Comics: Once Upon a Trope

Join the Horde


At a job fair, a stand has “Evil Horde” written in blood and below it a commercial-looking “Now Hiring!” At the stand is an evil-looking warlord. Some interested applicants hover nearby.

Applicant: So what are the job duties of an evil horde soldier?

Warlord: We throw ourselves at the enemy until they suffocate under a mountain of our lifeless bodies!

Applicant: Oh. What’s the pay?

Warlord: DEATH

Applicant: Benefits?

Warlord: DEATH

Applicant: Well, the other guy said I’d have to wear a helmet, so sign me up.



  1. Silverware

    Haha, the way Evil’s face keeps reddening after each Death is adorable.

    But this guy’s smart tho. If he wears a helmet in fantasy, he has higher risks of dying as a common faceless goon than Horde’s soldier who literally throws himself at enemy’s swords.

  2. LeeEsq

    Shouldn’t uniforms designed by Hugo Boss be one of the benefits of belonging to an Evil Hoard?

    • Cay Reet

      I also hear that, due to the high rate of henchmen dying, the pension plans are actually very good, so if you survive your time working for them, you’ll have a very comfy retirement.

  3. Paul

    I thought being part of an evil horde required wearing a face concealing helmet, and it was the good guys who showed their faces?

  4. Erynus

    Not to be confused with the Friendly Horde

  5. Tifa

    Could you do a comic about the ‘farm boy Chosen One’ cliche?

    • Chris Winkle

      We have one comic making fun of chosen ones (, but I actually do have something in mind for another. If there’s anything in particular you find ridiculous about that trope that you want to see parodied, let me know and I’ll think on it.

      • Circe

        How about that badass female warrior who shocks all the men when she turns out to be way more skilled than they are?

        • Chris Winkle

          Hmm… I’m not sure I can make fun of that one while pushing back against the sexism of the trope.

          • Cay Reet

            What about going the ‘Zorro’ route with your badass female warrior? Make her look like she’s no warrior at all, playing the ‘dainty lady’ for all it’s worth until the men have fought the big bad and lost – then she picks up the weapons and flattens him.

            I call that the Zorro route, because that is how the original author wrote the character: a guy who finds riding extremely strenuous in his ‘day character’ and efficiently pretends he doesn’t know which end of a sword to hold, but is a master swordsman and excellent rider in reality. Because he seems to be not-a-real-man at all (keep in mind Zorro is set in the area of southern California/northern Mexico, where machismo is high at that time), he’s not suspected of being Zorro.

      • Armenian_Trope

        Re: Existing Chosen One comic, love the ‘not quite good enough’ Chosen One in the bag. Suggests an entire riff on some sort of ‘Poorly Chosen One Group Therapy.’ Or second-hand Chosen Ones who have been shelved and shopped by Heroic Quests on a Budget.

        Sometimes this Trope is accompanied by the possibility of using their potential ‘for good OR evil.’ Would love to see an attempt whereby a Chosen One is approached by both Good and Evil, and Good and Evil get into a heated debate as to where the Chosen One’s potential lies, and the Chosen One goes back to doing her homework (or something funnier).

        Can’t wait to see your next effort!

        • Cay Reet

          That ‘chosen one is approached by good and evil and goes back to her homework’ is pretty close to Adam in “Good Omens” – although that is mostly because they’re arguing over the wrong chosen one and neither good nor evil (their representatives, really) want for the chosen one to do their job.

          • armenian_trope

            Nice observation. It’s time for me to watch that again. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Kenneth Mackay

    The Scarlet Pimpernel is another good example of Cay Reet’s ‘Zorro route’.
    Perhaps there are enough examples to make a trope?

    • Cay Reet

      The ‘Hidden Badass’ trope would be nice – someone who seems to be absolutely not a hero, but really is. And, yes, the Scarlet Pimpernel fits the bill as well.

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