The Killer (Le Tueur) is a French neo-noir comicbook series, published 1998-2013, following an unnamed Villain Protagonist who makes his living as a contract killer.
Not to be confused with the John Woo movie of the same name.
- Assassins Are Always Betrayed:
- After a hit in Paris goes wrong, resulting in a carnage and him almost shooting a kid, the protagonist decides to retire as a professional killer. However, his trusted handler Edward tries to have him killed out of greed, but makes a pretty stupid error by getting a rookie to do the job, which ends in both their deaths when the target finds out.
- Averted by "El Padrino", the killer's later Colombian employer. He's fine with parting ways peacefully once the killer's debt is settled, although he later manages to convince him to come work for them again.
- Batter Up!: The Killer's first kill was with a bat since he couldn't afford a gun.
- The Cartel: The protagonist's employers in several albums are members of a Colombian narco-cartel, who thinks he still owes them a favor after botching a previous hit in Paris (he did kill the intended target, but only after gunning down several other people).
- Cold Sniper: The protagonist kills a lot of his targets with a sniper rifle; he notes that he would probably have made a good army sniper if he didn't hate following orders.
- Conspicuously Public Assassination: The Killer is hired to assassinate a corrupt high-ranking French politician after he becomes a competitor to a Colombian drug kingpin for the same market. The kingpin specifically wants the assassination to be as public as possible to send a clear message, so the Killer opts to blow up his car along with his armed escorts.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Discussed and defied—the killer notes that unlike in the movies, cars don't just explode at the lightest scratch. The only way is to Shoot the Fuel Tank, and even that requires him getting armor-piercing incendiary rounds to have the kind of effect he wants.
- Hitman with a Heart: The Killer slowly becomes more human over the course of the comic, developing a few genuine friendships and feeling deeply protective of his quiet girlfriend, whom he eventually decides to let in on his secret.
- Job Title: Sure enough, the main character makes a living off of killing people.
- Lazy Alias: The Killer complains about this when his employers give him a passport with the name "Labataille" for a particular job. They thought they were being cute, but he points out that it's too obvious, although he still manages to slip through customs.
- Leave No Witnesses: Averted, the Killer would rather Threatened the witness by taking their ids than outright killing them.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: The Professional Killer protagonist often makes his assassinations look like either accidents or suicides to dissuade any further investigation that might ultimately lead to his capture.
- Professional Killer: The comic centers around one. He's characterized as a stoic, reflective sort of person with deeply misanthropic tendencies, although he does object to killing people for any reason other than money.
- Straw Nihilist: The protagonist justifies his own life as a contract killer to the reader by pointing to past atrocities and other injustices in the world, reasoning that him taking out a few lives here and there won't make a difference in the grand scheme of things.
- Villain Protagonist: The protagonist is a stoic, meditative contract killer.