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"It's important to believe in something, don't you think?"
Jonas Faulkner

The Phoenix Requiem is a finished supernatural fantasy webcomic written by Sarah Ellerton, the author and artist of Inverloch.

Seven hundred years prior to the start of the comic, two types of ethereal entities known as the Spirits and the Hellions waged war on each other. We're told that the Spirits, in desperation, imprisoned the Hellions, but in the process had to imprison themselves as well. There have not been spiritual presences or magic in the world since.

The comic starts when a mortally wounded man, Jonas, reaches the small town of Esk. The resident doctor-in-training, Anya saves his life, but soon the townsfolk begin to die of an unknown flesh eating disease. Malevolent ghosts known as Shades begin to crop up, and suddenly, a Spirit appears in the woods. That seems like it would be a good thing, doesn't it? Well, there's more at play.

The Phoenix Requiem provides examples of:

  • Action Survivor: Petria (and the general population of Esk) when the shades start to become a problem.
  • April Fools' Day: Jonas gets into his TARDIS and vanishes.
  • Armies Are Evil: The army wants magic on their side, and apparently a little immorality isn't above them if that means attaining it.
  • Art Evolution: Originally it was in a cel-shaded, animesque style much like Inverloch, but now is more like a Victorian-era painting. The original cel-shaded pages have now all been re-done in the latter style.
  • Awful Truth: The Spirits don't guide souls to the afterlife. They EAT them.
  • Badass Boast: Robyn once killed fifty men in fifteen minutes. He's not usually one to exaggerate
  • Bedlam House: Hyde Asylum.
  • Bittersweet Ending
  • Blessed with Suck: Jonas. His supernatural powers culminate when he's on the brink of complete physical or mental collapse, they're destroying him from the inside out, and it turns out that the Spirits and the army want to use them for their own corrupt purposes, whether he likes it or not.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The reason Ksendra picked Jonas? He was "the prettiest of all men." He's fairly ticked off when she tells him this.
  • Book Ends: The story begins and ends at the same festival.
  • Break the Cutie: Jonas, prior to the events of the comic.
    • Aaaand further, throughout the comic.
  • The Charmer: Jonas, to supernatural levels.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Jonas, but, well...
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Petria jokes that Anya always talks to her patients when they're asleep.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Jonas obviously, because of the insane asylum and his wife. Also Robyn, though not as much is made of it.
  • Dead All Along: The Spirits say this is true of Jonas. What they mean by that exactly or even if it was a lie is debatable.
  • Due to the Dead: The only way to deal with a body is to cremate it. Bodies that aren't cremated before they've significantly decayed risk their souls becoming lost, and staying earthbound as ghosts. The skeptics merely think it's practical since land isn't wasted on graveyards...even though later in the comic it's shown that some people bury the ash in graveyards anyway.
  • The Empath: Jonas is a variety of this. He reportedly makes other people feel 'safe', something he admits to using to his advantage.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: page 595.
  • Energy Beings: The Spirits, and presumably the Hellions as well.
  • Expy: Doctor Pedro Tambur seems to be one of The Medic.
  • Fan Nickname: Flashback Jonas was dubbed 'HoboJo' by the forum members.
  • Gaslight Fantasy
  • Go Mad From the Revelation: Jonas, after he learns what the spirits are really up to, but not to worry. He got better.
  • Good All Along: Ksendra, and the Hellions in general.
  • Head Pet: On Page 701, a chicken appears on Petria's head for no discernable reason, and only for one panel. One can only speculate as to what was on AA's mind when she drew that...
  • Here There Were Dragons: Magic disappeared along with the Spirits. Now that the Spirits have shown signs of returning, people want the magic back. Well, Utopia Justifies the Means...
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ksendra.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: In chapter 24, we find this is true of the Mehdiea.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Part of Petria's backstory.
  • Idle Rich: Jonas has a significant amount of money at his disposal but no actual job.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Robyn to Jonas about Anya.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. Slavik, Anya's little brother.
  • Inspector Javert: Even Armand's name sounds intimidating! He's not above threatening and practically stalking Jonas, despite the fact there is no evidence against him. Armand does think he has evidence, of course. Well, other than that the plague seems to follow him around.
  • I See Dead People: Once again, Jonas, who sees his dead wife. He also tells Robyn that those closest to death see things that others do not, explaining why Robyn can also see ghosts.
  • It Is Not Your Time: Inverted in the beginning. Jonas, who is close to death, envisions himself with his wife urging him to move on. He decides that he's rather not up to dying at the moment.
    • Played straight later. Jonas's time to die is apparently when the Spirits no longer need him.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Anya is particularly dedicated to her career and feels responsible for her patients at all time. With the arrival of Jonas she started to relax somewhat.
  • Love Triangle: One was built up between Robin, Anya and Jonas in the beginning, however, Robin's corner doesn't seem to hold up after the first volume.
  • The Magic Comes Back: Through the spirits.
  • May-December Romance: Anya and Jonas, considering how much older he is than he looks.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: As a Shout-Out to Inverloch, the da'kor return as animals: a wolf/goat hybrid.
  • The Nothing After Death: The spirits claim that there is no individuality or conscious thought in the afterlife, it's just an ocean of pure soulstuff. Reincarnation is still possible, though, and the spirits could be lying.
  • Odd-Shaped Panel
  • Oh Crap: Anya when she finds out that the plague is spread by ingesting the ashes of the dead, after they've already washed some of the ash shades into the river they get their drinking water from.
    • The spirits when Robyn threatens to kill Jonas in strip #653.
    • Anya gave out one when she saw the gigantic shade moving towards them from the horizon.
  • Older Than They Look: Jonas, who appears to be in his mid twenties, is actually something closer to forty or fifty.
  • Our Angels Are Different: If you consider the Spirits to be an angel counterpart. See Psychopomp below.
  • Our Demons Are Different: The Hellions/Mehdiea.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: People who are not cremated before they've decayed become ghosts. There are two varieties: Lost souls, who are invisible to most people and are waiting for a chance to be reincarnated, and shades, who are the angry spirits of people who've suffered traumatic deaths, and are visible to everyone.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: The doctors in the Medical Research Committee certainly have.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall
  • The Plague: Of the flesh-eating variety.
  • Posthumous Character: Ksendra.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Magic is fueled by the remnants of the souls the spirits feast on.
  • The Professor: Moretty.
  • Psychopomp: The Spirits serve to ferry the souls of the dead to the afterlife. Or at least that's what they want you to believe. The Awful Truth? They eat disembodied souls.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Ksendra, at the end.
  • Reincarnation: Souls that haven't moved on may do this, and may be distinguished from other new souls by their premature mental and physical maturity. Jonas theorizes that Anya is the result of reincarnation for this reason.
  • Religion Is Magic: The presence of Spirits allowed people to use magic. However, since they've been trapped for seven hundred years, magic is mostly a forgotten art.
  • The Reveal: The Spirits are the bad guys.
  • Running Gag: Jonas losing his shoes seems to be a theme... Though this is given a dark twist when it was revealed that when he was incarcerated in the asylum, they kept taking his shoes due to the fact that he kept trying to strangle the doctor with the shoe laces. His room at the asylum was full of shoes he stole from the nurses hanging from the ceiling.
  • Seeking Sanctuary: Subverted and played straight at the same time. The people think that they are safe from the shades in the church, but it is heavily implied that they are wrong. On the other hand, they can't enter Hyde Asylum.
  • Shirtless Scene: Robyn has a brief shirtless moment to dispose of some shades, to everyone's (okay, mostly girls) delight.
    • The scene in question starts here for your viewing pleasure.
  • Shout-Out: To Monty Python and The Holy Grail.

 Petria: Don't you go saying nothing about Robyn being a girl's name. He'll challenge you to a duel.

Jonas: Don't be daft, of course it's not a girl's name. Haven't you ever heard of Brave Sir Robyn?

Petria: No.