returns for the 64th installment, after his alleged death in the 45th installment. He is confined to a wheelchair again (he walked with artificial legs in the 45th). No one knows how he survived as his body was supposedly burned. Then again, we're talking about Le Bourreau here.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Dr. X is the only gang member to escape "The Serpent" criminal organization while everyone else were arrested.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Le Bourreau and two accomplices demand that France put an end to all secret weapons development or there will be retaliatory consequences, in form of man-made earthquakes. It was revealed that it wasn't Le Bourreau and his gang, but three French secret agents killed that em and impersonated them. They had enough of arm races, secret agencies dirty methods and wanted to put a halt to it. They claim that despite their actions, they at least made the world safer by killing Le Bourreau. Le Bourreau can't be killed so easily however.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In a bid to corner a mysterious adversary, Ric had Nadine act as a bait without Bourdon's knowledge. Unfortunately, Ric is Out-Gambitted and Nadine is kidnapped. Bourdon is understandably upset and angrily say he won't forgive Ric if Nadine is never seen again.
  • "X" Makes Anything Cool: Dr. X is a mysterious doctor who's face and hands are covered in bandages. His real identity is a disfigured Dr. Vogler, an old adversary of Ric and a former Nazi scientist.
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