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Webcomic / Niels

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Niels is a comic done by Humon, of Scandinavia and the World fame.

Niels Gyldensted is a Danish mob boss in America who has a relationship with married couple Duncan and Natalie. The comic mainly focuses on Niels' life as both a violent criminal and a lover and father figure, as well as exploring the polyamorous relationship between Niels, Duncan, and Natalie. There are occasional story arcs, but they're relatively short, and the comic is more focused on relationships than on an overarching plot.

Other important characters include Elliot ("Kiddo"), Duncan and Natalie's child; Peter, an insane hippie rapist and leader of a cult; Agent 300, a James Bond-esque secret agent who flirts with Niels just a little too much; Thomas, a detective who lost all interest in catching Niels when his wife died; Wendy, Thomas's daughter; and Caron, Thomas's partner who is determined to re-motivate him and defeat Niels.


Recent additions to the cast include Billy, a very masculine woman and a family friend of Niels, Duncan, and Natalie; her bodybuilder girlfriend Rose; Agent 250, an extremely badass, extremely manly agent who is tasked with keeping Agent 300 focused in his job — and who, eventually, befriends him; and Niels' son Magnus.

The comic has not updated since June 2015.

Niels provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Niels for Thomas, Agent 300 for Natalie, Peter for everyone.
  • Affably Evil: Niels is the rare villain that is both Affably Evil and Faux Affably Evil. His genuine love for Duncan, Natalie, and Elliot indicates that the only thing separating him from being a relatively normal person (besides his obvious abandonment issues) is his villainy, fitting the trope for Affably Evil (a true Faux Affably Evil villain would just be pretending to care about Duncan and Natalie). On the other hand, Niels enjoys maintaining/feigning his affable personality in order to psychologically torture his enemies, fitting the trope for Faux Affably Evil (this is best shown when he explicitly states to 250 that 300 is just a particularly fun toy to him - a true Affably Evil villain would genuinely care about a rival like 300). Short version: like Dexter, Niels is a sociopath who has a very few people he has an honest emotional connection to and cares about, but unlike Dexter does not channel his psychopathic tendencies into trying to do good.
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  • Affectionate Parody: Agent 300 is a parody of suave secret agent womanizers such as James Bond. Perhaps not so affectionate, as the author has mentioned disliking the character archetype and creating 300 with the intent of ridiculing it - though she admitted that, ironically, once she had created 300, she became fond of him.
  • Amicably Divorced: Agent 250 is better friends with his ex wife now than he ever was when they were married, and they still go on vacations together with their daughter. Definite Truth in Television here - many divorced couples, especially ones who break up due to one partner's discovery of their homosexuality, get along much better post-divorce.
  • Angry Black Man: Duncan. One comic was even named 'Angry Black Man'.
  • Armored Closet Gay: Agent 250, who was a cold and distant husband and father because he took extreme lengths to prevent them from finding out about his homosexuality.
  • Art Shift: Thomas's dream about Niels and Agent 300 was rendered in manga style art.
  • A-Team Firing: Niels sucks at guns.
  • Author Appeal: Men in suits.
  • Badass Finger Snap: *snap* *click* *click*
  • Behind the Black: "Good to see you awake, 250."
  • Berserk Button: Agent 300's (hurting Agent 250) is revealed when Niels hits it. The result is fucking awesome, even though we see none of it.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Agent 300 is mild-mannered and calm - Agent 250 even says that 300 doesn't know what to do with himself when he gets angry. But if someone (i.e. Niels) gets him really angry, he will break their arm, shoot them in the head with their own gun, and send half of their team to the hospital.
    • Niels is an unfailingly polite and even charming young man who would happily torture, stalk, or kidnap you and/or go after your family if you did anything to bother him - or if he thought it would be entertaining.
    • In a more harmless way, Robert is a Shrinking Violet... with a penchant for bondage and really dominating in bed.
  • Big Bad: Niels is this.
  • Bilingual Backfire: Niels is talking on the phone to his mom, in Danish. Duncan, getting impatient, tells Niels to hurry up in a... rather vulgar way. Turns out that even though Niels is speaking to his mom in Danish, she also speaks English. Oops!
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Niels can seem all suave and polite, but he is a mob boss who will kill you without a second thought if he deems it necessary (or funny).
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Agent 250's teenage daughter is more than a handful. For no clear explainable reason she once tried to bite off 300's penis. And nearly succeeded. And apparently, this wasn't the first time she had tried to do something like that to a man. Humon's latest relationship chart shows that she seems to genuinely hate every character besides her parents.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
    Niels: It's a holiday for the kids. They dress up and eat candy like on Halloween. It's all harmless fun.
    Duncan: Well...
    Niels: And then they put a cat in a barrel and beat it to death with a bat!
  • Breakout Character:
    • Agent 250, who starred in several Niels comics by himself shortly after being introduced, and was the main focus in one of the longest continuous story lines so far.
    • Jacob, the demon that Peter and his cult worship. Humon enjoys drawing him so much that the majority of drawings featuring him are completely unrelated to the Niels universe in any way. He and his girlfriend now star in their own webcomic, Manala Next Door.
  • Butch Lesbian:
    • Deconstructed with Rose, Billy's girlfriend. Her pasttimes include bodybuilding, knitting and baking.
    • Billy is a bit of a Butch Bisexual. Since she dresses and acts like a man. (Including going by Billy instead of Rebecca) But sometimes like guys if they're super girlie.
  • But Not Too Evil:
    • After growing sick of all the Draco-ing of rapist/child molester/cult leader Peter, Humon posted an image of him about to molest his daughter, to underline the fact that "He is not a nice person, no matter how funny he is." The backlash was incredible. Most of it was made of people asking how could she draw something so cruel.
    • Humon has also repeatedly tried to show this is the case with Niels himself, occasionally showing him doing things that no sane person should be able to think he's a good guy after doing. Arguably, Niels is a case of where you can like him, you're just supposed to feel bad about it.
  • Butt-Monkey: One of Niels' men, Drew, tends to take the most verbal abuse out of them all due to being quick to anger and jump to conclusions. He even calls out and has been called out as being The Unfavorite of the group.
  • Carpet of Virility:
    • Parodied. One of the Yaoi Rules states that the man with the most body hair is the seme. In this case, it'd be Agent 300, but he couldn't bring himself to top Niels, since he's still in the closet.
    • Interestingly, Agent 300 seems to have gotten hairier as the series went on. Compare this early drawing, with him more recently.
    • Averted in the actual relationship between 250 and 300. 300 certainly has more body hair, yet their intercourse has so far been implied as having 250 being on top.
  • Characterisation Marches On: Nearly everyone, to some extent, evolves into a much more fleshed out character over time. Referenced in one comic, where Duncan thinks Niels poisoned some chocolate. Humon said the joke came from when she didn't know if Niels loved Duncan and Natalie or was just using them and would kill them when done. Now she knows he'd just give them chocolate with chili in it.
  • Cheerful Child:
    • Wendy plays this entirely straight despite her mother dying in childbirth. Thomas being a great father to her as well as his ex-partner Caron being a maternal figure/babysitter also helps.
    • Elliot (Kiddo) also plays it straight most of the time.
  • Closet Key:
    • Niels for Agent 300, though at first it's ambiguous as to whether there's an actual attraction or whether they're simply trying to distract each other (see the description for Just a Little Push). After a few conversations with Thomas, 300 starts to realize that perhaps the flirtation between them isn't "normal" for a completely heterosexual male. Explicitly referred to here.
    • Agent 250 is a much more straightforward Closet Key for 300. He's out and proud and trying to get into 300's pants, and once 300 notices, he's perfectly receptive to it.
    • Inverted with Duncan — Natalie made him realize he was bisexual, not gay.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: The fate of Natalie's first child.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Agent 250. Every now and then he'll have a silent conversation with God, in which the good old Almighty actually answers him. To put an even finer point on it, God even does things like deliberately piss 250 off so he'll beat up a guy God doesn't like.
  • Creepy Child: Yeah...don't play Robbers and Police with Kiddo if you have a sensitive stomach...
  • Crossover: Various fanarts incorporate a fan's original character.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Niels gets a lesson on what happens when you push 300 a bit too far.
  • Crowbar Combatant: Duncan's weapon of choice.
  • Cult: Peter runs one.
  • Daddy's Girl: Agent 250's daughter. It would seem he's the only man she is tolerable with.
  • Dark Messiah: Peter.
  • Death by Childbirth: Anni died from complications after Wendy's birth, leading to Thomas's BSOD.
  • Death Glare: This will not end well. And then all the injuries are non-fatal.
  • Depraved Bisexual:
    • Duncan and Niels may be likable and polite, but they are still horrible people who do horrible things, and the artist would like to remind us that they are the bad guys.
    • Also, Peter, though he's more of a Depraved Pansexual.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Niels basically never stops smiling.
  • Distaff Counterpart: 734 and Lis seem to be this for 300 and 250, respectfully.
  • Double Standard: Natalie has no problem with Duncan being bisexual, but gets offended at the insinuation she might be. Amusingly, when doing the "Rules of Yaoi" series, Humon somehow neglected to call out the one about "If there is a threesome, the guys are bi and the girl is straight."
  • Endearingly Dorky: Agent 300 has shades of this, mostly due to his confusion about and discomfort with his newfound bisexuality, as well as his occasional lack of social skills. As 250 puts it, "He's just a sweet awkward dork in a suit."
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Niels genuinely loves Duncan, Natalie, and Elliot, although Humon wasn't sure of this when she started the comic.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Except for Natalie, who's heterosexual but bi-romantic. And Thomas and Caron, who are heterosexual. And Agent 250, who is gay albeit formerly closeted in a heterosexual marriage. And most of the supporting characters are straight, like the people working for Niels.
  • Fan Nickname: "Stealth Monster" for Agent 250.
  • Freudian Excuse: Niels lost his virginity at a young age to a much older black woman whom he saw as a mother figure. As a result he grew up to have a particular taste for black people, as well as considering sex to be the ultimate form of familial love, hence why he murdered his pseudo-father figure mentor for not reciprocating his feelings. Humon has stated this could become an issue when Kiddo grows older.
  • Friend to All Children: Caron is the closest thing Wendy has had to a maternal figure and babysits her when Thomas needs help. She also wants to get Peter's daughter, Lidy, out of his cult
  • Gayngst: Duncan was severely depressed in his teens because of his homophobic environment, and clung to Natalie as a desperate attempt to make himself purely straight. Luckily for Niels it didn't work, and Duncan's now much more at ease with himself.
  • Gayngster: Niels, Duncan slightly less openly. Though technically both are bisexual, not gay.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Duncan's reasoning for bringing over his bisexual friend Billie to try and "turn" Natalie gay. Though Billie makes it clear to him that it doesn't work that way.
  • Glass Eye: Niels wears one of these most of the time after 300 takes out his left eye. Once he had a transparent glass eye.
  • Groin Attack: See example for Bratty Teenage Daughter.
  • Happily Married: Natalie and Duncan. Legally, anyway.
  • Hero Antagonist: The reason Caron doesn't appear in the comics much at all is because she is too professional in her job protecting the law to play around with Niels and the other bad guys, and would simply shoot them on the spot.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Agent 300 has two, one where he realizes that yes, he is crushing on Niels, and no, it is not a case of Stupid Sexy Flanders or Even the Guys Want Him (after Thomas rattles off a list of men who don't want him), and the other where he's fired for fraternizing with Niels. (Obviously, he gets rehired.)
    • Thomas had one when he realized that he let chasing Niels take over his life, causing him to nearly miss his daughter's birth and actually missing his wife's last breath, leading him to quit the Niels case.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Though more of partner, 250 acts this way for 300 when dealing with Niels.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Type 3 for 300. 300 sees himself as heterosexual in general, but he starts developing uncomfortably erotic feelings for Niels, and eventually enters into into a romantic relationship with 250.
  • Informed Ability: Humon states that 300 is actually very competent at his job, but gets distracted by Niels. His relationship with 250 actually helps because 250 doesn't get distracted, and 300 has an interest in keeping 250 safe. A violent interest.
  • Kick the Dog: Niels shooting Agent 250 for getting too close to 300.
    • Before 250 was revealed to be alive, some fans treated this as crossing the Moral Event Horizon.
    • Not to mention Niels referring to 300 as being "dumb as a doorknob" and "good for nothing other than a game of cat and mouse." They're relatively light insults against a character that, until the introduction of 250, had largely been painted that way, but for someone as adamantly polite as Niels, it comes off as very harsh.
  • Klingon Promotion: How Niels took over the crime syndicate.
  • Knife Nut: Elliot shows signs of being one in the future.
  • Ladykiller in Love: 300 for 250.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Poor Peter. Only not, because, well, you know.
  • Laughably Evil: When Peter shows up, it's usually funny.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: It happened to Niels with Mercia's son.
  • Malcolm Xerox: Duncan's cousin. He later disowned Duncan for being with Niels, and for Niels coming to his 'African Pride' party as a European Colonist then verbally tangling with Agent 300.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Peter; for example, here (NSFW).
  • Mama Bear: Natalie.
  • Man in a Kilt: Whenever 300's not in a suit, he's in a kilt.
  • Manly Gay: 250, even when he's genderbent into a woman.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Peter is tormented by a demon that only he can see. Whether or not he is real or just a hallucination is up for the reader to decide.
    • It's been shown that other members of Peter's cult seem to see him too, and some even claim to have slept with him. Though Humon states that with all the images of him they have combined with their mental state, it is still far from conclusive.
    • And it seems Jacob is definitely real, it's just a matter of whether he's real in the universe of Niels or not that's in question.
  • Meaningful Name: Niels Gyldensted, or "golden place," versus Thomas Yellowfield.
  • Mistaken Nationality: Like the character he's based on, Agent 300 is often mistaken for English due to his overall politeness and manner of speaking. In reality, he's Scottish. And very good at log-throwing, thankyouverymuch.
  • Name's the Same: Magnus, who as an FtM Transgender initially chose to use the male name 'Niels'.
  • No Social Skills: Agent 300. He's really quite tactless and inept in any situation where he's required to be himself - he's fine in situations when there's a certain "script" to follow (for example, his run-ins with Niels have a standard pattern; likewise, seducing a woman requires the same general conversation every time).
  • Oblivious to Love: "Agent 300: Oblivious to other men hitting on him since forever."
  • Oedipus Complex: Part of the reason Niels was attracted to Johnny was because of his Parental Abandonment issues, he was looking for mother and father figures. When Johnny didn't reciprocate, Niels burned him alive.
    • He also lost his virginity to a black woman he looked up to as a mother.
    • And parental issues are a reason he hooked up with Duncan and Natalie.
    • There's a possibility that this might happen between Elliot and Niels, depending on circumstances when Elliot turns eighteen.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Elliot is mostly called 'Kiddo'.
  • Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: What happens when Niels and Ed reunite in prison: Ed apologizes, saying that Niels was soft and his girlfriend had left him.
  • Overlord Jr.: What Elliot is shaping up to be. Humon says that how much of this Elliot becomes depends on how much influence Niels has over him growing up.
  • Overt Operative: 300, and 250 to a lesser degree.
  • Pals with Jesus: Agent 250 has quite a direct connection with God.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Cemented a huge part of Niels's adolescence. His parents were never there for him, and were more concerned about their image than anything, brushing off concerns about Niels not being 'right in the head'. Oddly, it would appear their relationship warmed up, as they're shown to be on good terms now and even invite Niels and Natalie over and recently have come to visit. However, the author has said they still block out his weirder actions (ie. being bisexual and a horrible murder/crime boss).
    • Duncan never knew his father, and his mother died from drugs when he was six.
  • Polyamory: Niels, Duncan, and Natalie's relationship.
  • Parental Incest: What Peter plans to do with his daughter in order to conceive a messiah for his cult. (And it's hinted that he might have already done this with other illegitimate daughters of his.)
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: "Your dad [...] gave me a fantastic blowjob." Cue the face faults. note 
  • Plot Threads: The most recent comics have been focused on Agent 250 and Agent 300, and their possible love life.
  • Primal Scene: Kiddo walks in on his parents and Niels together and is presumably scarred for life. (If the name of the strip is to be believed)
  • Rated M for Manly: Agent 250. According to Humon, if he were a woman, he would be "a huge fucking massive dyke" and would still be the manliest character in the comic.
  • Relationship Upgrade: "I sleep in the nude." The comic in which it occurs is even titled "Finally."
  • Running Gag:
    • Agent 300 will never let Agent 250 forget that his daughter almost bit off his man parts. Surprisingly, Agent 250 doesn't seem to mind hearing about his daughter's... conquests.
    • Also, Niels and 300 stealing each other's clothes.
  • Scenery Dissonance: Type 1. Humon pretty much stated that she loves this trope. One scene has Niels quietly enjoying a beautiful sunset... while two cops slowly drown under the dock he sits on.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Agent 300 and Agent 250, Niels and Duncan, respectively.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: 300.
  • Sinister Minister: In the 19th Century re-imagining, Peter is a Swedish priest who "is grossly abusing his position and people’s faith in him". He is rumoured to have fled to the Danish West Indies (where the story takes place) after his bad reputation chased him out of both Sweden and Denmark.
  • Smug Smiler: Niels is almost never seen without his sideways smile.
  • The Sociopath: Niels is the Affably Evil variety, Peter is the Faux Affably Evil variety.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The moment Agent 250 was introduced, he and 300 began getting much more attention than Niels and the others, mostly because if 250 was in the same room as the others he'd shoot them dead. Humon seems to enjoy making multiple pages of their budding relationship.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • Niels likes following and bugging Thomas, even after he quit the case. It's to the point where Thomas was concerned when Niels didn't follow him for a couple weeks.
    • Also, Peter for Niels.
  • Straight Gay: Agent 250, who is the only homosexual man in the comic, who is also a badass gun toting fighter in his 40s who has a number of scars on his face.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist:
    • Thomas, before his wife's death caused him to quit the case. Caron is the Replacement Goldfish of this, and tried to bring Thomas back to this.
    • Agent 300 and Agent 250 as well.
  • Token Good Teammate: Natalie for Niels and Duncan.
  • Token Minority: Inverted. Of the three main characters, the white Niels is the odd man out. Likewise with the crime syndicate, the only other white person with a high ranking position is Harold.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Milk for Niels.
  • Transgender: Niels' child with Mercia, who introduced himself as 'Niels', is FAAB (female assigned at birth) but identifies as male.
  • Transvestite: Mistaken For Transvestite, technically, Niels thinks Thomas is one, since he kept all of Anni's makeup and clothes.
  • Triang Relations: Of the Type 8 variety.
  • The Unsmile: Thomas is out of practice.
  • Villainous Incest Peter. Poor Lidy.
  • Villain Protagonist: Niels and Duncan, how involved Natalie is in the criminal workings of Niels and Duncan's crew is unclear, but at the very least she is aware and complacent of their actions.
  • Villainy Discretion Shot: Almost always averted by Niels. In fact, most of the original pictures of him were eerie graphic drawings of him torturing or murdering innocent people. Though this is pretty much played straight with Peter, as the kind of evil he commits is just a little too graphic and sickening for both Humon and Deviantart to handle.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Agent 300 is a Violently Protective Boyfriend.
  • Visual Pun: When 300 makes a "puppy dog face," Humon draws him as a Scottish Terrier.
  • Wham Episode:
    • This strip. After 250 and 300 have basically taken over the script, it suddenly ends with Niels violently taking both the story and 300 back. That is, until 300 takes it back for him and 250 with unexpected offscreen badassery.
    • And now this one: [1] a strange, black boy claims Niels is his father.
  • What Could Have Been: Humon shows just what Niels, Natalie, and Duncan's life would have been like if none of them had met. It's depressing to say the least, although the rest of the world would probably be better off.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Deconstructed here.


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