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Comic Book / Shakara

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Shakara is a comic from the pages of 2000 AD.

In this Space Opera a mysterious killer robot travels the cosmos to avenge the race that created him and their deaths at the hands of The Hierarchy. Meanwhile, an alien scientist attempts to track down Shakara to study him.

Expect lots of carnage and planets blowing up.

This comic provides examples of:

  • Above Good and Evil: When Eva Procopio confronts Overlord Cinnibar Breneka about how he could have gone from the greatest force of good in the galaxy to the greatest force of evil, he tells her that he has moved beyond such moral frameworks.
  • Alas, Poor Yorick: Some Buggerian mercenaries find Shakara's skull after his apparent destruction by the Hierarchy. They hold it up and taunt him, but of course he's Not Quite Dead.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The many species that make up the Hierarchy are all violent creatures.
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  • The Alliance: Inverted - The Alliance forms to stop The Good Empire from curtailing their evil ways. And is secretly being led by the original leader of the Empire.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Just about every species within the Hierarchy are evil to the last individual. The Succubi at least have the justification of needing to eat other worlds to survive, but others like the Psicos revel in bullying other species by lording their vast psychic powers over them.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Shakara stops his evil counterpart Brenneka's plan to destroy reality in time by trapping both of them inside the God Engine's implosion. The evil Hierarchy collapses and peace mostly returns to the cosmos. Then a yellow Shakara (Shakara #1 was red and Brenneka was blue) emerges from a crashed ship in another reality, leaving it ambiguous whether this is a reincarnation of the main Shakara, some combination of him and Brenneka, or a new entity altogether.
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  • Assassins Are Always Betrayed: When Valentine is hired by a Femme Fatale to assassinate a politician, she teleports her associates into the room after he completes the mission to kill him too for being a loose end. He had already planned for this, and kills his contractors before they can do the same to him. He didn't live long enough to write his memoirs by not being Crazy-Prepared.
  • The Atoner: Dr. Lara Procopio has tried to make up for her role in engineering the disease that was used to destroy the Shakara race through humanitarian missions and dedicating the rest of her life to helping the sick and wounded. When Shakara the Avenger comes to execute her, she admits that it's not meant to excuse what she did and chooses to Face Death with Dignity. Shakara notably hesitates to finish her off, only doing so at her own request, since she was the only one of his many victims to show remorse for her part in the genocide, and even then he has a Heroic BSoD over the idea that someone who killed his species could have become so decent in the end.
  • Auction of Evil: After the Earth is destroyed on the first few pages of the comic, the last human (who was stuck on the International Space Station) is captured and brought to an interplanetary slave auction. The slavers only included the Puny Earthling as a novelty item.
  • Babies Ever After: In the epilogue Eva Procopio is last seen after she got married and had a baby.
  • Bad Boss: The Overlord, who murders his followers willy nilly if they do anything to piss him off, and ultimately ends up betraying and murdering all of his allies when they turn on him.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Downplayed. The Shakara were so resilient that they could withstand the vacuum of space for long stretches of time (whereas most other species will promptly explode), but apparently not indefinitely.
  • Battle Cry: The killer robot protagonist only shouts "Shakara!" as he destroys his enemies. This turns out to be the name of his dead species (as well as his own, sort of), who used it in an identical manner.
  • Be My Valentine: Valentine D'Eath is a swaggering, boastful alien Professional Killer.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: Shakara is a remorseless killing machine who has taken billions of lives in his never-ending quest for vengeance, but his enemies are an alliance of Always Chaotic Evil species led by an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Blank White Void: The armory that contains the lost superweapons of the Shakara is inside a featureless white pocket dimension that is very reminiscent of the construct program in The Matrix.
  • Blood Knight: Warlord Skulka, Supreme Khan of the Xorn Empire, lives only to kill as many as he can manage, as he loves conquering and destroying civilizations more than anything. In truth, he's become bored after he helped with the destruction of the Shakara, once the strongest species in the galaxy, as he doesn't feel anyone can match them.
  • Brain in a Jar: The boss of an intergalactic slave auction is a giant spinal cord and brain stem in a glass.
  • But What About the Astronauts?: Played with. The world is destroyed at the start of the story and the only human left is an astronaut from the International Space Station. He is killed not long after.
  • Cat Folk: Valentine, a swaggering alien Professional Killer, recalls how he hooked up with a feline Femme Fatale client in his memoirs.
  • Celestial Body: Void is a sentient humanoid dwarf galaxy who is recruited by Valentine to hunt down Shakara.
  • Crapsack World: The comic takes place in a crapsack universe. In the past, the Shakara Federation ruled the galaxies with an iron fist, ruthlessly crushing dissent and forcing all other species and civilisation to conform to their own model. Eventually, Lara Procopio released a genetic plague upon them, wiping out the entire species - at which point the alliance backing her started conquering the galaxies and spreading terror, chaos, and genocide across the stars. The last of the Shakara, a liquid being also called Shakara, lives only to see vengeance for its creators, which it accomplishes by committing xenocide on a scale that would be impressive in Warhammer 40,000 and only comes across as slightly sympathetic because its enemies are worse. There is another: The greatest Shakara, the one who started the Shakara Federation is actually later revealed to be alive and untouched by the plague. He is also the one who is destroying every inhabited planet in the universe including gulp earth.
  • Death World: There's a sentient planet that is used as a killing ground by The Hierarchy, as it fights off every intruder by warping the environment to produce things like lighting strikes and earthquakes.
  • Decoy Protagonist:
    • The comic begins with a human thinking he's the Last of His Kind after the Earth is destroyed. He's killed on page 3 by a much larger alien right before the real protagonist, Shakara the Avenger, is introduced.
    • A later issue introduces two tomb raiders who team up to find the lost treasure of the Shakara homeworld. After facing many perils, they're unceremoniously shot by Buggerian mercenaries.
  • Ditto Aliens: Many alien species look like they might as well be clone populations, including the Krull, the Succubi, the Psicos, and even the Shakara themselves.
  • Doomsday Device:
    • The Succubi harvest worlds by drilling into the core of a planet with the Apocalypse Cores on their cosmos crafts.
    • The Infinity Engine that the Big Bad orders the construction of in the final arc is actually known as the God Engine, a galaxy-sized device that will destroy all of reality and make its creator a God.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Earth is blown up on the very first page of the comic, which then follows battles between various aliens. Plenty of other planets get blown up throughout the comic as well.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: One of the antagonist races is called the Teknosaurs. And yes, they're a race of cyborg dinosaurs.
  • Evil Counterpart: Shakara is the ghostly incarnation of the dead Shakara race sworn to avenge them. The main villain of the comic is Cinnibar Brenneka, an evil Shakara who destroyed his own species. Really more of an inversion; Brenneka not only preceded his Good Counterpart, but his own Face–Heel Turn is the reason his counterpart came into being in the first place.
  • Explosive Decompression: An alien scientist confronts the Overlord of The Hierarchy to report that according to his calculations, the Infinity Engine is drawing in way too much power to be an interdimensional portal and looks more like it is actually a weapon that will wipe out every living thing in reality. The Overlord muses that his own species is so resilient that it can easily withstand the vacuum of space. He then drops the forcefield of the room-with-a-spaceview that they're in, causing the scientist's head to explode immediately.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Dr. Lara Procopio calmly accepts her execution at the hands of Shakara for her complicity in their genocide by engineering the virus that destroyed them.
  • Faceless Eye: The Psico are extraordinarily powerful telepathic and telekinetic aliens with frail bodies and a floating eyeball for a head. Commander Kreech notes after brainwashing an entire species that he'd laugh if he actually had a proper orifice.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The comic opens with the last survivor of the human race, an astronaut from the International Space Station named Major Thorn, narrating how the Earth was swallowed up by a Horde of Alien Locusts that came out of nowhere. This clearly sets up a human-centered After the End scenario where the plucky wisecracking hero possibly becomes a wandering warrior or freedom figher against the evil Empire and ultimately prove that Humans Are Special. He's unceremoniously killed off not two pages later, as the plot shifts to its real story: the war between the Killer Robot Shakara and the Always Chaotic Evil Hierarchy.
  • Fallen Hero: The Big Bad responsible for most of the destruction was revealed to be Cinnibar Brenneka, the heroic warrior who built the Shakara empire in the first place.
  • Final Battle: Shakara with his little ship vs. the entire Hierarchy armada as he's racing to stop the Big Bad from activating his Doomsday Device in time. He uses a World Engine in his possession to turn an entire planet into a spaceship, destroying the entire enemy fleet in one go.
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Eva Procorpio has become this - while Shakara is undoubtedly the protagonist, the story was primarily told through Eva's narration shortly after she was introduced. Then she started getting more screentime than Shakara.
  • Founder of the Kingdom: The former Shakara Federation was founded by Cinnibar Brenaka, the commander of the Order of Avengers. A warrior who was Made a Slave and became a gladiator, he was committed to establishing order and justice throughout the universe after witnessing the evil and corruption that plagued other worlds firsthand.
  • Genocide Backfire: Cinnibar Brenneka wiped out the Shakara race because he felt they had grown complacent and were no longer avengers. This genocide led to the creation of Shakara, a dedicated avenger. Eva taunts him by pointing out the irony that Brenneka's genocide of the Shakara race created the perfect Shakaran — only for said Shakaran to be hunting him.
  • Genocide from the Inside: Cinnibar Breneka, the noble founder of the Shakara Federation, is responsible for its destruction when he united the Shakara's enemies to wipe out his brethren with a Synthetic Plague and destroy his own homeworld.
  • Genius Loci: A planet in the Hades system is supposedly used as a prison world by The Hierarchy. In fact it's a living Death World that fights off any intruders as if they were a disease.
  • Girls with Moustaches: The Buggerian women are just as furry as the men.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The Shakara Federation were ruthless when enforcing their laws, but said laws were fair, charitable, and aimed towards galactic peace. Shakara the Avenger is an Ax-Crazy Killer Robot, but his rage is entirely focused on the Hierarchy that murdered his entire species and he is deeply, deeply troubled by how violent he himself can be.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Shakara stops Brenneka right when he's about to destroy the universe by infecting him with the Red Death, the very plague Brenneka used to wipe out the Shakarans.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: The Succubi are a bee-like hive species who travel all over space with their 'cosmos crafts' to devour entire worlds. Shakara the Avenger drops by to return the favor.
  • Horrifying Hero: Shakara is a menacing Killer Robot with glowing red eyes, chains and spikes all over his body, and weapons for hands. In most other stories, he'd probably be either the villain himself or a robot mook for the hero to defeat, but he's simply the instrument of revenge against the evil aliens who wiped out his creators.
  • I Am the Noun: When Valentine wonders how he could kill Shakara considering he's already dead, the robot responds "Not dead. I AM Death!"
  • Intelligent Gerbil: The Teknosaurs are spacefaring cyborg dinosaurs whose behavior is much like real dinosaurs: the carnivores are happy to eat their opponents, for instance.
  • The Juggernaut: Nothing can stop Shakara on his quest for revenge. He wipes out whole crowds and destroys alien ships with startling ease, when he's captured his head simply turns into a toothy maw to eat his interrogator's arm, a psychic alien's attempt to mind probe him causes the entire area to explode with the alien catatonic in the center, and to boot he can't even really be hurt because he's not actually corporeal, being the psychic energy of the dead Shakara encased in what is essentially Powered Armor. The Big Bad is also a juggernaut being the last Shakaran and wearing similar Powered Armor.
  • Killer Robot: Shakara is a relentless killing machine designed to avenge the destruction of the noble Skakara race at the hands of the coalition of alien empires. He's fucking unstoppable, destroying entire fleets and massacring evil aliens by the billions.
  • Knight Templar: The Shakara Federation ruthlessly enforced their own sense of order and justice on the rest of the universe, becoming a mostly benevolent but still oppressive empire. Cinnibar ended up going so far he decided he was Above Good and Evil and decided the final solution to all evil everywhere was to destroy the multiverse and replace it with one made to his specifications.
  • Large and in Charge: Warlord Skulka of the Xorn Empire seems to tower over all his subjects.
  • Laser Blade: One of Shakara's most commonly used weapons is a glowing red laser blade attached to his arm, which he'll occasionally dual wield.
  • Last of His Kind: Major Thorn is a wisecracking astronaut who is the last survivor of the Earth's destruction. He is killed on page 3 to make way for the real main character, who it's implied is the last of his own kind. This is later stated to be the case, although it turns that There Is Another, and he was the one who destroyed their race in the first place.
  • Living Ship: The Psico Hierarchy travel around in living ships shaped like floating brains, while Shakara's ship is Organic Technology that only becomes obvious when it's extremely damaged.
  • Logic Bomb: Cinnibar Breneka both created the Shakara Federation and destroyed it. He temporarily defuses the computerized hivemind of the Shakara, which was programmed to destroy the enemies of the Shakara, by pointing out that as the last Shakara they’re compelled to serve him.
  • Longer-Than-Life Sentence: One of the criminals in Eva Procopio's group of condemned sentients dumped on the prison world is an alien who was sentenced for eternity because he is immortal. He's apparently swallowed by the planet, which is a living Death World, but this leaves some food for thought.
  • Lured into a Trap: The Hierarchy use one of the dead Shakara race's lost artifacts to lay a trap for Shakara when he comes to inspect it, sending in a strike force of Teknosaurs, Thornax, and Buggerians.
  • Martial Pacifist: Brother Zengo is the peaceful leader of a monastery who opposes violence, but he's not afraid to dish out a world of hurt when an alien who only wanted to study to learn their martial arts charges him after being told to leave.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Oberon Sneer appears to be the nominal leader of the Hierarchy at first. Cinnibar Breneka, the former heroic founder of the Shakara Federation is later revealed to be ruling The Hierarchy from behind the scenes.
  • Mind Probe: The Hierarchy use a mind probe device to scan Eva Procopio's mind after she tries to avoid their questions too much.
  • Morality Pet: Eva Procorpio ultimately becomes this for Shakara, showing that there's more to him than just killing. He ensures she survives his suicide attack against the Big Bad, telling her to live in peace.
  • Multi Boobage: A shortlived (literally, she's shot three pages after being introduced) alien tomb raider had six breasts.
  • Multiversal Conqueror: Subverted and played straight. The Overlord orders the construction of the Infinity Engine, a galaxy-sized device that he claims will allow The Hierarchy to conquer other universes. In fact, he means to use it to destroy all of reality, so he can rule over the once formed from its remnants.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: One of the most awesome enemy races are the Teknosaurs, who as their name implies are cyborg dinosaurs.
  • No Gravity for You: When the Teknosaurs lure Shakara into a trap, he deactivates the Artificial Gravity on the ship to kill them one by one in a zero gravity frenzy.
  • Nothing but Skulls: The Overlord is rather amused that the alien tribe he just exterminated had used the Shakaran artifact he was looking for as a place to commit ritual sacrifice in the hopes of warding him off (believing the Overlord to be an angry god), and covered it with a mountain of skulls.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Overlord tells his acolytes in The Hierarchy that he is building the Infinity Engine, an Interdimensional Travel Device, so that they can extend their evil reign through the entire multiverse. In fact, its real name is the God Engine, a Doomsday Device that will wipe out all of reality and leave only himself to create a new one that he will rule over as God.
  • One Last Job: When Karnak tries to convince Valentine D'Eath to go out of retirement to destroy Shakara, Valentine lampshades it, noting that he's heard that line a million times before.
  • Pardon My Klingon: The comic uses 'frukk' on occasion, in exactly the way it sounds like it should.
  • Planet Spaceship:
    • The Succubi hive species travel around in cosmos crafts that are about the size of a small planet.
    • Shakara himself uses a World Engine to transform an entire planet into a guided rocket, using it to blast through an alien fleet.
  • Pleasure Planet: Euphoriax is a spatial city that sits on the edge of a nebula made of alcohol, which they collect to serve to their customers in addition to the other pleasures on offer.
  • Professional Killer: Valentine D'Eath is an assassin with all the exaggeration inherent to a gonzo Space Opera scifi setting.
  • Powered Armor: Shakara's robotic body is actually very advanced armor that is powered by the spiritual energy of the dead Shakara.
  • Power Fist: The appropriately named Fist is an alien mercenary whose body is about 50% giant fist that he uses to punch through pretty much anything.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Oberon Sneer crushes an anti-Hierarchy guerrilla movement by planting fake images in the soldiers' minds and turn them against each other. He forces the survivor to shoot himself with his own gun.
  • Psychic Block Defense: When Oberon Sneer tries to read Shakara's mind, he gets way more than he bargained for. The entire area explodes and it disables every psychic on the planet. Sneer is sitting in ground zero, mindlessly gibbering only one word: "Shakara".
  • Puny Earthlings: After the Earth is harvested by a Horde of Alien Locusts, the last human is captured and brought to a slave market. The sellers only included the puny earthling as a novelty because he's the Last of His Kind. After getting too snarky with a much bigger alien his head is immediately crushed.
  • Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": The Overlord laughs maniacally while massacring all of his former allies in The Hierarchy after they discover his betrayal.
  • Race Against the Clock: In the climax Shakara has to stop the Big Bad from activating his universe-destroying Doomsday Device before it's too late. At the same time, he's also dying of the same disease that wiped out its creators.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Shakara's eyes glow a bright red, and he's an unstoppable killing machine on a revenge-driven quest of death and destruction.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The title character has full red eyes and is, in fact, a completely red liquid being in a suit of powered armour; he is also insane, reckless, and driven exclusively by rage and hatred. This stands in stark contrast to Cinnibar Brenneka, hero of the Shakara, who was always very stoic, rational, and driven by a higher calling. He also had blue eyes and body markings. The final reveal is a different example; Shakara the Avenger is driven by rage and hate over genuine pain and is capable of understanding that he isn't a good person, Cinnibar is sociopathic and can only see his warmonger ideals, believing he is entirely right to destroy his race for not being what he felt they should be.
  • Reincarnate in Another World: After Shakara defeats the Big Bad once and for all in a Heroic Sacrifice, in the last panels an alien ship crashes down on a planet in another reality where a yellow Shakara emerges from the ashes.
  • Self-Duplication: Phaze is an alien assassin who can summon an infinite amount of Alternate Universe counterparts of herself.
  • Sequel Hook: After Shakara's Heroic Sacrifice to destroy Cinnibar Breneka and the universe returning to a state of relative peace, the last pages show a new yellow-colored Shakara crash-landing on a planet in another reality.
  • Serial Escalation: The comic opens with the Earth being destroyed by the Hierarchy and Shakara subsequently laying waste to their fleets. The comic gets increasingly batshit from there, culminating with a final battle against the Big Bad and his acolytes before he wipes out all of reality. Knowingly embraced by the writers, who noted that they tried to make every new issue bigger than than the previous.
  • Sexy Cat Person: The comic featured a minor female character from a species of Cat Folk who tries to betray the assassin Valentine D'Eath after sleeping with him.
  • Space Battle: On many occasions Shakara will take on entire enemy space fleets with nothing but his (very advanced) sturdy little ship. Sometimes he got more creative: he destroyed one fleet by trapping it in range of a supernova, another by plunging them into a black hole, and another by turning a whole planet into a giant rocket and blasting his way through.
  • Synthetic Plague: The Shakara Federation was wiped out by an engineered disease known as the Red Death. Its creator had noble intentions in doing so because of the ruthless order that the Shakara imposed on the rest of the universe, but became The Atoner when the alliance that funded her plunged it back into an age of chaos and tyranny.
  • Taking You with Me: After Shakara sabotages the Apocalypse core on the Succubi starship, sending them crashing down onto the planet they were in the process of harvesting, their commander orders the creature responsible found. He knows that they're already doomed because the planet is about to explode anyway, he just wants the consolation of killing him first.
  • Telepathic Spacemen: The Psico Collective are one of the most powerful species in the universe due to their innately vast psychic and telekinetic powers. Their bodies are very frail, but their floating eye-shaped heads can combine into a Hive Mind.
  • Tempting Fate: The frog-alien commander who oversaw the convicts dumped on the sentient Death World by The Hierarchy crashes down on the planet along with his crew after Shakara intervenes. He just has to boast that surviving for a few hours after they transmit their Distress Signal should be a walk in the park. Obviously, they all die within seconds.
  • There Is Another: Shakara is believed to be the last living member of the Shakara, but it turns out there is another survivor. Cinnibar Brenaka, the heroic founder of the Shakara Federation, who destroyed his own species and is now leading the Hierarchy in secret.
  • Thong of Shielding: Eva Procorpio rarely has anything more than a miniscule thong between her belly and mid-thigh.
  • Time Paradox: The fellow members of The Hierarchy that the Overlord was planning on betraying go back in time to stop him before he can carry out his plan. He compliments their ingenuity but mocks their attempt, pointing out that this would only create a temporal paradox that would result in an alternate timeline, it wouldn't stop what they've already seen him do in the future. However, even that rests on the assumption that he could be killed to begin with.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: Towards the end, the title character rigs the Museum of War to trap the Big Bad's soldiers that pursue him. The weapons he use are black hole bombs, each of which creates a black hole about the size of a basketball when it detonates, and immediately sucks up his pursuers.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The comic features 'frukk', as in "Oh, frukk!" and "Get that frukker!"
  • A Villain Named Khan: One of the alien emperors that Shakara has set his sights on is a violent Blood Knight named Warlord Skulka, Supreme Khan of the Xorn Empire.
  • War for Fun and Profit: There is a planet designed to be a total warzone and hired out by a corrupt Mega-Corp to different factions who want to kill each other without having to destroy their own infrastructure.
  • We Can Rule Together: Cinnibar Brenaka notes that Shakara is essentially everything he ever wanted his race to be, claiming that if they had been more like him he wouldn't have wiped them out. He asks Shakara to serve him. Shakara of course refuses.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Dr. Lara Procopio was convinced to design the Red Death virus to wipe out the Shakara only because of the merciless way that they had imposed their own rigid sense of order on the rest of the universe, and she thought it would be better off without them. She became The Atoner when the alliance that originally opposed the Shakara proved to be far worse than them.
  • World in the Sky: Eva Procorpio lives in a floating villa on (?) the planet Terraqueouis, a world which seems to consist entirely of floating villas.
  • You Killed My Father: Mother in this case. Eva hunted Shakara because he killed her mother Dr. Lara Procorpio. Shakara defies the Hive Mind that controls him to spare her because she is an innocent who had nothing to do with the genocide of the Shakara. Eva ultimately relents when she sees a recording of her mother's confession of her complicity in the genocide. From that point on she becomes Shakara's ally.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Shakara is already dying because he's infected with the Red Death, the same disease that wiped out its creators and whose destruction by their enemies he is sworn to avenge. In the last issues this becomes a Race Against the Clock as Shakara tries to stop the Big Bad from destroying all reality before he expires.


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