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Cuanta Vida (abbreviated CV) is a popular Team Fortress 2 fancomic by Kerry Lynn Thompson, also known as Kytri or Heironymus. It started on October 12th, 2008 and ended on December 9th, 2011 with 159 pages.
The story is centered on a BLU Spy (commonly referred to as Bleu) who has just arrived at 2Fort, though he's never been in a war setting before. Finding the similarities between the BLU and RED corporations suspicious, Bleu begins to investigate, and stumbles upon several hidden places, relationships, and, most importantly, a plan to escape the meaningless fighting...
The comic is well-praised for its storytelling, weaving Bleu's narrations into the main events, and especially well-loved for its characters, who are all far more unique than the TF2 classes they represent. It's also loved for its tame but relatively abundant Ho Yay.
Meet the Team like never before. (Link leads to first page.)
WARNING: It's safe to assume that just about any link on this page contains spoilers. Click at your own risk.
This series contains examples of:
- Air Vent Passageway: Seen here.
- All There in the Manual: One page's update notes establish that the comic takes place around twenty years after the game. This is the information you need to understand why The Un-Reveal below is, well, an unreveal.
- All There in the Script: Names of some of the characters. But some of those names were originally revealed here.
- Anyone Can Die: This trope is automatically in play because of the setting, but it doesn't really sink in for the reader until Red dies.
- Apologetic Attacker: RED Medic
- Art Evolution
- Artificial Limbs: BLU Engineer pledges to build one of these after his hand gets chopped off in comic 91. The RED Engineer helps.
- Artistic License Medicine: Of the "We Have To Get The Bullet Out" flavor. Pyro removes a bullet from Scout's arm, though this may be justified as Pyro is (probably) not a doctor.
- Ax Crazy: RED Pyro, Rojo
- And now BLU Soldier may be added to the list.
- Balls of Steel: "Bad move, child."
- Barehanded Blade Block: Bleu when Rojo tries to backstab him. Slightly backfired as he didn't so much catch the knife that it went through his hand instead.
- Bilingual Bonus: Bleu. Bleu means blue. But also means green or rookie. He is a rookie in the BLU team.
- Boomerang Bigot: The BLU Scout spends most of the comic hurling gay slurs at the BLU Spy. He has a crush on the BLU Spy. Justified, however, as virulent homophobia is a phase some people have to pass through before facing up to the fact that they are in fact gay.
- Break the Haughty: Rojo, first after being severely burned by the BLU Pyro and again when he fails to heal himself with the RED Medic's medigun, realizing he's going to be heavily scarred.
- Cassandra Truth: "Well, it could be anyone, right? I could 'ave killed 'im." Luckily for Bleu, BLU Heavy thinks he's joking about accidentally killing BLU Medic.
- Chaste Hero: Bleu.
- Cluster F-Bomb: BLU Scout.
- Closet Shuffle: "I seem to be spending a lot more time in closets since I got 'ere."
- Cold Sniper: No Sniper perfectly fits this trope, but the first RED Sniper seems to most closely match.
- Compressed Hair: How can Bleu fit his hair in his balaclava? Maybe he's trading tips with the new RED Sniper, who manages to keep his Elvis hair under his hat.
- Conflict Ball: The BLU soldier has decided that Bleu is going to die like a man today. Even the RED Soldier has a look on his face saying "Why is he making him go to his death?"
- Justified, sort of: The BLU soldier is, if possible, even more deranged than his in-game persona; he was seen talking to his entrenching tool at one point.
- Crash Into Hello: Bleu and BLU Scout.
- Cue the Sun: The very last panel.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Bleu, of all people. When Rojo is on the ropes, he tries to push Bleu's buttons, namely, his fear of killing, to get him to turn on Scout and help him instead. Despite Rojo being exactly right about how much Bleu's recent kills bother him and how much he doesn't want to add another, Bleu doesn't take the bait and shoots him. He's willingly sacrificing his innocence, and for awhile, his sanity, because he knows the other choice will lead to even worse things.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: Red's death comes off as this (seriously, what a senseless waste of human life--which may have been the point, but still).
- Distressed Dude: Bleu, frequently.
- Driven to Suicide: BLU Sniper, though he needed help. Or at least that's that the BLU Medic claimed, but considering he attempted to pull the same thing on the BLU Scout without the kid's permission, this should be taken with a grain of salt.
- Dr. Jerk: The BLU Medic.
- Eyes Never Lie: You can always tell when someone is being impersonated by Rojo by looking at their eyes.
- Eye Scream: Rojo removes BLU Sniper's eyes.
- Face Palm: Sniper on panel 7 of this page, and Bleu on panel 5 of this one.
- Family-Unfriendly Violence
- Fan Service: Bleu and Scout spend a few pages walking around in their underwear after being hospitalized after one of Rojo's attacks.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: A number of times, most recently by the new RED Sniper
- Fate Worse Than Death: BLU Sniper's view on being blinded by Rojo; he is now totally useless at his job.
- Five-Man Band
- Funetik Aksent: Anyone who has a noticeable accent.
- Gay Moment: "So start 'splainin', I can sit here all night." "You don't think this is a bit awkward?"
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Engineer to Bleu on page 122.
- Go Out with a Smile: In the last panel where the reader can see Red's face, he is smiling.
- Gorn: So much of the comic is showing us just what Bleu can live through.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: The comic's title is in Spanish, as is the word Rojo, meaning "red", and Spies and Medics will occasionally speak basic phrases in their native languages.
- Green Eyes: Rojo's most striking physical trait.
- Groin Attack: Scout used Groin Attack! It's not very effective...
- Handsome Devil: Rojo. Mmmmm, Rojo.
- Heroic BSOD: Bleu when he realized that he killed BLU Medic and RED Pyro.
- Hey, You: The BLU Scout refuses to address the BLU Spy by anything but gay slurs. Even after he confesses his feelings towards the Spy. However, around page 136, when a certain sort of understanding has developed between them, he gives this up and calls him "Spy".
- Hoist by His Own Petard: BLU Medic - He ended up receiving his own lethal injection, the one he intended for BLU Scout.
- Ho Yay: Bleu and both Scouts (though there's far more with BLU Scout) which eventually crosses into text at the end.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: More like "I just stabbed BLU Medic in the neck with a lethal injection."
- Irony: Page 97 reveals that for all that Bleu feared the RED Pyro's fire, the Pyro despised him because he thought Bleu wasn't being affected by his flames at all.
- If It's You It's Okay: Word of God says that BLU Scout is this for Bleu.
- It Got Worse
- Keet: Both Scouts, but RED Scout especially.
- Limited Wardrobe: Justified, since the characters wear uniforms, complete with the classic Lampshade Hanging of opening the closet to reveal a row of identical clothes in page 111.. But sometimes the characters are seen in incomplete uniforms.
- Luminescent Blush: Scout here, and Bleu here.
- Manly Tears: BLU Sniper when Red dies.
- Man On Fire: Seems to be a prerequisite for being a Spy.
- Meaningful Name: Arguably, this could apply to TF2 classes as a whole, considering their jobs, but really, the Spies' suits aren't the only indicators of their teams. See Fan Nickname.
- Missing Mom: Bleu's mother died when he was four.
- Mistaken for Gay: In a way, when Scout misinterprets a conversation Bleu and Sniper have about the latter's relationship with Red.
- Mood Whiplash: Page 104, from "I killed 'im" to "YAAAAY!"
- Nightmare Fetishist: RED Pyro does enjoy admiring the results of his own work.
- No Sense of Personal Space: BLU Pyro gets a bit touchy-feely with Bleu and Demo.
- Oblivious to Love: Bleu. See here.
- Oh Crap:
- Only a Flesh Wound: BLU Engineer's reaction to the loss of his hand is "I'll build a new one."
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The Pyros seem to be the shortest of the lot, but both carry one of the most frightening and damaging weapons on the field.
- Pyromaniac: The Pyros. But RED Pyro fits this trope more than its BLU counterpart.
RED Pyro: So he's as flammable as anyone! I need some lighter fluid!
- Psychopathic Manchild: Rojo is looking like this more and more...
- Reluctant Warrior: Bleu makes an effort to only disarm or incapacitate his opponents rather than kill them while on the job. And that's only when he's desperate.
- Reused Character Design: Some of the characters of Cuanta Vida will have a small part in Kytri's next comic, This Is the Worst Idea You've Ever Had!, and it's prequel, Sin Pararse.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Peep-peep! To the point he has his own thread on the forum.
- Rule of Cool: When asked why the comic was called Cuanta Vida, the artist said that it sounded cool.
- Sacrificial Lion: Red, and the BLU Sniper.
- Scars Are Forever: Bleu has a rather large burn scar on his back from his first run in with the RED Pyro.
- And Rojo now has a matching set, courtesy of the BLU Pyro.
- Time Marches On: Several updated weapons can be seen as the comic goes onward, such as the Ambassador.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: BLU Medic has these almost all the time, especially on this page.
- Shipper on Deck: BLU Heavy, towards BLU Scout and Bleu.
- And as of the second to last page the Red Scout apparently becomes one for them, too. Yeah, he interrupts their first real kiss to tell them they need to get moving, but adds that they "can makes out on the bus", and is smiling quite happily while he says it.
- Shoot the Dog: The first person Bleu kills on purpose is the RED Pyro, in order to save the BLU Pyro. The second person he kills is Rojo. Both times, he was rather shaken up that he just killed someone.
- Shout-Out: Several, throughout the comic, to some rather unexpected things. For instance:
- pages 152 and 153 both contain subtle references to War Games. (See the title of the comic and the handwritten list of passwords respectively.)
- the title of this one is a reference to a Homestuck meme. (Read the comments on this one to see reactions from people posting in character as a number of the trolls, and at least two of the kids.)
- Situational Sexuality: In the words of the author:
"I think of most of the characters as being straight, you just wouldn't notice since there's no women around for them to be straight with."
- Sir Swearsalot: BLU Scout swears more than every other character combined!
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Red and Sniper — they're of opposite teams, after all.
- Super Window Jump: Drrn.
- Technical Pacifist: Bleu.
- They Do: Bleu and BLU Scout.
- Together in Death: Red and Sniper, according to Word of God.
- Tsundere: BLU Scout is type A for BLU spy.
- The Big Damn Kiss: On the penultimate page.
- Doubles as a "Shut Up" Kiss.
- The Unintelligible: The Pyros, naturally.
- Unreliable Narrator: "I may 'ave left a few things out."
- The Un-Reveal: They never do learn any more about why the war is going on than the hints from the old RED Medic's logs and the old BLU Sniper's crazy notes. More blatantly, Bleu fails to access the computer in the abandoned building and thus never learns what it has to do with anything beyond "it has something to do with the trains and probably runs them automatically."
- Unseen Audience: Rojo, until page 94.
- Unsound Effect: Frequently. One of the earliest and funniest may be *ignore*.
- Verbal Tic: In the beginning of the comic, BLU Scout couldn't go a single panel without shouting a homophobic slur. To the point where the artist herself jokingly thought he might have Tourette's.
- Villainous Breakdown: Rojo doesn't exactly take the injuries BLU Pyro gave him very well.
- Visible Invisibility: The "shown as an outline" variety is how Spy cloaking watches are rendered.
- Waistcoat of Style: Bleu and Rojo have done this a couple of times.
- Wham! Episode: Here. Both deaths count as well. After all, Red's brought about great change in the form of Rojo, but Sniper's was a straight up It Got Worse.
- What Could Have Been: Cuanta Vida could have started very differently.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: BLU Heavy is disgusted by the thought that RED Heavy doesn't protect RED Medic.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Both Soldiers.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: What is the second red spy's accent supposed to be?!
- Word of God says it's Basque.
- Why Did It Have To Be Fire: Bleu tells early on of a childhood fear of fire.
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises:
- Bleu, after having the tar beaten out of him by Rojo on page 94. Later, when the RED Pyro scares the living daylight out of him on page 97.
- Even Rojo, when BLU Pyro lights him on fire.
- Bleu again, after he shoots Rojo.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Rojo seems to be under the impression that he is the hero of the story.
- You Always Hear the Bullet: There's usually a sound effect whenever a gun is fired. However, when Red shoves Sniper out of the way of a bullet, the reader doesn't realize anything's wrong until...
Sniper: Red! You're bleeding!
- ...Or should we say "paid back in fuel"?