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Comic Book / The Royals: Masters of War

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The Royals: Masters of War is a six-issue comic series by Rob Williams and Simon Coleby that was released in 2014. Following King Albert of The British Empire and his children, it starts off around 1940 in an Alternate Universe version of World War II that at first glance very much follows our own world's history. Save for one large difference: this is a world where the Divine Right of Kings takes on a far more literal meaning.

For countless centuries, royal families have ruled the world. Their divine right to command the common people has manifested itself not just through crowns and thrones, but also in the form of fantastic and deadly superpowers that no mortal army can match. Then came the revolutions. As democracy, industry and communism spread across the globe, their growing strength made the royals timid, and a new generation of rulers swore a solemn vow never to use their powers in battle again. Now as the Second World War rages unchecked and bombers blitz London, Leningrad and Pearl Harbor, that vow is tested to its breaking point - and led by the spoile scions of the King of England, the world's sleeping giants are beginning to stir at last.

Compare with Über, which follows a similar premise. With similarly disastrous results.

Examples include:

  • All Myths Are True: Or at least some of them. It's strongly implied that Emperor Jimmu of Japan is the same Jimmu from Japanese folklore, having lived for thousands of years and nigh unkillable.
  • Alternate History: Thanks to the presence of superpowered royalty, though much remains similar to real life history. Their intervention in the Second World War, however, makes more drastic deviations from our timeline.
  • America Saves the Day: Subverted. The American forces in the Pacific are trashed by the Japanese Royals. It's only when Emperor Jimmu and his children no longer intervene that the U.S. manages to gain the upper hand if only out of sheer determination and numbers. Averted in Europe however, thanks to King Albert wiping out the Americans before they make landfall in Normandy.
  • Bittersweet Ending: World War II still ends in 1945. This time though, with the bombing of Hitler's bunker in Berlin. Said bombing however also takes out the British Royals, which may be for the best.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: President Franklin D. Roosevelt confronts one of Emperor Jimmu's sons by mocking the Japanese Royal's "request" to do battle against the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor as an act of cowardise and malice. Knowing fully well that as a Muggle, he would most certainly die, if not for the intervention of the British Royals visiting Washington DC.
  • The Empire: Subtly implied with the British. With the RAF roundels having a far more pronounced red center, giving the impression of an ominous red eye.
  • Fantastic Racism: Some of the Royals tend to have rather low views of the "commoners" as well as the American "colonials."
  • Godzilla Threshold: The Japanese Royals' Curb-Stomp Battle against the U.S. military is implied to have prompted the Americans to develop the atom bomb in this version of events. With the Enola Gay shown flying towards Japan.
  • Historical Domain Character: Many historical figures still show up, from FDR and Winston Churchill to Hideki Tojo and Adolf Hitler.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Tsar Vasily of Russia became this after going mad from decades of imprisonment. Being the only Romanov survivor of Lenin and Stalin's purge against the Russian Royals by virtue of being unkillable definitely did a number on his sanity.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite the presence of superpowered royalty, history still more or less mirrors our own. And even in the heavily altered course of events of World War II thanks to direct royal intervention, some historical events and circumstances still occur, if not necessarily as they happened in real life.
  • It Amused Me: To a degree, Emperor Jimmu. The only real reason why he and his Dynasty directly intervened in Japan's war is basically to feel alive, and remind people of the inevitability of death. Which is also why he ultimately withdraws from action, just as the Americans send in the Enola Gay.
  • It's All About Me: It's revealed that King Albert cares far more about continuing his bloodline and survival than his duties as England's sovereign. Even going so far as to make a deal with Hitler in order to move him and his family to Nazi Germany while Great Britain burns.
  • Karma Houdini: Emperor Jimmu of Japan and the now-insane Tsar Vasily of Russia. Both of whom are described as unkillable.
  • Muggle Power: The French Revolution sent shockwaves among the royals as it was the first time the non-superpowered "commoners" succeeded in threatening their kind on such a large scale. Centuries later, both the Nazis and Soviets had become adept in killing the old nobles and royalty, capturing those who couldn't die and persecuting the few in their territories who remain.
  • Near-Villain Victory: One consequence of the British Royals' intervention, if in part due to their dysfunctional hijinks and King Albert's machinations was that the Nazis manage to keep the Western Front secure while they mop up Russia. The war ends, however with the bombing of Hitler's bunker. With the British Royals in it.
  • Royally Screwed Up: The British Royal Family is dysfunctional at best.
  • The Purge: In this version of history, The French Revolution was one for the royals.
  • Royalty Super Power/Supernatural Elite: Every royal and noble house is shown to be made up of superpowered people. It's also mentioned that even in the United States, the closest Americans have to a landed, aristocratic gentry have some abilities, though nowhere near as powerful as actual royalty.
  • Serial Escalation: The decision of King Albert's children to directly intervene in the War, instead of ending it much sooner, serves to escalate it further, with even more Royals joining in.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • Many of the British Royals think that directly intervening in the defense of their country would help end the war more quickly and turn the tide in the Allies' favor. Instead, it results in even worse bloodshed, the Nazis overunning much of Europe more effectively and more royals intervening.
    • The United States enters the war, expecting that American can-do determination and Captain America-esque antics courtesy of semi-superpowered gentry would save the day against the Japanese Royals. They don't. Subverted however in that once Emperor Jimmu and his offspring withdraw from direct intervention, the Americans actually start to turn the tide in their favor.