Aqua Regia, formerly known as Acid Rain, is an Argentinian cyberpunk comic published through INKR, made by Fluhor. The setting is a fairly typical Cyberpunk, set in Argentina which has been on a dictatorship since the seventies (and counting).
The year 2054, Daniel Dietrich, a mercenary, who tries to live as better as he can, taking odd jobs, from the most mundane, to including murders, not that he's happy with his life, he's even shown being stressed because of this. Shit hits the fan when he interrupts a robbery in a local market, he engages in a fight with a thief, and ends with Daniel badly injured and the thief dead.
Moments later he escapes because he doesn't want to end up in jail, after all, a murder it's still a crime. Daniel collapses in a back alley, where he's found by Rouge, and contracted to fight against the country dictatorship, after deliberating, he reluctanctly accepts.
A few days later, in a hidden base, Daniel starts telling Rouge and the others how he came to be a mercenary, the second arc of the story starts with his teenage years and first years of mercenary, and up until the time of the prologue, apparently.
Read it here! Character sheet in progress!
Contains examples of:
- Always Night: Averted in the chapters themselves, with only briefly seen in the prologue, the rest of the episodes re seen in daylight, the covers play this trope straight.
- Animesque: As you can see in the art style, it's influenced by both manga and western art, as a small nod to this, one of the characters is of Japanese descent, but still of mixed heritage.
- Art Evolution: A Downplayed variant, the first episode had a crude and somewhat off sense of coloring, which is the version that can be found on agreggator sites, when published in INKR got an overhaul with more pleasant hues. Also, with each passing chapter the art becomes more and more detailed.
- Adult Fear: It's part of the premise, the nightmare of the author, and the story is not overly implausible when it comes to setting at least, knowing the history of the country.
- Badass Longcoat: The heroes don one in chapter 3 to hide the armor beneath them. The handlers in Daniel's flashback have them too.
- Banana Republic: Argentina has been in a dictatorship over 60 years.
- Barbarian Long Hair: Daniel's mane, which in-story is considered very odd, according to author notes, is a Take That! against the overused undercuts in the Western influenced cyberpunk characters.
- Big Brother Is Watching: Oh yeah, by the end of the second chapter, Daniel gets confirmation that he's still being pursued.
- Big Damn Heroes: Daniel stars one when he saves his mentor and friend, Leo. Which, sadly, ends with Daniel's face badly scarred through Cold-Blooded Torture.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Machina Revoltare", Machina is self-explanatory, it's for machines, but Revoltare can be translated from Romanian as rebel, but in tandem, it means "Revolting Machine". Fitting for overpowered technology that does more harm than good to the user.
- Bloodier and Gorier: Due the place in which is published it'll be uncensored most of the time.
- Body Horror: What defective and overheated Machina Revoltare does. Courtesy of their fail-safe mechanisms, they only work with registered individuals, illegal surgeries to punks, end up with them having their brains fried and becoming drones.
- Cyberpunk: Well, yeah, it's the core of the entire premise
- Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain: The first chapter opens with a cloudy, gray day
- Cyborg: One of the thieves at least, among several other people. Rouge has Electronic Eyes for example. It's been pointed out in-universe that only the army and very wealthy people can afford it, so cyborgs are not something that's seen much in the city.
- Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: Totally Averted, it's depicted as horrifying, even if there wasn't a rape in the end, it's horrific to Daniel and Leo.
- Dystopia: The entire setting.
- Fanservice: Downplayed, but still present. Daniel taking a shower and Rouge taking showers are totally this.
- Foregone Conclusion: The first pages show a flashback in the year 2052 in which Anahi and Daniel break up. How? Well, the flashback will tell us how it happens...
- Grey-and-Gray Morality: Let's see, we have a totalitarian government that has people eating on the palm of their hands, but still "safe", a Vigilante Man that means well but it's equally deranged like the people he hunts down, and a CEO that is willing to do sacrifices, even sacrifice herself, for the greater good.
- Good Parents: The Dietrich family, amazingly enough for the genre. Daniel had a nice Nuclear Family with a Papa Wolf to boot... And then the recruiters came for him.
- Hand Cannon: Daniel is wielding a RSh-12, one of the meanest revolvers in existence, it's yet to be explained, but for now is pure Rule of Cool, that and it looks very futuristic.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: All the way due Author Appeal.
- Heroic Build: Daniel in the flashback of the first chapter looks positively buff.
- Nothing but Skin and Bones: In the present, however, not to this extreme, he looks way less muscular.
- Information Wants to Be Free: One of the goals of Rouge:
- "Use the media to make the truth come out, while people is aware that we live in a dictatorship, we're pushing them to act, our greatest weapon is the truth, expose everything, the reality of our world, not only our country, the people just caughts glimpses of it, not USA, France, Japan, Russia, among many others."
- Latino Is Brown: The entire cast so far is shown to be mixed, while one could argue that the characters are white, they're all Latinos, Argentina is called Melting Pot for a reason. The named characters that play this straight are Anahi and Rouge, so far.
- Like a God to Me: Downplayed Daniel thinks of Rouge as a Vakyrie for saving him in chapter 3."Was it fate to meet her? Was it God? I felt as if a cybernetic valkyrie... Picked me up at that alley...
- Lower-Class Lout: The thieves of the first chapter.
- Neon City: Mohron on the first episode, but not overtly shown due the fact it's plain day, thus making it a much more City Noir example. The covers play this trope straight.
- Patriotic Fervor: A prevalent theme, what's patriotism? Loving your country despite knowing how atrocious it is with their citizens? Fighting for freedom against the system despite said system being a viable way of helping them? What if it fails, and power ends up corrupting you the same way?
- People's Republic of Tyranny: A combination of this kind of dictatorship, with applied Schizo Tech, selective censorship and fashion, and state brutality against the people who break the rules, even if they don't do anything wrong per se.
- Pixellation: All the nudity is presented this way.
- The Quincy Punk: The punks on the underpass of Flores are designed to look at this, but they don't act any more negatively than any other normal civilian.
- Re-Cut: A year later after being released on Manga Rock, it had an updated version on INKR, with flashier colors, textures and more.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: The revolvers present in the comic.
- Shock and Awe: The usual method in which Machina Revoltare works, produces electricity. Also, Daniel's katana used to have a battery to fight drones but it was busted years back.
- Street Samurai: Daniel is inspired by the archetype. He has the long hair, the katana, and is currently serving Rouge.
- Still Wearing the Old Colors: Daniel still wears his green fatigues, scarf and hat from the army, which shows:
- Wardrobe Flaw of Characterization: He has long hair, wears combat boots with stars embedded, a red and black jacket, and other complementary colors, showing that despite his military background, he's still in a vendetta against the militia.
- Their First Time: Chapter 7 ends this way, and although it wasn't Daniel's first, Anahi is happy she's doing it with him
- Underground City: Downplayed, the tunnels beneath Buenos Aires are real, there's underground tunnels that connect different parts of it, but here's greatly exaggerated for purely Rule of Cool.
- Would Hit a Girl: One of robbers at the end of the first chapter gropes the poor cashier and then punches her because she actually defended herself.
- Wrecked Weapon: The katana of Daniel is actually chipped if one takes a look at it.
- Our Zombies Are Different: They're normal people with cybernetic implants that constantly produces energy, but due the fact that they're faulty unless they're keep in check, they end up overheating and start to desfigurate the person in question and frying their brains, only the electric shocks and adrenaline segregations are what keeps them moving, making them walking corpses, the only way to put them out of their misery is the good old zombie cure. Daniel states as such in the second chapter:"After you're consumed by "MR", you're pretty much a zombie, he's done for, he has no reasoning, only moves by adrenaline injected into his nervous system, he's burned out"
- Unfriendly Fire: How one of the robbers meets his end.
- Wall Bang Her: The drugged punks are having sex this way in the underground alley of the third chapter.
- Whole Episode Flashback: Chapter 4 onwards is a sort of Golden Age akin to Berserk.