Exterminatus Now is what happens when you mix Sonic the Hedgehog, Warhammer 40,000, and a truckload of Black Comedy.
Yes, seriously. See for yourself.
This Webcomic is the story of two members of the Mobian Inquisition, a parodical version of the Inquisition of Warhammer 40000, and two mercenaries, who together make a group that remains living and employed only by luck, blackmail, and occasional violence, along with their superiors, alternate numbers, associates, and foes.
The comic alternates between a gag a day style and full blown Story Arcs. It began on the 29th of September 2003, and went on for over a decade.
Its also somewhat unique in the web comic world by being made by four different people, Alan "The Virus" Grahamnote Garry "Lothar" Webber,note Stuart "Eastwood" Edney,note and Martin "Silversword" Faulkner.note
On April 4, 2015, it was announced that the strip would be put on indefinite hiatus shortly after the end of the most recent story arc.
Exterminatus Now provides examples of:
- '80s Hair: Schaefer and Simmons in this comic.
- Abhorrent Admirer: A variation: Virus somehow managed to get the attention of a black widow demoness - she's not exactly ugly, but... well... she's a man-eating demon. And female spiders eat their mates, too. His face says it all.
- Abnormal Ammo: From the cast page most Inquisitors with normal handguns use unusual ammunition. Virus has hollow-points filled with silver nitrate while Sebastian uses flechette rounds.
- Accidental Truth: In the "Cesspool" arc, concerning the illegal trading of weapons to some cultists, Eastwood learns that the firearms in question were sold through eBay. He twists this and tells Shaefer that ruthless weapons dealer E. Bay was the one who had actually sold the guns in question. Well, as it turns out, he's half right.
- Eastwood once had an ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend sentenced to death for heresy. He only discovered he actually was a heretic after the execution.
- Action Girl
- Wildfire, a bit too much so.
- Jamilla could be this if she didn't need to be rescued all the time. (Twice to be exact: Once as a hostage, once again as a potential sacrifice.)
- And now, we have C-Team, which is almost an entire team of Leeroy Jenkins action girls.
- Affectionate Parody: Several of the story arcs have been this to other "Grimdark" works:
- The "Black Halo" arc is one to Doom/Half-Life.
- The "Red Herring" arc is one to Silent Hill.
- And finaly (so far) the "Phone Book Of The Dead" arc is one to the Cthulhu Mythos.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Parodied. After arresting a group of teenage necromancers, East and Virus muse on how crapsack the world must be if young teens who had their whole lives ahead of them are pushed to taking up the dark arts. Rogue quickly reminds them that the necromancers also committed murder. Twice.
- Then it turns out Eastwood was just sad the teenage girl had dressed up in a Goth outfit instead of something he finds sexy.
- All Just a Dream: Hex's Chainsaw Massacre. Also, Simmons has a few fantasies.
- All Men Are Perverts / Male Gaze: Boi-oing!
- Alternative Calendar: There's occasional references to the story taking place in the 32nd century, despite having pop culture virtually identical to 21st century Earth. And there was a massive daemonic invasion called the "second incursion" two thousand years ago.
- Amusing Injuries: Painful things happen to just about everyone all the time. They're almost always hilarious.
- And This Is for...: Lothar does this after he gets fixed after being possessed by a technology daemon. He punches Rogue in the stomach then smacks him in the head with his knee for cutting his old prosthetics off, then punches Eastwood for pushing him down the stairs in a wheelchair. Then he kicks Virus in the groin just so he won't feel left out.
- Angrish: Schaeffer falls into this when he realizes that he can't punish the protagonists for the destruction of Black Halo since due to the latter having been an illegal top secret facility, there isn't any remaining evidence that it even existed.
- Anti-Climax: A duel between a Knight in Shining Armor and an Evil Overlord right before the latter's dark ritual is about to be complete ends with the former decapitating the latter off-panel right after one of the soldiers watching basically says "This is going to be epic." verbosely.
- Anti-Hero Team: In this universe there is a valiant team of heroic inquisitors who regularly do battle with the forces of darkness. This webcomic is not about them.
- Armour Is Useless: The last mission with Wildfire has the team ditching armour because:Eastwood: With the things we're facing, armour's only any use if they get close, and if we let them get close, we're dead, armour or not.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
- According to the cast page, the more serious offenses on Lothar's rap-sheet include "assault and battery, murder one, large scale video game theft and piracy".
- Also, mooning His Majesty the King of Crownshead on 43 separate occasions (treason).
- Inverted in this Halloween comic when a one-off cultist says his and his housemate's "rich cultural heritage" includes "Virgin Sacrifice... Binding Those From Beyond the World We Know to Unwilling Mortal Forms... Folk Singing..."
- Arson, Murder, and LifesavingNadia: You're a lucky son of a she-ceberus, Eastwood. And you should be court-martialed and shot. But you got the job done.
- Art Evolution: The art has gotten quite smoother and more detailed as the comic goes on, especially when the artist gets some new tech to use.
- Artificial Limbs: Lothar has two artificial legs, an artificial arm and one artificial eye (with record feature)
- Art Shift: For a short time when Alan's laptop crashed and Martin took over the drawing.
- Aside Glance: Used here.
- Ass Kicking Pose: The B-Team strike it when their old teammate returns.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Both Morth and Vitani grow in size significantly during the final stages of their battles with the Inquisition.
- Ax-Crazy: Lothar. "Trigger-happy" is an understatement. Honestly, he's killed at least three dogs! For no reason! Hell, his intro should be enough of a hint. This sums it up even better.Eastwood: So the "Lothar Way" of getting the grass cut was to set next door's dog on fire?
Lothar: What's this about cutting the grass?
- The Backwards Я: The font used for Rodinian.
- Badass Army: The Black Guard. Sure, their combat effectiveness often makes them disposable mooks, but damn if they don't look intimidating. They're pretty much the Inquisition's Stormtroopers.
- Badass Longcoat: Eastwood wears one along with Virus. Eastwood ditched the black leather trench for a more, well, Columbo look.
- Bad Boss: Inquisitor Lord Antonius Schaeffer is this, with a generous dose of Pointy-Haired Boss to taste. He's made no secret of trying to kill Eastwood, Virus, and Lothar by sending them against impossible odds (well, he did, and did it poorly), and barely treats his other subordinates any better. Despite the bluster, he's an incompetent pervert who almost totally relies on his adjutant, Inquisitor Riktor Simmons, to do anything.
- Although he does beat up, chase, and eventually kill an evil "Weapons distributor" named Edward Bay (The whole thing started as a lie Eastwood told him to get the Inquisition off a friend of Lothar's who'd made a mistake and accidentally sold a shitton of weapons to cultists. Turns out, there WAS a Mr. E. Bay.) Wordof God claims that while Schafer might be an idiot, you don't get to be an Inquisitor if you're not a badass.
- Battle Aura: Eastwood gets one when Lothar tries to separate him from his coffee. It's daemonic red.
- Beam Katanas Are Just Better: As any member of the Daemon Hunters will attest to. Considering how often Eastwood, Virus, and Lothar used Rogue's for Mundane Utility, everyone agrees.
- Beastly Bloodsports: Lothar uploads a video of Morth getting torn apart by a cerberus to Youtube as "Extreme Badger-Baiting". Though, technically, the badger-baiting is an ichor sport, since he underwent demonic transformation first.
- Bears Are Bad News
- Lord Antonius Schaeffer, Eastwood and Virus's direct superior, is a bear. He's assisted by Inquisitor Riktor Simmons, his stoat assistant.
- Pedobear makes a brief appearance as a throwaway gag while the crew are in Taika.
- Schaeffer takes on Ebay.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Simmons to Schaefer.
- "Be Quiet!" Nudge: Virus elbows Eastwood.
- Berserk Button
- Lord have mercy on anyone who destroys Lothar's hat.
- Or calls Rogue a Jedi.
- Or tries to take Eastwood's coffee.
- Or threatens Lothar's family.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: Schaefer's chicken fetish, which the protagonists use as blackmail material to remain employed.
- BFG: The Predator XXL-99 Minigun.
- Big Damn Heroes: NOBODY EXPECTS THE MOBIAN INQUISITION!
- Big Red Button: subverted.
- Bilingual Bonus: Security level Kappa Umber. Kappa is both a Greek letter and a Japanese demon.
- Rogue's Daemon Hunter's Code/shopping list is in Japanese, and actually translates (very roughly) to, "No one expects a trial, we're watching".
- Black-and-Gray Morality: Well, let's see. Eastwood is a self-centered, womanizing perv, Virus is a complete idiot, Lothar's an Axe-Crazy sociopath, and Rogue's just an asshole. The Inquisition itself is an iron-fisted, totalitarian dictatorship filled to the brim with corruption, Police Brutality, back alley deals, human (er, Mobian) rights violations, and just plain incompetence. And they're still worlds better than the dark gods and their followers. Oh, and it's all Played for Laughs.
- Black Comedy: By the author's own admission: "References to genocide and landmine victims in the same strip? COMEDY GOLD!"
- "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Eastwood and Virus prefer the term "extortion".
- Black Site: Black Halo, the multi-billion credit, illegal research installation. When it's destroyed, Schaefer can't punish the team over it because he'd have to admit that the illegal research installation actually existed in the first place; hence the lack of evidence to charge them with.
- Blatant Lies: The cast page is in the form of inquisition files. The file for the boss, Schaeffer, includes a picture of a Knight in Shining Armor with his face taped over the head, a list of characteristics that would put any Mary Sue to shame, a notification that any rumors you may have heard about his sexual deviancy are completely false, and a note that the file was last edited by Schaeffer.
- Body Horror: Do not piss off a group of evil sorcerors.Antelope Bastard: The last guy they caught snitching got turned into a chair of screaming undead bone and flayed hide, locked in a perpetual torment and praying for a death that will never come. He's still under a tarp in the attic.
- Born Lucky: The whole group. This is one of Simmons's reasons for selecting the group for a mission. As he puts it, it's not because their uniqueness makes them effective, but because they seem to have a bottomless supply of luck which he "wishes to capitalise on."
- Reaches Ciaphas Cain levels in the first Morth arc. The reason they're being selected for a Suicide Mission is their ability to survive no matter how hard their superiors try to kill- I mean, how severe the odds ranged against them are.
- Please note that, thanks to a betting pool, 'capitalize' is literal - Simmons bets on their survival and wins large amounts of money due to the horrible odds against it.
- Brain/Computer Interface: Some minor characters have USB ports in the backs of their skulls. Professor Lewis, Lord Boothroyd and Inquisitor Deket for instance.
- Brick Joke:
- "Nah, we're not gonna do the Python gag yet. Maybe next time."
- Virus's tail has a tendency to get caught in doors, or otherwise mangled.
- That attack chicken thing eventually returns, twice.
- Lothar once had his hat represent him in court. Later, the Patterner mentions an obligation due to a court case, and we see that Lothar's hat represented him too.
- In this strip, Morth jokes around Patternari-style with one of his servants, Janus, who tells him he'll be "loyal right up until the second the knife hits [Morth's] back!" Three strips later...
- Briefcase Full of Money: A chameleon hiring mercenaries offers plenty of those around... until he realises he has gone overbudget. Luckily for him, a couple bottles of booze and a carton of cigarettes work just as well for his last acquisition.
- Bring My Brown Pants:
- Eastwood wets himself at the prospect of being flattened by Morth's Collapsing Lair. An example of the Black Comedy of the series, as the circumstances were actually very somber and serious and the joke was most likely used to lighten the mood.Eastwood: Oh, I assure you I'm pissing myself with fear.
Virus: Well, I wouldn't go that far.
Rogue: I would. Just noticed. Watch your step there.
Virus: Oohh, right, NOT a metaphor.
- The crew manages to trap Daemon Morth in the same room as a hound daemon he'd tricked earlier:Morth: Hm... I think I'm learning a lesson about hubris. And about the waste functions of my new anatomy.
- Eastwood wets himself at the prospect of being flattened by Morth's Collapsing Lair. An example of the Black Comedy of the series, as the circumstances were actually very somber and serious and the joke was most likely used to lighten the mood.
- Virus gets even less respect than Eastwood, especially where his tail is concerned.
- Wolf and Beaver. Every appearance by this lesser known duo usually meets with a brutal death, an insult to their very memory or just being treated like pure crap.
- Bizarrchitecture: After a Scooby-Dooby Doors scene, this page features a textbook example of Escher's multi-directional stairwell room.
- A very subtle one. In one of the earlier episodes, Eastwood and Syrus are shown watching TV while Lothar and Rogue do training and exercise to stay sharp. Guess who end up not chasing the Antelope Bastard.
- A much more minor example: not only does Jamilla make a minor appearance in "Test Card FFFFFFFFFFFFF", but so do two girls who were previously seen in the background in "Brings New Meaning To Flipping Them Off". (Although the two girls have gotten some cosmetic updates to their design.)
- Calling Your Attacks: Parodied and lampshaded in this strip.
- The Cameo
- Leo from VG Cats can be seen in a crowd of nerds which quickly gets blasted by Lothar and Eastwood.
- Cailen Crow is in the same panel.
- Junichan's character was shown as Morth's handmaiden.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Most cultists. Played for Laughs in the exchange between the Big Bad and The Dragon of a cult to Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.Janus: You shall be a merciful deity, Master Morth.
Morth: And you my most loyal subject.
Morth: But seriously, let's get set up and get started. "Merciful"... You kidder.
Janus: Loyal right up until the second the knife hits your back.
- Casanova Wannabe: Eastwood has terrible luck with women, though not for lack of trying. His methods leave something to be desired, mind. He's also tried to tutor Virus in skirt-chasing, with painful results.
- Lothar repeatedly says "I have a cunning plan!" whenever the group is in a fix. This is treated as an Oh, Crap! after the first time. For good reason.
- When insulted, Eastwood tends to respond with "Exactly! ...Wait."
- The Cavalry:
- Are summoned to Lothar's aid in the form of about a dozen mercenaries he's befriended through his time as a mercenary during his battle with Rogue. Despite this, they still charge him; the comic isn't called "friends and family discount" for no reason.
- Nadia Deket and her team come to the main characters' rescue just before they're fed to a daemon princess, but then it turns out she has a bit of a history with Eastwood.
- Cerebus Syndrome:
- Regarded by Eastwood (the person, not the character) as the sign to start murdering his co-creators.Virus: Never turn a funny comic into a serious epic drama. We have a murder-suicide pact that says if we ever turn into a drama, we're going to end it all rather than inflict that on the world.
Eastwood: No, I said I was going to murder the rest of you, change my name and spend the rest of my days as a painter in Brazil.
- Interestingly, the comic's existence is an inversion of Cerebus Syndrome. It's based off a project that took itself extremely seriously, which most of the creators can't believe they were so serious about in the first place. In a funny way, the whole of EN is a parody of its creator's own work. Probably why the comic is unlikely to get dramatic, because in a way it has already been there.
- Regarded by Eastwood (the person, not the character) as the sign to start murdering his co-creators.
- Chainsaw Good: Lothar recently upgraded his arm's circular saw to a chainsaw; apparently, they're more robust and just look cooler. And the circular saw had just been wrecked anyways, seeing as the rest of the group was forced to smash up Lothar's bionics to force a Fernexite demon that had possessed them to return to the Void.
- Chase-Scene Obstacle Course: Done in this comic while Lothar and Rogue are chasing the antelope perp. Three sets of three panels show how each of them deals with the obstacles (a street hotdog vendor, a fire escape, and a delivery truck full of beer, cigars, and sunglasses).
- Chekhov's Gun:
- All of Lothar's cunning plans involve these, be it living creatures, phobias, transvestites, or actual guns. Most of them end in violence.
- Eastwood "knows a guy who knows a guy." Too bad he forgot exactly which friend he knew this guy through, because it bites him in the ass one comic later.
- During a chase, Virus says he doesn't care Eastwood lost sight of him and Rogue, because he can always track his Cabal unit. A few pages later, he hides the Cabal unit in the bag containing the Bookend of Unimaginable Power before giving it to the enemy, so that they can be tracked back to their base.
- Lampshaded in the author commentary, complete with instructions to update TVTropes accordingly.
- Morth's use of the in-universe YouTube (appropriately titled Voodoo Tube). While at first just a running gag, turned into a Chekhov's gun when he explained to the group that his millions of viewers would be a suitable substitute for a regular cult in the maintenance of his Eldritch Abomination form. The Internet is powerful.
- Church Police: The main characters serve the Holy Inquisition of Mobius, technically, even if they aren't that religious.
- *Click* Hello: Done with a very nice Stealth Hi/Bye.
- Cluster F-Bomb: From Lothar as he bounces down a highway after falling off an armoured car.Lothar: Shit...cock...dammi...motherfuck-k-k-k...-unt...
Either Virus or Eastwood: You screwed it up! What do we do now?
Lothar: I just fell off a moving vehicle and bounced down half a mile of tarmac, but I'm FINE, THANKS FOR FUCKING WELL ASKING!
- Coincidental Accidental Disguise: Sort of. It serves no purpose whatsoever, but boy does it look cool!
- Collapsing Lair: Thanks to Wildfire and her latest escapade with the circuit-breaker switches, the entire Black Halo facility counts. So does Morth's lair after the villain's departure.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In the chameleon's first appearance after Morth's involvement is revealed, he changes color to black and white.
- Combat Pragmatist: The Inquisition encourages ruthlessness, and the characters have absolutely no desire to fight fair.
- Compensating for Something: "What in the bloody fucking hell is THAT, and how small do your man parts need to be to justify using it?"
- Conjoined Eyes: Virus has them all the time. Eastwood gets something like them during certain Wild Takes.
- Conspiracy Theorist:
"Helicopters? Try VTOL aircraft, dude."
- A drunkard ranting about The Men in Black gets mercilessly mocked in this comic.
- And apparently Harry is one... and it's about My Little Pony.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Lampshaded, then subverted in this strip. A captured assassin expects the Inquisition's torture to involve lame acts like watching bad videos or going over tax forms. Virus explains that their plan is to castrate him with a circular saw and then ask some questions. And no, that's not the wrong order.
- Corporate Warfare: Background to the "Drink the cool-ade" arc.
- Crapsack World:
- It's not overtly shown, given the comedic nature of the comic, but there seems to be a lot of horrible things going on, even without the regular invasions from chaos; for example, Lothar's adopted brother Kyle was apparently orphaned after an "Overlander" attack. See Worldbuilding.
- Corporations going to war with one another is treated as something normal. At the end of the "Red Herring" arc, discovery that the war between two soft drink companies had no outside interference leads the characters to comment that it was "just a war".
- Plus, you know, the Inquisition are considered to be the good guys.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Every now and then, someone will do something genuinely impressive. Like this, for example.
- Cult: The Inquisition's enemies. And, in Eastwood's opinion, their allies.
- Custom-Built Host: One arc centers on a secret arctic installation trying to use genetic engineering to breed daemon hosts that can be possessed for extended periods without burning out. Notably, this results in the first, and as of the indefinite hiatus only, actual use of an Exterminatus in the comic.
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: At Lothar's birthday party as the group are clowning around.
- Cutting the Knot: Double Subverted: When confronted with a rift that's going out of control, and being told the scientist in charge can't just shut it down, Wildfire just smashes the terminal with her beam swords. This causes the rift to grow, and dozens of demons to spill out. The double subversion comes because this gives the scientist a small opening to Reverse the Polarity and seal up the rift, also sucking said demons back through. Of course, then she has to try it again on the circuit breakers... which need to be carefully disengaged one at a time in the correct sequence... Dammit Wildfire!
- Death by Irony: Janus jokingly-but-truthfully says he will be loyal to Morth right up until the moment the knife hits his back. Within hours, Morth has stabbed him in the back with a ritual knife.
- Deck of Wild Cards:
- Just about everyone in the Patterner (read: Tzeentchian wannabes) cult is plotting to overthrow and betray their comrades, to the point where when keeping prisoners secure, the guards face each other instead of the prisoners.
- Morth and his Number Two Janus have a extended "gotcha!" sequence where each reveals that the means of removing each other had already been discovered and neutralized. Morth wins.
- Deliberately Bad Example:
- Inverted; the B-Team demonstrates what an actual competent Inquisitor team is like, usually in contrast to the protagonists' antics.
- On the other hand the C-Team (probably short for "collateral") seems to play it straight, especially after Wildfire joins them.
- Demon of Human Origin: Being a 40K crossover, there are couple villains with the goal of ascension to Daemon Princehood. Morth actually succeeded.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Why Virus took 5 years of daemonology, the instructor was (in his words) a MILF.
- Divided We Fall: Rogue seems to be at the brink of trying to kill Lothar in one of the few completely serious strips of the comic, due to Lothar's sheltering of his brother Kyle. What is surprising is that Rogue isn't just taking a hard line and overriding Lothar's family concerns, he really thinks Lothar is lying about the entire business.
- Doctor's Orders: Eastwood and Virus bribe a doctor to put Wildfire in a full body cast and keep her in bed (and unable to bother the team.)
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: Lothar's friend Rob. If you're lucky, you'll end up with an injured hand. If you're perceived family, you'll end up with an injured back.
- Does Not Understand Sarcasm:
- Amusingly enough, Schaefer;Schaefer: Well, I think that went rather well.
Simmons: Yes, giving Hex and Nekkitou an actual reason to come to blows, brilliant sir.
Schaefer: Are you being sarcastic, Simmons?
Simmons: Whatever gave you that idea, sir?
Schaefer: So you're not, okay. Sorry, it's just hard to tell sometimes.
- Also, Wildfire.Eastwood: Nice work, you single-handedly wiped the installation off the face of reality.
Wildfire: Thanks! I'm just glad I could make it up to you guys after I screwed up on my first mission.
Eastwood: What? I was being sarcastic, you crazy, purple bint.
- Amusingly enough, Schaefer;
- Does That Sound Like Fun to You?: Occurs twice.
- The first is with Jamilla after she chews the gang out for not taking the Exterminatus seriously enough.
- The second* is when Lothar is asked by a panda kid how he "got the cool parts." Both cases are subverted with the person(s) on the receiving end of the lecture learning nothing from it at all.
- Double Entendre: Following on from this strip, in which Eastwood had discovered how to make mechanical attack chickens, which he uses on Lothar, and Virus and Rogue hear the commotion from upstairs;Rogue: What are you guys doing anyway?
Eastwood: Nothing much, just attacking Lothar with my mighty cock.
[Virus and Rogue share an extremely uncomfortable look]
Virus: Oh! That clockwork chicken thing!
Rogue: Oh thank gods.
- Driven to Suicide: Eastwood nonchalantly eats his gun after being cornered by a Spider-Demon intent on seducing him. (Un)Fortunately for him, he had fired all his bullets earlier in a frantic attempt to escape. This is all played for laughs.
- Drives Like Crazy: Nobody ever lets Virus control any kind of vehicle. Even the Inquisition's own private army, the Black Guard, go pale at the thought of Virus having a chance of driving anything. They're an entire army of special forces trained to combat the paranormal, and they are terrified of his driving. As one guest comic puts it:"Gods, man, what did you do?!"
- Dual Wielding: Wildfire, who dual-wields beam swords. Oh, yes, she does.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Facility Sixteen (a.k.a. Black Halo) had a open dimensional rift which allowed daemons to enter the EN world freely. Exterminatus on the facility would destroy the world and everyone on it (protagonists and Inquisition included), so the rift has to be closed manually. More than that, it would render the entire region uninhabitable for "slightly less than the life of the universe."
- Eats Babies:Lothar: YOU CAN'T PROVE I ATE THAT BABY!
- He was drunk when he said that... does it make it less or more credible?
- E = MC Hammer: Referenced by name here, along with Hammerspace and Clown Car Pants.
- Enemy Mine:
- According to Virus, the Justice Gods and the Dark Gods joined forces to kill Shg'jkggrt'mngwt/Father Ocean/Shaggy-Waggy-Wotnot, the only deity to manifest in the physical world.
- At the Black Halo compound, the daemon forces were working together, something that the protagonists noted as very unusual, and very bad.
- Even Morally Corrupt Protagonists Have Standards
- The protagonists may abuse their positions' authority, but Lothar mentioning that he once pulled out the eyes of all the orphans of an orphanage and shot the youngest disturbs them.
- Eastwood may like the young girls, but not as much as him.
- "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Missed it by that much.
- Eviler than Thou: Daemonically possessed toaster < Blasphemy.
- Evil Is Not Well-Lit:
- When The Mole calls his employer, we see a figure whose face is hidden in a gloomy darkness... who turns out to be The Mole's poker buddy who was sleeping in bed when the call came. The Mole appologizes for dialing the wrong number, and calls the real Big Bad, cooking pancakes in a brightly lit kitchen while wearing a 'Kiss the cult leader' apron.
- Played straight earlier, with the same Big Bad, and parodied when his ninja assassin can't find the exit because all the lights are out.
- Evil Lawyer Joke: As shown here. Apparently, the Inquisition laywers are a snake, a vulture, and a hyena.
- Exact Words: After the Black Halo facility gets sucked into the void:Virus (on the radio with Schaeffer): I can categorically say that we didn't make it explode.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Gargoyles are angels of Mort that protect cemeteries, and, as creatures of the gods, are able to sense the intent of wrongdoers, discerning the wicked from the pure of heart. Oops.
- Face Death with Dignity / Know When to Fold 'Em: Janus' reaction when he gets Out-Gambitted by Morth. (Arguably overlaps with This Is Gonna Suck.)
- Face–Heel Turn: Morth is a former Inquisitor turned cult leader, for as much as the Inquisition ever qualified as "good".
- Schaefer is implied to have done this after his battle with Edward Bay.
- Faceless Eye: The Patterner and at least one of his Greater Daemons, Kevin, each have a head that consists of a giant eyeball partially surrounded by flesh for the sake of eyelids.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: During the Face Death with Dignity described above.Janus: Thank you Silas. It's been... a relentless siege of paranoia working for you. No hard feelings about trying to murder you?
Silas: I'd have been genuinely disappointed if you hadn't.
- False Prophet: Subverted. Two prophets burned at the stake as heretics turned out to have been legitimately sent by their god.
- False Reassurance: When a paranoid rambler is convinced that a pair of businessmen are actually government agents keeping an eye on him, he tries to blend in with our "heroes". He spouts a bunch of paranoid conspiracy theories before Virus sets him straight on what real government spooks would be using. Eastwood caps it off by assuring the guy "You don't have to worry about them. They aren't the Inquisition."
- Fanon Discontinuity: In-Universe. According to Eastwood, Land of the Dead never happened.
- Fantastic Racism:
- Eastwood's attitudes toward the people of anyplace he's not from are... undiplomatic... to say the least. Needless to say, this does not go down well with anyone. Although, as Virus put it, Eastwood isn't racist, he's just really ignorant and stupid.
- Also, Morth's cult considers those with black-and-white fur/feathers/scales to be superior to all others (the leader is a badger). When Schaffer finds out about it, he tries to have all black-and-white colored people expelled from the Inquisition, which... doesn't go over well.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Real world countries are occasionally mentioned for jokes, but the setting has its' own geography. Most of the main characters are from the Allied Sovereigns of Meridia, which seems culturally analogous to the UK. Taika is very much based on Japan. While the United Corporate Collective of Rodina is like a hyper-capitalist version of the USSR.
- Fastball Special: While being threatened by a spider demon queen, Eastwood calls out to Lothar and Wildfire for one of these by name. It's one of the few plans Wildfire can follow.
- Fate Worse than Death: This comic shows an artifact with many innocent souls inside and is stated to reek "of suffering and torment". The Knight in Shining Armor character does not want it destroyed as that would destroy the souls inside, and says he will have it guarded until its prisoners can be freed... the artifact remains two thousand years later, and the artifact's purpose has clearly been forgotten since Eastwood is using it as a bookend.
- Faux Horrific: What the captured assassin expects in this comic. He was wrong.
- Fired Teacher: After a disastrous attempt to get the group to teach some up-and-coming inquisitors, the gang are reassigned to "a job more suited to their abilities." note
- Flashback Effects: Played with in this strip in a Leaning on the Fourth Wall moment.
- Flashback Stares
- Flat-Earth Atheist: "It's easy. All it takes is a little faith."
- Fluffy Tamer: Virus's definition of cute apparently usually involves fangs, claws, and other pointy things.Eastwood: The features you find endearing, most right-thinking people have nightmares about.
- Fluffy the Terrible:
- A plot-point in Kevin the Great Conspirator. Revealing this Fail O Suckyname turns out to be intregal to stopping Morth's first villainous plot.
- Virus's other pet, Skippy, a 7'-tall Arco-flagellant.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: Well, hot dog vendor tossing, jetting through the air, and truck container smashing, but the effect is the same.
- Compare this to this.
- While originally presented as a one-off comic, Inquistor Kortez's lecture on spider-motifed artifacts possibly being linked to aliens foreshadows the villain of the final arc, the spider Daemon Princess Vitani.
- Four-Man Band: Eastwood as the Casanova Wannabe, Virus is The Smart Guy, Rogue the Only Sane Man, and Lothar takes as much punishment as Eastwood or Virus but someone has to be the Butt-Monkey. The “B Team” are intended to be them but competent, particularly seen in how often Damien actually gets laid.
- Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: Subverted.
- Friend to All Children: Lothar Hex was originally going to have a soft spot for children, given that he didn't have a happy childhood. It didn't last. So very much.
- Funny Background Event: Here.
- Furry Confusion
- Despite the fact that anthropomorphic birds exist, Schaeffer's chicken fetish is treated as legit bestiality.
- When a couple cultists mention that they bled some chickens for their spell, the characters initially believe that wouldn't be enough... until they're told that they were actually the cultists' classmates.
- Gods Need Prayer Badly:
- Explained here (spoiler warning); basically, greater daemons will fade away unless they have followers to worship them.
- If The Hound's change to an Armchair Military general and increased eloquence is an indication, the nature of a worshiper seems to have an impact on the nature of the deity worshipped.
- Good is Not Nice: Oh yeah.
- Graceful Loser: Morth's top lieutenant tries to kill Morth repeatedly when Morth tries to sacrifice him, but Morth outmaneuvers him at every turn. When he realizes every one of his machinations have fallen flat, he shakes Morth's hand, congratulates him, and asks "no hard feelings?" for the repeated assassination attempts, and Morth responds that he'd have been disappointed if he didn't try. Then Morth stabs him and throws him off the cliff.
- Groin Attack: Also a moment of awesome for Eastwood, defying his impending doom at Morth's hands by kicking him in the nuts.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal
- Mostly averted; the majority of the characters we see wear standard clothes or uniforms appropriate to a modern setting. Lothar and Rogue, on the other hand, don't.
- Subverted occasionally: Rogue apparently wears shorts as bedclothes.
- Halloween Cosplay: Annually; subverted in 2007 with trick-or-treaters dressed as various characters, but not the cast.
- Hand-or-Object Underwear: The spider daemon has her arms or hands in front of her tits in this comic.
- Hat Damage: Lothar's signature hat is incinerated by a pair of dragons. He is not happy. After the mission the rest of the team order him a replacement coated in asbestos.
- Headbutting Heroes: Lothar and Rogue. It gets played more straight as the comic goes on, coming to a climax in this strip.
- Heal Thyself: Spoofed in this comic as Virus encounters a health pack after the group fights off a group of bug monsters, which Lothar points out is also rather cliché....
- Heavenly Blue: Tyrus's hammer strikes with a blue special effect.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: "So the leaders, and thereby the most important people, don't wear protective head gear in the middle of a battle?"
- Hero of Another Story: There are many Noodle Incidents that come off as this trope, but the B-Team seems to be the most consistent example.
- Hellhound: The Hound's Greater Daemons.
- Arguably, The Hound himself.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath
- Lothar. Oh sweet fucking Jesus, Lothar.
- Although he is the worst, the rest ain't much better.
- The new member, Wildfire, is not sociopathic, at least, as far as we can tell, but she isn't above using excessive force.
- Hidden Depths: For all that they're made up to be incompetent slackers, there are several occasions where Harry and Syrus demonstrate they do have functional and even in-depth knowledge of what they're dealing with. Syrus, for instance, is able to identify and modify a summoning ritual in minutes, and is able to identify by sight the time period and likely creators of a secret, underground tunnel system. Harry is noted as the best on the team with surveillance equipment, and an excellent tactician and leader when he decides to take things seriously.
- Hoistby His Own Petard: Subverted:Eastwood: Ah, you have thought ahead, then. I was hoping this was one of those deals where the villain's shortsighted greed becomes his own downfall.
Morth: You should have learned by now that I'm always the type to plot, scheme and contrive. But for the next five minutes, I will crush, rend and disembowel...
- Hollywood Tactics: First panel here. It's helpful to fit the battle in one panel, but moving in a tight box formation like the soldiers on the left against machine gun emplacement is probably not very smart.
- Holographic Terminal: One of the options for their CABAL units.
- Homage: It's not clear at the outset, but the whole Black Halo arc is a reference to Half-Life.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Virus falls into this when he considers whether Schaefer is liable to hold a grudge over the extremely expensive Black Halo incident.Virus: And I don't think he's the kind of bear for personal vendettas.
Eastwood: We'll see.
Lothar: Hey, someone broke all our chairs!
Virus: Someone's broken our beds!
Eastwood: Someone ate all my porridge!
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Simmons, but given the snark and contempt he shows for his superior, he's more of a Beleaguered Assistant.
- Hypocritical Humor:
Kyle: They looked legit, how the fuck was I supposed to know?
- "Hammerspace exists only in Taikan cartoons where everybody has huge eyes and silly-colored hair." (While his empty glasses are taken by a waitress with hot-pink hair and eyes that take up half her face.)
- And this little exchange:
Steve: Watch your language, you little cunt!
- Also, in one of the first strips, Virus goes into a speech to chastise Eastwood for leaving his badge behind, only to reveal that he had been using his as a paperweight.
- Identical Stranger: There is another Inquisition agent named Damien who looks a lot like Eastwood, and seems to live up to every fantasy Eastwood has about himself. He can even get away with hanging up on Schaefer.
- The CABAL Database Is for Porn: And MP3s
- I Lied: This comic.Virus: You said no one else would get hurt!
Cultist: Patterner cultist, duh. You have met my boss? Morth the Betrayer?
- Subverted in that Janus has his men cease fire and drive off in the very next strip — apparently, he was satisfied with forcing the Inquisitors to dive for cover.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: At the end of the Bookend arc:Eastwood: Not the point. He'll still be out there... Shit, I need a drink. Pub?Virus: Pub.
- Indy Ploy: How else do the protagonists get by? By killing everything that isn't them.
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: The Word of God explanation for the wolf and beaver in every other cult, seeing as they've been killed at least twice (though they were zombies once).
- Instant Sedation: Virus knocks out Wildfire with a rag full of chloroform after she implodes a research lab. Don't ask why he was carrying chloroform.
- Internal Retcon: Finding Lothar's explanation on how he got his cybernetics suspicious as it involved him being experimented on twice in his life, Eastwood and Virus check with his adoptive father, and find out he got them because he got blown up trying to sneak into a secure military facility using a cheap landmine map he bought from a shady dealer.
- Ironic Echo: In this comic:Virus: Do you feel kind of bad, deserting Lothar and Rogue like that?Eastwood: Balls to that, this is what we pay them for.
Rogue: Think we should tell them they're running towards the big one?Lothar: Balls to that, they don't pay us enough.
- Next Panel:
- Ironic Nursery Rhyme: This comic has carollers singing snippets of twisted versions of Christmas carols (and in panel 2, "The Hokey Pokey") in the background. All of the lyrics are partially covered up by dialogue depending on the panel, but the other three songs are parodies of "Good King Wenceslas", "Silent Night", and "Deck the Halls".
- Is The Answer To This Question "Yes"?: subverted;Eastwood: Lothar, do you think your wraith has enough firepower to blast a hole in the dome?
Lothar: Do bears shit in the woods?
Virus: Well, you'd think so, but you never actually hear anybody complaining they stood in bear shit while out hiking, do you?
Lothar: Huh, I guess I'd never really thought of it like that...
Rogue: Well if they don't shit in the woods, where do they shit?
Eastwood: Could we FOCUS here people?!
Virus: Also, isn't our boss a bear?
- It Has Been an Honor: Spoofed.
- Karma Houdini: Inquisitors and those working for them get legal immunity for virtually anything they do in the course of their work. The group is shocked at one point that Lothor has received a summons as his working for the Inquisition means he can get away with anything short of genocide with Virus being uncertain that even that is punishable.
- Kill Sat: The eponymous Exterminatus, a satellite-mounted thaumic energy weapon that's essentially a Fantastic Nuke. Unlike the source material this version is just a city-killer, not a planet glasser (when used as intended.)
- Knight of Cerebus: Totally subverted with Silas Morth.
- Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy: Eastwood knows a guy who knows a guy that can examine the artifact that a bunch of heavily armed mercenaries tried to steal from them. He forgot exactly which friend he knew this guy through, though... which bites him in the ass, since said friend turns out to have been Silas Morth, who is behind the whole operation and is blackmailing the examiner into delivering the artifact to him.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Played straight right after some aborted Flashback Effects in this strip.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Wildfire. She has no patience for complex planning and does whatever enters her head. Needless to say, this frequently causes headaches for the team. This eventually gets her expelled, which is a boon to the team's performance and its sanity.
- And now she has joined an entire team of Leeroy Jenkins. What joy.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: The team does seem to display a certain degree of competence when the chips are down and they stop goofing around. Usually mixed with complete ruthlessness and pragmatic cowardice.
- Schaefer gets a moment of this in the comic "A++, Would Heroically Struggle To The Death With Again" as, after Eastwood sends him after one "E. Bay" to get him off Kyle's case after it turns out he has been dealing with cultists, as it emerges there really is an Edward Bay, and, judging from the parody of dramatic action movies everywhere, he really is a supervillain. Schaefer doesn't just win, but does so in style.Eastwood: Schaeffer might be a moronic sexual deviant, but he’s an Inquisitor, and part of that involves being nigh-on impossible to kill and having a punch that can cold-cock a rhino.
- Schaefer gets a moment of this in the comic "A++, Would Heroically Struggle To The Death With Again" as, after Eastwood sends him after one "E. Bay" to get him off Kyle's case after it turns out he has been dealing with cultists, as it emerges there really is an Edward Bay, and, judging from the parody of dramatic action movies everywhere, he really is a supervillain. Schaefer doesn't just win, but does so in style.
- Lovable Coward: Virus and Eastwood at times.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Steve, the head of the Cesspool, is Lothar's (adoptive) father, and Kyle is his adoptive brother. None of the other Inquisitors, of course, believed the former.
- Madness Mantra:Eastwood: bigspiders bigbigspiders bigbigbiiigspiders bigbigbigbig...
- Magitek: The best of Mobian technology seems to be this, from the angelic computers of Gruss used by the Inquisition to the thaumatic energy used by the Exterminatus platform and the void-based research at the Black Halo facility.
- Meaningful Name:
- The codenames given to the Taikian Demon Hunters are surprisingly accurate. Rogue is bad at following orders and working with others, and Wildfire is a horrifying combination of Leeroy Jenkins, No Kill like Overkill, and Trigger-Happy all in one cute perky package.
- Janus, one of Morth's servants featured in "The Bookend of Unimanginable Power", is appropriately named for the two-faced Roman god of beginnings, endings, and transitions given he's a chameleon.
- The Men in Black: One time a drunken conspiracy theorist walked up to the team's table and started ranting about how two guys in the corner wearing fancy suits must be the Inquisition, and they must have been following him for weeks in their black helicopters with counter-rotating blades and light-absorbing paint. Virus then corrects him on the "helicopters" (VTOL helicopters with a nano-crystal-something resin and noise-cancellation), and Eastwood tells him the suits in the corner are probably just foreign businessmen. "You got nothing to worry about from them. They aren't Inquisition."
- Mercy Kill: In the Black Halo facility the team finds a scientist stuck to the wall with growths on his chest and begging them to kill him. While they debate what to do Lothar unsubtly snaps his neck.
- Mobian Sacrifice: The Inquisition has to deal with cults on a regular basis. It goes without saying that this trope gets invoked rather frequently. Bonus points for a discussion of virgin sacrifices near the beginning of the strip's run.
- Modernized God: the Hound (a War God and Khorne expy) stops dressing in spiky black armor and instead wears a general's outfit, pointing out that modern warfare involves a lot less melee combat than it used to and therefore he's adapting to a world of drone strikes half a planet away.
- More Dakka: Predator XXL-99 Minigun. Shortly after introducing it, 'dakka' is used as a sound effect.
Too bad the ammo pack weighs as much as a heavyweight boxer and it's powered by either volatile plasma batteries or inadequately shielded nuclear material. Given Lothar's comment, most likely the latter.Lothar: Ah well, never wanted kids anyway.
- Turns out it's actually the plasma battery version, but Eastwood dislikes the idea of exploding just as much as dying of radiation poisoning.
- Mundane Utility:
Rogue: Will you stop calling it a bookend! We've established that it's an ancient evil artifact, a vessel of souls, the key to a dark ritual!
- To say that the others misuse Rogue's beam sword is a bit of an understatement.
- Eastwood uses an ancient artifact which contains thousands of souls as a bookend. Even after it's stolen and he finds out what it really is, his primary motivation for getting it back is because he needs a bookend.
Eastwood: That is the best sodding bookend I've ever owned, and I'll be damned if I'm forking out upwards of ten quid for a new one!
- It should be pointed out that both of these examples serve as a Deconstruction of the concept. In the first case using the cast is unaware that the beam sword has a limited charge so using it in such manner renders it useless. In the second the objects very nature prompts it theft in spite of the mundane usage.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: The entire main cast, especially Lothar.
- Must Have Caffeine: You touch Eastwood's coffee, he will break your arm. He even refers to Nescafe as "her". Eastwood is holding Lothar's robotic arm when he threatens to break it.
- Mythology Gag: Filler strips occasionally poke fun at Sonic, such as suggesting Dr. Robotnik is actually an inquisitor pursuing the blue hedgehog, and another where the main characters hunt down Sonic for his lycanthropic turn.
- Naïve Newcomer: Wildfire seemed to be. On her first mission, not satisfied with being a reserve wincher in a helicopter-based operation where melee isn't an option, she bugged the remaining members for a bigger role. Lothar gave the rookie one: looking after his hat while acting as a reserve wincher. While she didn't lose the hat, she did screw up the mission, and later freely admitted she's new at this.Wildfire: Success rate... uh, I'm new.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Non-evil variant in Yuri's codename, Wildfire. It sounds like some sort of pretentious, narmy name that this comic pokes fun at all the time. It's not.Rogue: I considered warning you guys, then I thought: Nah, fuck 'em.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
- Dammit, Wildfire.
- Hypocritical Humor: The rest of the gang really have no right to criticize her.
- They do now, given that the gang has never, ever broke it that badly.
- Luckily for her, it was subverted by the scientist, who turned the situation to his advantage.
- ...and now she's apparently screwed up all over again. "She was almost on a roll" indeed.
- No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Played straight and lampshaded thoroughly. And then subverted. He's smarter than he seems.
- Non-Indicative Name: There's been one Exterminatus in ten years of comics.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Jamilla, a penguin with notable breasts. Later on there's a spider daemon who (usually) has boobs.
- Noodle Incident
Virus: I swear to gods I didn't know the camel was loaded.
- This gag is pulled pretty frequently, but the most obvious one (largely due to its status as a Running Gag) is some horrific vehicular accident caused by Virus in the past.
- And it still hasn't been said what happened to Smitty and Jonesy (who Rogue and Lothar were hired to replace, due to some no doubt horrible incident).
- And then, of course, there's the "Bean Incident".
- No Sympathy:
- Virus doesn't exactly show a lot of sympathy to Lewis, who lost his entire team and his career to the Black Halo incident.Virus: Professor? You OK?
Lewis: Well my colleagues and friends are all dead, my workplace destroyed, and my career down the toilet.
Virus: Yes, but are you alive?
Lewis: I guess so.
Virus: That's all I asked, didn't need your life story.
- Wildfire immediately proceeds to make a comment so... naive that Virus responds by smothering her with a chloroform hanky.
- Virus doesn't exactly show a lot of sympathy to Lewis, who lost his entire team and his career to the Black Halo incident.
- Not Even Bothering with an Excuse: When a bunch of corrupted priests get caught performing blood sacrifices, the heretic spokesman starts stammering before straight up admitting "Look, I won't lie it's what it looks like."
- Not Quite Saved Enough: The antelope guy in this strip finally asked for protective custody. He didn't get it.
- Nuclear Option: Exterminatus is supposed to be a weapon of last resort and has enough red tape restricting its use that it's only actually used in comic once, and that was only approved because the team told Schaefer it would likely kill them. The other two times it's suggested it turns out that using it in that situation would destroy the planet.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
- Mocked here.
- Wildfire manages to solo an entire Fernexian Cult. And cause untold amounts of collateral damage.
- Oh, Crap!
- When Jamilla has infiltrated a demonic cult and is transmitting footage from the leader speaking to his followers:Morth: We need but one more sacrifice to bring about the great daemon of our lord, the Patterner. Now we only need to ask ourselves: Who shall this person be. Who shall be the last person to give their life for our cause. Who.... is that bitch with the video camera?
Jamilla: Oh shitbiscuits...
- ...one by one... in the proper sequence... Wildfire, what have you done?!... again?
- When their boss realizes that not only has he lost billions with the destruction of the facility, but he can't blame it on the team because it was an illegal black ops facility and therefore did not officially exist.
- When Rogue goes so far as to say he would not only kill Lothar, but his entire adopted family, over what he perceived to be a cover-up of criminal activities; Eastwood and Virus have a very appropriate reaction (namely, staring wide-eyed and slowly shuffling away from the carnage about to unfold).
- When Eastwood remembers he became connected to the antique dealer Marley, the guy he left the artifact with, through Silas Morth.
- Everyone in the room when Virus manages to screw up Morth's daemon summoning ritual by swapping the intended Patterner daemon with a greater daemon of war.
- Just when you think Morth is down for the count...Rogue: Uh, the corpse is laughing.
Lothar: That's rarely a good sign.
- And now Morth joins the fun.
- When Jamilla has infiltrated a demonic cult and is transmitting footage from the leader speaking to his followers:
- Oh Wait, This Is My Grocery List: Fused with a (not very) Badass Creed.Code of the Daemon Hunters: Daemons are bad. Kill daemons. Also, remember milk, cereal, and bread.
- One I Prepared Earlier: the introduction of the Seducers.
- One Nation Under Copyright: The United Corporate Collective of Rodina.
- Based on this strip, they do seem prone to War for Fun and Profit.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Virus; Rogue. And now, Wildfire.
- It's more that their real names are hard to pronounce (Syrus Zuviel, Ryoushi Nekittou, and Yuri Keila, respectively).
- Only Sane Man: Sebastian, on the C team. The others were quite happy to have Wildfire join them. This would also make him the most literal example of this trope.
- Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: This happens to Eastwood after Jamilla kisses his cheek after he distracts a would-be assassin long enough for him to be captured.Eastwood: It's... uh... a roll of mints!
Jamilla: You must like em, it feels half-empty.
- Out-Gambitted: Played for Laughs here.Morth: And now, as promised... your reward.
Janus: Wait! I poisoned your chalice!
Morth: Of course you did. That's why I took the antidote before you arrived.
Janus: The antidote vial was also poison.
Morth: This vial was. You didn't know about this one.
Janus: But you didn't know your handmaiden was loyal to me.
Morth: [is stabbed by handmaiden, but stands up unharmed as she grins at Janus] Had you going. She's loyal to me — trick blade.
Janus: The IED in your bed?
Morth: Already in your sock drawer.
Janus: Sarin in your shower stall?
Morth: Check your cologne spritzer.
Janus: [draws gun] Replaced with blanks?
Morth: Afraid so.
- Our Angels Are Different: Each of the Justice Gods has their own kind of angel: Tyrusian angels are of the stereotypical kind and are mainly warriors. Mort has gargoyles (see below) and Watchers, which guard graveyards. Ahriman has Muses, which impart information. Gruss's angels aren't named, but are semi-sentient computer programs that collectively form the Inquisition's computer network, CABAL.
- Our Gargoyles Rock: Sentient Gargoyles are the angels of Mort, and defend the cemeteries sacred to him.
- Out-of-Character Moment: In the Cesspool arc, Rogue goes from a snarky, but loyal friend and ally to an ultra paranoid Knight Templar willing to betray his allies just to satiate his grudge against Lothar.
- To be fair, Rogue was under the impression that Lothar's family was actually a scam to prevent the Inquisition from discovering whatever criminal conspiracy they were up to, mainly because he simply couldn't believe that someone as sociopathic as Lothar would care for anyone.
- Painting the Medium: Barring Schaeffer, characters with an otherworldly presence are given specialized speech bubbles based on what jurisdiction they're from.
- Parallel Porn Titles: Ass Effect 2."I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favourite position on the Citadel."
- Pass the Popcorn:
- Rogue's reaction to Eastwood attempting to sweet-talk a traffic warden.
- This strip has the Patterner gleefully mocking the Hound after how Morth dealt with the Hound's Greater Daemon Lord while the former holds popcorn and wears a foam finger.
- The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Lampshaded and parodied.
- Pet the Dog: Lothar's surprising preparedness to bust his adoptive brother Kyle out of captivity, turning instantly against his employers to do so. Eastwood, of course, doesn't miss an opportunity to have a dig at the echidna for showing a glimmer of empathy.Eastwood: I know what it's like to be willing to do anything for people you actually... care about.
Lothar: [with angry pointing] You shut your whore mouth!
- Porn Stash: Eastwood has the biggest known porn stash in the world, to the point where it once crashed the Inquisition's database.
- Priceless Paperweight: Eastwood swiped an object from Inquisition storage and uses it as a bookend. It turns out to be an ancient Soul Jar sought after by Morth and his patron god. And after all's done and solved he still wants his godsforsaken bookend, because the sickly-green light of all the ancient souls trapped within is simply perfect for his shelves' ambiance.
- Product Placement: Everything from Irn Bru to Intel technology. Look closer at the supposed Intel logo.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Judging by the mess in the augury lab, "nosebleed" was an understatement.
- Rage-Breaking Point: Lothar has one here.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The whole team.Simmons: I hardly think we'd have two teams made up of an arrogant Taikan, a sociopathic cyborg, a womanizing feral, and a just plain stupid rodent.
Eastwood: Oh, I get it. You're saying that it's our team's uniqueness that makes us so effective.
Simmons: No, I'm saying that you have a seemingly endless reserve of sheer dumb luck, and I want to capitalize on it.
- Raised in a Lab: Lothar was raised in a lab due to being an artificially engineered person. He eventually escaped where he was found by his adoptive father who introduced Lothar to his extended, adoptive family, a large secretive guild of mercenaries.
- Reading Your Rights: Done here when Eastwood and Virus come to arrest some cultists. Eastwood starts to recite the traditional Miranda Rights, then cracks up halfway and admits that they don't have any rights.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Referenced when Eastwood says failing on a mission will mean being sent to the south pole watch stations.
- Reckless Gun Usage: Virus has to keep pointing the scientist's gun somewhere else.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Eastwood gets them, again while Lothar is trying to take his coffee. Lothar's cyborg eye is always red.
- Red Herring: Used and lampshaded at the end of the cool-ade arc. Turns out that the cult were actually a bunch of idiots who killed themselves and never had a chance of success and that the war actually had no demonic influence and really was just a regular war. It's even lampshaded in the url.
- Red Right Hand
- Lothar's right hand actually is red.
- Meanwhile, on the other side (because calling it the evil side doesn't really provide much contrast), Morth's left eye also qualifies.
- Reel Torture: Parodied when a captured assassin expects the protagonists to force him to watch Battlefield Earth or something. Instead they threaten to castrate him with a buzzsaw.
- Reference Overdosed
- Replacement Scrappy: Wildfire was an in-universe case. While Eastwood was initially happy to have a cute girl on the team, her Leeroy Jenkins attitude, No Kill like Overkill behavior, and her being Too Dumb to Live in general got on everyone's nerves. Lothar actually hugged Rogue when he came back.
- Reverse the Polarity: Done and lampshaded. The "reverse the polarity" switch is on a wall next to the "divert all power to engines," "cross the streams," and "reroute through main deflector" switches.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Eastwood's Magnum, modified to fire 7 bullets instead of the standard 6. Yes, he thinks he's Dirty Harry. Though according to him, they only call him that when he hasn't washed for a week, or because of his Porn Stash, his personality... No-one's ever called him that, he just made it up.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: Fans misspell Rogue's name so often that it's lampshaded on the cast page.
- Rule 34: In the manga store.Lothar: Guys, I have a new addition to the list of things I didn't need to know. "How well hung Pikachu is."
- Running Gag
- Virus's tail getting caught as the team escapes, and Virus's apparent vehicular ineptitude.
- The team messing up their missions by either killing/injuring people they intend to bring in for questioning, or blowing up needed evidence.
- The toaster getting possessed by technology daemons.
- A recent one is Wildfire being unable to identify or remember details about daemons, despite being a daemon hunter.
- Say My Name: MOORRRRTH! EASTWOOOOD! Played for Laughs, naturally.
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: This page features a textbook example of Escher's Bizarrchitecture room. Starts out being played straight, then... devolves into...
- Seductive Spider: Vitani is a spider-daemon and is not above using seduction despite serving the Patterner rather than the Soulthirster.
- Selective Obliviousness: Wildfire seems to have this in spades regarding Blasphemy's daemonic heritage, the possessed toaster, and the existence of echidnas.
- Serious Business: Making a perfect BLT sandwich is a rite of passage in the EN universe.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Combined with a Wall of Text, and for humor, paired off with its inverse, Layman's Terms. Seen here.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: This moment. Bwahahahahahaha!!!
- Also, the entire ''Drink The Cool-Ade'' Story Arc.
- Share the Male Pain: (WHUNCH!!) Look at 'em cringe! Even though they're off panel, you just know the evil scientists are cringing too.
- Shout-Out: Now with its own subpage.
- Skilled, but Naive: Wildfire. She's a talented fighter and a prodigy with dual beam swords, but she's not very good at listening to orders and has a habit of wrecking any training room she enters.... After the Black Halo incident, she's really moving out of Skilled, but Naive and into Idiot Hero. Turns out it wasn't just lack of experience...
- Smoking Hot Sex: Virus and a daemon princess.
- The Smurfette Principle
- Lampshaded and mocked in this strip.
- Played straight with Wildfire, but they manage to keep away from most of the cliche female tropes by making her Skilled, but Naive. Sure, she can somersault from a helicopter and slice an armored truck in half... but they needed that truck.
- Inverted with the "C Team", which has only one male member and three female members after Wildfire transfers over.
- Something Else Also Rises: Rogue in this strip.
- Speech Bubbles: Schaefer speaks with black bubbles and white text; the Gods all have their own speech bubbles and typefaces.
- Spanner in the Works: As of this strip, Eastwood and the gang have killed their universe's version of Horus and/or Archaon... on accident.
- Spinoff Babies: Parodied in this filler strip.
- Stacy's Mom: The reason Virus took 5 years worth of Daemonology studies? Because Inquisitor Bexley was a MILF.
- Stalker with a Crush: Eastwood violently protects the gifts he gets from his ex-girlfriend, and had her new boyfriend put to death for Heresy. The fact that he actually was a heretic was only found out afterward.
- The Starscream: Since the Patterner is basically the god of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, this is expected. The Big Bad and The Starscream have a good laugh after the former calls the latter loyal.And after The Starscream is Out-Gambitted:Janus: Thank you Silas. It has been... a relentless siege of constant paranoia working for you. No hard feelings about trying to murder you?
Silas: I'd have been genuinely disappointed if you hadn't.
- Stealth Pun: Followers of the Mortish religion would be Mortishians.
- Stock British Phrases: The creators are all Brits after all, though they don't overdo it.
- Strange Minds Think Alike: Even though Morth is a Patterner cult master and more intelligent than Eastwood, he's still not above copping a feel from an unconscious Jamilla.
- String Theory: Eastwood had a loft full of tackboards and string detailing his My Little Pony conspiracy theories, he blew it up after Lothar made a horse pun.
- Suicide Mission: Schaefer sent the main characters on a dangerous mission to space named "Dead Men Walking" and made a pool betting on how they'd die. Simmons won with his long-shot bet that they'd survive.
- Summon Bigger Fish: Eastwood locks up Daemon Morth with a more powerful and very angry hound demon.
- Super Gullible: The Cerberus demon falls for the "pretend to throw the ball" trick. It is a dog, after all.
- Superior Successor: Inquisitor Damien's bio mentions that he is a good agent not because, but in spite of who trained him. More than one reader suggested that he was trained by Eastwood.
- Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder: Schaefer usually has the gang sent off to do some incredibly dangerous mission specifically because they're a bunch of frakkers who no-one would care to see the back of. As a result, they frequently don't get the job done too well. However, their tenacity at surviving numerous operations where their command staff are explicitly trying to get them killed off means that Schaefer tends to go to them first if there is a genuine need for a group of inquisitors with a record for pulling off Suicide Missions.
- Surrounded by Idiots
- Subverted and justified; Morth intentionally recruits Mooks too dumb to realize he intends to sacrifice them en masse.
- Lothar feels this way at times, mind. "THE WHOLE WORLD IS TRYING TO STUPID ME TO DEATH!"
- That's also Lothar's general feelings towards forum members.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Invoked with Wildfire, since Rogue decided to go back home for some training. Subverted in that Wildfire is quite different to Rogue as a character.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Subverted.Townsend: I told them that [the tag on the spy camera] should say "Not the Property of the Mobian Inquisition".
Morth: Yes, because that would have fooled me completely.
- Sweat Drop: Used in this strip.
- Team Pet: Blasphemy, a Chao who undergoes a radical transformation after a daemon encounter. Lampshaded during its introduction.
- Technobabble: "Oh thank the Gods for legitimate, fact-based Science!
- Tempting Fate: Twice, to the extent they're just asking for it.
- Terrible Artist: Lothar can't draw for beans. Doubles as a Development Gag.
- Thinker Pose: Virus does it here.
- Those Two Guys: Wolf and Beaver. Lampshaded here. Even dying can't keep them away.
- Thread of Prophecy, Severed: The Everchosen is about to murder the sacrifice that will allow him to become the vessel for the dark gods and take over the world... and then the team's gunship lands on him. Not even on purpose: they were looking for the beach.
- Token Good Teammate: Syrus and Rogue are closest to this, though in differing ways. Syrus is the least assholish of the team, but Rogue seems to be the one who most consistently demonstrates some semblance of caring for the cause. For example, he criticizes the team's irreverent response to necromancy, points out that the teens Syrus is bemoaning for wasting for their potential on ignorant games committed murder, is prepared to take on Lothar and the Cesspool when he mistakenly assumes they are running a scam to prevent the Inquisition from discovering a criminal conspiracy, and expresses outrage over Lothar's reckless endangerment and injury of innocent people when attempting to snipe a target.
- Too Dumb to Live
- Either Virus or Eastwood, at times.
- Wildfire is a lot more consistent in this regard. She was kicked off the team as a result.
- Anybody who tries to pull one over the head of a Patterner cultist.
- The town full of cultists in the Red Herring arc. They ground themselves into drink mix as part of a crazy plan to turn their leader into a gestalt psychic entity. Their leader then drank himself into a diabetic coma while drinking his followers and drowned himself when he fell into the vat of crazy cultist kool-aid. Even better, this plan had nothing to do with any of the actual supernatural forces in the setting and had no chance of succeeding. The idiots somehow came up with this crazy idea all by themselves.
Eastwood: Look, mistakes were made, people were shot—
- Eastwood, so very, very much.
Virus: Four times.
Eastwood: It's easy to point fingers. Let's just put it behind us and move on shall we? I'm going to bed... And it was three times, the second one only grazed him.
- Wildfire manages to be this despite wielding a Beam Sword, destroying a truck full of needed evidence, almost killing an angel with a panicked sword attack, destroying a panel for something that subsequently summons a huge-ass army of daemons on them, and destroying the circuit breakers in such a fashion that Black Halo essentially implodes.
- True Companions: Not the main characters, gods no. But Damien has a team like this, shown here, contrasted with Eastwood's team for Rule of Funny.
- Unflinching Walk: Schaefer shows you how it's done.
- The Unpronounceable: As with so many other tropes on this page, parodied here.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: All main characters. Except Wildfire.
- Van Helsing Hate Crimes: What did those poor zombies ever do to you, Lothar? You too, Rogue!
- Vertical Mecha Fins: On the Taikan mecha.
- Visual Pun: Inquisitor Bexley was a milf. Or, to put it another way, she's a cougar.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Rogue and Lothar; see above. It's a miracle they haven't killed each other. Eastwood and Morth were also this since infancy, though Eastwood eventually got even.
- Wall Of Technobabble: Professor Lewis does this when explaining why using Exterminatus on the Black Halo facility is a bad idea. This utterly confuses the protagonists, forcing Lewis to summarize it as "Shiny void rift plus big space gun make world go 'splodey".
- Wave-Motion Gun: The eponymous Exterminatus.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Lothar is somewhat claustrophobic (see Funny Background Event above).
- We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: Complete with parody Test Card.
- We Do the Impossible
- We Meet Again: The possessed toaster.
- We Want Our Jerk Back!: Although he's a bigger jerk himself, Lothar's attitude towards Rogue after suffering the presence of his replacement, Wildfire, for a few missions.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Eastwood's arachnophobia. (Both the character and author.)
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises
- Worldbuilding: Given that the comic was built as a parody of what was originally the makings of a Dark Fic with a crossover of Sonic the Hedgehog and Warhammer 40,000 Played for Drama instead of laughs, there's a fair bit of original universe building in the setting, though it generally is only referred to in passing due (thankfully) to the focus on comedy and satire.
- You Do Not Want To Know: Why does Virus have chloroform?Eastwood: Why do you—?
Virus: Only finish the question if you really want to know the answer.
Eastwood: [zipping gesture to his lips]
- You Get What You Pay For: A Bad Guy hires three teams of mercenaries to steal something from the main characters. Except he goes over budget hiring the first two (Expies of the BLU Team and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles respectively), he hires as the third team a gang of the Mobius equivalent of chavs for "Two litres of White Lightning and a carton of fags". Which they accept. The first two teams break into the house and get killed by Eastwood's mechanical attack chicken, Blasphemy, and the possessed toaster. The chavs are arrested by the police before they even try.
- You Just Told Me: Steve effortlessly gets Virus to confirm that the group visiting the Cesspool is from the Inquisition.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Presenting Pedobear.
- Your Costume Needs Work: At the end of the Bookend story arc, Lothar edits Morth's ascension footage into just Demon!Morth getting killed by the Greater Demon and uploads it to "VoodooTube". Cue several comments calling it "fake".danthe57: It's totally fake, you can see the zipper at 1:14
coffeepoweredrobot: what porgram did u use for the cgi i have 3dsmax show me how u did it!!!!