Nemo: The Roses of Berlin is an original graphic novel and the second installment of the Nemo trilogy, a spin-off series from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. It is the sequel to Nemo: Heart of Ice. It is set in 1941, in Adenoid Hynkel's Tomania during World War II. Janni Nemo, now into her fifties, visits the Berlin Metropolis and encounters the remaining vestiges of the Twilight Heroes.
Official Synopsis[edit | edit source]
- From The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen! Sixteen years ago, notorious science-brigand Janni Nemo journeyed into the frozen reaches of Antarctica to resolve her father’s weighty legacy in a storm of madness and loss, barely escaping with her Nautilus and her life. Now it is 1941, and with her daughter strategically married into the family of aerial warlord Jean Robur , Janni’s raiders have only limited contact with the military might of the clownish German-Tomanian dictator Adenoid Hynkel. But when the pirate queen learns that her loved ones are held hostage in the nightmarish Berlin, she has no choice save to intervene directly, traveling with her aging lover Broad Arrow Jack into the belly of the beastly metropolis. Within that alienated city await monsters, criminals, and legends, including the remaining vestiges of Germany’s notorious ‘Twilight Heroes ’, a dark Teutonic counterpart to Mina Murray ’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. And waiting at the far end of this gauntlet of alarming adversaries there is something much, much worse.
Release[edit | edit source]
The Roses of Berlin was released for digital download on February 26, 2014. The hardcover graphic novel was released in March 2014. Like Nemo: Heart of Ice and each issue of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume III: Century, the comic is 80 pages long, including the supplementary material The Johnson Report.
Characters[edit | edit source]
- Janni Dakkar
- Broad Arrow Jack
- Adenoid Hynkel
- Dr. Mabuse
- Dr. Caligari
- Armand Robur
- Hira Dakkar
Plot[edit | edit source]
In 1941, the German-Tomanian dictator Adenoid Hynkel seeks to strengthen his military campaign by gaining allies in Africa. Meanwhile, Janni Dakkar, Broad Arrow Jack and the crew of the Nautilus are fighting against Germany due to the German occupation of France - an occupation that Janni and Jack oppose, due to the marriage of their daughter Hira to the French air-pirate Armand Robur.
The Nautilus intercepts a German transmission, informing them that Robur's flying machine The Terror has been shot down and Robur and Hira have been captured and imprisoned in the Berlin Metropolis. Janni and Jack set off in the Nautiloid - a miniature submarine/bathysphere, down the river Elbe and into the reservoir of the Berlin Metropolis.
Upon stepping out of the Nautiloid, they are immediately ambushed by Die Zwielichthelden - namely Doctors Caligari and Mabuse, the man-machine Maria and a squadron of Sleep-Commandos; mesmerised German soldiers who are controlled by Caligari. Jack shoots out the spotlight behind the 'Twilight Heroes' and he and Janni flee. However, the darkness does not affect these sleep-troopers - their eyes are closed yet they are still aware of Jack and Janni's location. Jack unleashes an explosive round (an invention of the late Augustus Van Dusen) on the soldiers, and they are able to escape into the Metropolis.
Making their way toward the Gestapo headquarters, they pass a television screen showing a newsreel of The Terror being shot down. The report however only mentions the capture of Robur, and does not mention Hira. Jack wonders who is running the Metropolis following the death of its creator, the delusional Carl Rotwang.
They are ambushed again, this time by a squadron of Sleep-Commandos led by Maria. Jack does not like killing women, so Janni fires an explosive round at them, destroying the commandos. Maria's artificial skin is burned away, revealing the metal body underneath. Janni and Jack jump onto the roof of a passing train and escape.
Arriving at the Gestapo headquarters, they enter a state brothel and encounter Dr Werner Mabuse. Mabuse reveals that the transmission intercepted by the Nautilus was propaganda, created by Maria and designed to lure Janni to Berlin where they would be destroyed by Die Zwielichthelden. In reality, only Robur has been captured - Hira is believed to have been killed when The Terror went down. However, killing Janni and Jack does not suit Mabuse's plans. Since Rotwang's death, Berlin has been governed by his robot Maria, with the aid of Caligari and the sleep-commandos. They are favourites of Herr Hynkel and Mabuse wants to see them dead, or at least disgraced.
Leading Janni and Jack down through the city's catacombs, Mabuse reveals the true reason for their persecution. Whilst seeking allies in Africa, Hynkel had to receive the support of a local monarch, namely Queen Ayesha of Kor - the immortal and fiercely angry being who Janni stole treasure from back in 1925. Ayesha wants revenge on Janni, and Herr Hynkel entrusted his Zwielichthelden to lure her to Berlin and destroy her, in exchange for a military alliance.
Die Zwielichthelden are waiting within the Gestapo headquarters, guarding an interrogation room in which Armand Robur is being held. Herr Hynkel reassures Ayesha that the headquarters is impenetrable, however Mabuse takes Janni and Jack around behind the building, to the back wall of Armand's cell.
Janni and Jack blast through the wall of Armand's cell, finding him gravely wounded. In order to allow Janni and Armand to escape, Jack stays to cover the door as Die Zweilichthelden break through. Breaking their ranks, he ruthlessly cuts down the guards with his harpoon pistols. In a fit of angry vengeance for the apparent death of his daughter, he throws down his weapons and begins to strangle Ayesha. Maria appears behind him and punches through the back of his head, killing him instantly.
Fleeing to the roof with the wounded Armand, Janni realises that she only has one round left in her harpoon pistol. At this moment, The Terror appears piloted by Hira, bringing a barrage of destruction to Berlin's skies. After The Terror was shot down, it lay on the sea bed for two days. It is revealed that whilst primarily a flying machine, The Terror is also a land craft and a submarine. With her knowledge of submarines, Hira was able to repair it.
Dr. Caligari instructs his sleep-commandos to open fire. Taking careful aim, Janni fires off her last harpoon, hitting Dr Caligari through the back of the head, killing him and releasing the sleep-commandos from his control. Shooting blindly, they cut each other and Maria to pieces with machine gun fire, leaving only Ayesha alive.
Janni instructs Armand to use his radio to hail The Terror. Drawing her sword, she prepares to face her old foe Ayesha. In an epic duel, Janni is stabbed through the shoulder. With a fierce retaliation, Janni disarms Ayesha. Admitting defeat, Ayesha offers to share the location of Kor's Pool Of Fire And Life, which will grant her immortality. Janni retorts that without Jack, immortality is worthless to her. Ayesha's last words are "Who's Jack?" Before she is beheaded by Janni.
Hira arrives in The Terror, and Robur's forces carefully carry him aboard. Hearing of her father's death, Hira demands revenge. Janni, however, is protective of Hira after believing her to be dead. Seeing similarities between their relationship and her own troubled relationship with her father Captain Nemo, she decides that there shall be no more piracy. Hira is furious that her father's death cannot be avenged, and Janni allows her daughter to command a devastating aerial raid on The Berlin Metropolis, reducing it to rubble.