Star of the Grandville series of graphic novels by Bryan Talbot.
As a young boy living in England, Archibald "Archie" LeBrock grew up under the rule of the French Empire. Doing his part to gain English independence, Archie participated in the revolution by painting anti-French graffiti.
When he turned fourteen years of age, Archie enrolled in the police academy, using his large, mature appearance to fake his age and gain acceptance. He began his police career as a beat cop under the guidance of sergeant Alf Trotter, who quickly realized young Archie's aptitude for police work.
One day, Archie approached Detective Inspector Stamford Hawksmoor, who was so impressed by the young badger that he took him on as an apprentice. Their first case together was solved largely in part by Archie's ability to learn quickly, and solved a murder case together that had baffled everyone else in the department.
It was this case that gained the attention of the department brigadier, who posed a biased challenge to the working class Archie. After completing the challenge that was clearly stacked against him anyway, Archie was promoted to Detective Inspector.
Major Story Arcs
When Archie's detective career was already underway, he one day found himself investigating the death of diplomat Raymond Leigh-Otter. Upon discovering evidence to believe foul play is involved, LeBrock and his adjunct, Detective Roderick Ratzi, follow their lead to Paris, otherwise known as Grandville.
Following the trail that Leigh-Otter has left them, Archie's investigation led him to a local gentlemen's club called Shepherdess's Follies. It was there that he met Sarah Blairow. A key witness to the case he was on. Knowing that he needed to protect Sarah from any attempts on her life, he advised her to go into hiding, which she did almost immediately.
Keeping on Leigh-Otter's trail as a diplomat, Archie's next stop was to visit the British embassy to have a talk with the ambassador there. Between his visit to the ambassador and Roderick's visit to the newspaper archives, the two of them learn about a series of convenient coincidences involving the French government and a series of supposed anarchist attacks by the British, as well as a group called the Knights of Lyons.
Roderick followed his lead about a scientist who was found dead under mysterious circumstances, which he found out about during his time at the newspaper archives. He and Archie both investigated the scientist's former workshop, finding it to be ransacked and cleared of important files, blueprints and photographs. But, one key piece of evidence puts them back on track to discover another lead: the scientist's former partner, Snowy Milou.
After a night spent with Sarah, Archie follows his lead to discover the whereabouts of Milou, only to come up short. Meanwhile, Roderick discovers who he may thinks may well be the Knights of Lyons, and shares this information with Archie.
Still after Milou, Archie gets a tip from one Grandville's most notorious drug lords about where Milou was last seen. Following the tip, he goes to a known drug den and learns that the deaths in the newspapers were no coincidence.
That night, Archie and Roderick corner one of the Knights of Lyons and get a full confession from him about the attacks. The attacks had been carried out by the French government and staged to look like they were done by British anarchists, and that another such attack is planned to be executed the very next night. Knowing that they will get no help from the police or the government if the Knight is brought to justice, Archie and Roderick kill the man in his own home and prepare to thwart the attack.
Upon arrival in their hotel room, Archie receives a call from a distressed Sarah. Suspecting a trap, the two British detectives carefully plan a rescue, but it all goes seriously awry. The ambushing assassins are killed, Roderick is rendered incapacitated and hospitalized and Sarah is killed. Now on his own, Archie plans to save both countries from war on his own.
His plan takes him to the French executive mansion, where Archie uses his knowledge of anarchist tactics to defeat his many opponents and finish off the Knights of Lyons in one fell swoop, as well as the mastermind behind every one of the attacks.
In the aftermath, France and Britain are both safe for the moment, Archie visits Roderick in the hospital and reflects both on what went right and what went wrong.
Weeks pass since the incident in Paris. Archie has taken an extended leave of absence from Scotland Yard, grieving for the loss of Sarah. He was visited by his adjunct, Roderick, who gradually pulled Archie from his state of gloom with nothing more than a game of chess and a full English breakfast. After the game and food, Roderick states what he truly came for: to tell Archie that an old enemy of his had escaped from prison.
Furious, Archie stormed into his brigadier's office and demanded to be put in charge of the case to recapture Edouard "Mad Dog" Mastock. After a heated argument, Archie resigns from the police force in order to better conduct the investigation on his own terms.
His first call was to investigate Mastock's cell. With the help of the warden (who was unaware of Archie's resignment), he discovered what he believed to be a lead. A lead which led him and Roderick back into Grandville.
Their arrival in Paris was met with the immediate news of a string of murders, all involving prostitutes who all worked in the same brothel. At the brothel, Archie was met with a shocking surprise. A lady badger who looked exactly like his beloved Sarah. Overcome with surprise, Archie approached her, only to find that she was not Sarah, but a lifelong prostitute named Billie. From Billie, the two detectives learned that the three dead prostitutes and two others were all patrons to a single customer.
Taking the lead, Archie and Roderick investigated the homes of one of the girls, only to find her dying on her floor. Knowing Mastock was nearby, they cornered the killer, who quickly escaped and left Archie to take the fall for the kill.
Archie was taken to the Grandville police department, where he was quickly cleared of all charges and introduced to Chief Inspector Jules Rocher. Trading information with Rocher, Archie was able to deduce who was assisting Mastock and where to find them.
After delivering justice to the accessory to murder, Archie took his business back to Billie, who took a liking to him as quickly as he did to Sarah. The two had a night of passion together, while both could only think on their respective tragedies.
The next day, Roderick shared with Archie the major discoveries he had encountered, including a literal key piece of evidence that led to something that could have taken down both the British and French governments.
The investigation of the evidence was postponed, as Mastock revealed that he had seen Archie and Billie together, and abducted Billie to lure Archie to a trap. Meeting Mastock on his terms, the two battled fiercely, before the battle ended with Billie viciously murdering Mastock in cold blood. Archie and Billie spent one more night together, before the two badgers parted ways.
Following the lead that Roderick's evidence offered, Archie tracked down the mastermind of Mastock's escape and discovered the truth of a secret kept between the highest ranks of French and British governments.
After all was said and done, Archie was reinstated to work for Scotland Yard for his services. But, not before taking a day to visit Sarah's grave in Grandville.
Weeks passed, and Archie was visited by Chief Inspector Jules Rocher at Scotland Yard. A renowned artist was found dead, obviously murdered, but nobody at the Grandville station could deduce how or why. Knowing of Archie's aptitude for unusually baffling cases, he enlisted Detective Inspector LeBrock to help. An offer that Archie readily accepted, and another trip to Grandville was in order.
Taking along Roderick Ratzi for the case, the two found themselves without a clue, a lead or a hope of solving the murder easily. Going hunting for any leads, Roderick went to the known local artist hangouts, while Archie went to the artist's place of employment.
At the artist's academy where the murdered artist worked, Archie discovered that he was nearly universally hated for his work as a commercial artist by others in the art community. On a more pleasant surprise, he discovered Billie modeling there.
Meeting Billie after her job was finished, the two of them took a brief walk through the streets, where Archie observed several odd things that were going on with the art that was on display. The two made plans to meet at an art gallery that evening, and went their separate ways later that night.
Archie regrouped with Roderick, both of whom came up with next to nothing for their efforts. A sudden surge of inspiration from the metro system, and Archie realized how the artists were murdered. Upon discovering the murder weapon, they deduce who may have the means to kill in such a way.
As it happened, the suspect in the crime was going to the same gallery show as the one that Archie and Billie were attending. During their date, Archie takes the time to visit with the suspect and discovers the identity of the assassin who was killing off the artists of Grandville.
The next day, the reasons for all of the seemingly disconnected incidents became clear. A coup d'état was ravaging the streets of Grandville, declaring war upon the populace and the government. Roderick and Billie both joined the fight in the streets, assisting the police with the efforts to protect the civilians. Meanwhile, Archie ran for the mastermind's hideout. Taking the fight through the hideout, Archie managed to find a swift end to the coup and defeat the usurper.
The dust settled, and Archie reunited with his allies. Roderick took his leave, allowing Archie a moment with Billie.
Christmastime arrives. And as Archie was coordinating plans over the holidays with his good friend, Roderick, they received a request from Archie's landlady. Her niece had gone missing, and foul play was suspected by her and her sister.
A short investigation was all it took for Archie to deduce that the girl had not been abducted, as previously thought. Instead, she had left of her own free will. A visit to the missing girl's school confirmed what Archie suspected, finding a man who was handing out pamphlets for a new religious sect, which targeted the naïve and uninformed. A sect that was based in Grandville.
His arrival in Grandville was met by his friend, Jules Rocher, who informed Archie further of the situation with the religious sect known as The Silver Path. It was then that Archie learned that The Silver Path may have also been connected to a series of break-ins at local churches. Taking a lead at a local university, Archie learned more of what the connection was with the Silver Path and the break-ins. Supposedly, a secret was kept by the church, revealing the identity of the messiah.
Later, Archie observed the Silver Path's compound from a distance and met with Pinkerton detective Chance Lucas. As it turned out, the leader of The Silver Path was an American cult leader who fled to France to continue his influence there. Lucas was on his tail to extradite him back to the States and face justice.
The night ended with Archie meeting Billie in her apartment. Archie began to notice that Billie was keeping something from him. However, and apprehension felt was ended when Archie invited Billie to spend Christmas with him and is family in Britain.
A plan was hatched the next day to rescue the missing girl from The Silver Path. Billie feigned interest in joining the cult, and met with the other new recruits. Among them, the missing girl from London. Before Billie could take the girl home, she found herself bewitched by the presence of the cult's leader. A creature that she didn't know even existed.
Another plan was needed. Archie once again enlisted the help of Grandville's drug lord to get into the Silver Path compound. It is there that Archie discovered the identity of the leader of the Silver Path.
From there, the deception that had gotten them so far into the compound is compromised. After collecting Billie and the missing girl, the group barely escapes from the compound alive.
The next day, Archie and Lucas infiltrate the rally where the Silver Path leader is to make his bid to run for French Prime Minister. Using his charismatic power, he nearly had sway over the entire country. Until a sabotage by Archie put a swift end to any bid of leadership. The audience turned on the Silver Path and the leader was beaten to death for his deception.
Archie returned to Britain with Billie, who revealed herself to be pregnant with Archie's child. And there, in front of Archie's mother, his twins and Roderick's entire family, Archie proposed marriage, which Billie readily accepted.
Things seemed to be going well for Detective Inspector Archie LeBrock. Ever since he proposed, he had been lookin forward to his wedding with Billie. Weeks before the exciting day, he is informed of a mass murder at a local restaurant.
Investigation of the crime scene indicates a hit by a rival gang, who is at odds with the shady owner of the restaurant. The owner, Stanley Cray, is an old enemy of Archie's, who vows to take care of the gang war his own way without LeBrock interfering.
Unknown to Archie, he had ruffled the feathers of Paris's most feared crime lord, Tiberius Koenig, who is now making plans to destroy Archie utterly and completely.
While on a date with Billie, Archie explained to her how he became a police officer and why he chose to go down that path. Meanwhile, Cray learned important details to the nature of the attack on his establishment.
Back in Paris, Koenig plotted Archie's demise. His informants had been keeping tabs on all of his criminal prospects, including the brothel where Billie used to work. Connecting Billie to LeBrock, Koenig made plans to have Billie kidnapped and used against Archie.
Cray's mission for answers led to him kidnapping members of Koenig's gang, who were stationed in London. He learned nothing that he wanted to hear. Only that LeBrock will kill him.
Later, Billie went back to Grandville to end her lease on her home there, as well as collect her belongings. She was met by a group of police who Archie had requested to look after her, as a favor from his friend, Jules Rocher.
That very same night, Cray's home came under attack. From what it seemed, Archie had infiltrated Cray's mansion and murdered him in cold blood, paying him back for when Cray's twin brother murdered Archie's wife.
The next morning, Archie was approached by his fellow officers from Scotland Yard, stating that he was to be arrested for the unlawful murder of Stanley cray. Archie escaped from the police, and was nearly stopped by his own partner, Detective Ratzi, but escaped him as well.
In Grandville, Billie was returning from collecting her things, when she noticed that she was being followed by members she recognized from Koenig's gang. Her police escorts were killed, and Billie went on the run. She nearly managed to elude her pursuers, when she was blindsided by one of Koenig's lieutenants, Mr. Crock.
In London, a hunt was organized for LeBrock. His movements and habits were all documented by his fellow police officers. Even Detective Ratzi, who claimed to be long overdue for a promotion in the force. Once the incident room was vacated, Ratzi was informed of Billie's abduction by Chief Rocher. Eventually, Archie's old mentor, Stamford Hawksmoor, was called to track Archie down.
Archie was tracked to an abandoned shack, where Ratzi, Hawksmoor and a team of other officers were sent to take him in by any means necessary. Archie did not go quietly, insisting on his innocence. When Archie showed that he was willing to kill his fellow officers if need be, Ratzi had no choice but to neutralize him. He took a grenade from his coat and threw it to Archie. Archie's dead body was later identified by his mother.
With half of their problems solved by Archie's death, the other half (Koenig's gang's presence in London) could be taken care of. A raid was planned on the warehouse where Koenig's members were rallying the rest of the London gangs, which went horribly wrong when the gangs preemptively struck back.
In Grandville, Billie endured the brutal tortures of Koenig, who was impressed by the badger's ability to withstand him. Eventually, Koenig discovered Billie's weakness. She was pregnant with Archie's child.
In spite of his triumphant discovery, Koenig found that things were not going as they should have. His leverage over the gangs that had not joined him was suddenly disappearing, his men were being killed, and his armory was emptied.
In a state of rage, Koenig ordered Billie be killed. As Billie regained consciousness, she found that she was alive and not in Koenig's compound. Instead, she was overjoyed to find that Archie was alive, and had rescued her. To the sorrow of both of them, Billie told Archie that their unborn baby had been killed by Koenig.
It was the last straw. Archie made preparations to go and kill Koenig himself. He started with destroying the front of Koenig's club, then made his way to the back, where he killed many of Koenig's enforcers. Soon, Archie was overpowered and taken to visit the tyrant himself. Before Koenig could personally execute him Arche called in his cavalry and had the remnants of Koenig's gang, and Koenig himself, killed.
Archie's name was cleared with those closest to him. Ratzi, Rocher and Hawksmoor all bought the badger's innocence. And after taking him and Billie home to London, Archie explained his plan in full, and how he had discovered the identities of the police officers who were on the take from Koenig.
Once everything was sorted out, Archie and Billie discussed their future wedding. Once it was agreed that they could not have it on the date they had planned, Archie suggested that they have it on the day of British independence from the French. Fireworks and all.