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We Want Comics: Resident Evil

By | November 23rd, 2021
Posted in Columns | % Comments

With the 25th anniversary of the Resident Evil franchise, we have had various projects pop up, including two video games (Resident Evil Village and Resident Evil 4 VR) and an animated Netflix series (Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness). However, with some exceptions, we have not had much in the way of canonical comic books for the famous B-horror video game franchise, aside from certain manhua and, more prominently, manga. In particular, many elements strewn throughout the franchise, especially in later games, are ripe for closer looks, especially with the release of the 2021 live-action feature film Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City.

Warning: The information below includes major spoilers for various installments of the Resident Evil franchise, particularly Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Resident Evil Village.

The Connections

A photograph of several members of The Connections taken prior to October 2014. E-001, a.k.a. Eveline is the child in the middle, and former operative Mia Winters is on our far right.

The Connections are, when it comes down to it, the primary group behind the events of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, and thus predecessor villains to Resident Evil Village. We know that they created Eveline, the most direct antagonist of that game, but beyond contact with various handlers like Mia Winters and Lucas Baker, there is very little to really go on regarding what has happened with this group.

The most direct information we have on the Connections is found in the Baker Incident Report compiled by Zoe Baker in the time between Biohazard (set in August 2017) and Village (set February 2021). According to that information, the group is “a crime syndicate with no base of operations” that has an unknown organizational structure beyond them acting on a global level and, as with many a Resident Evil villain, focusing particularly around the creation and sale of bioweapons, with the E-Series such as Eveline being one of their products. Further, they seem to have worked together with the group known as “H.C.F.” (that was once led by Dr. Albert Wesker) in the creation of the E-Series, showing some affiliation with the unnamed rival company to Umbrella as far back as 2000. Rather than the larger aims of other antagonists that ranged from global domination to revenge, and attempts at exposing government corruption, the Connections seem to have only one real aim: commercial gain, with further intelligence being gained over time.

The most enticing element of what is known about the Connections, also from that same report, is their supposed founder: Brandon Bailey, right-hand man of CEO and company President Ozwell, Earl Spencer, as well as being a high-clearance Umbrella Corporation researcher in his own right. As noted in Resident Evil 5, Bailey apparently became estranged from his superior and left the corporation, using the connections (no pun intended) he made working as the Director of the Umbrella Africa Research Center (Africa being home to not only the flowers that became the Progenitor virus, but also the plot of Resident Evil 5 itself) to branch away and found the Connections himself. This all would be interesting on its own, but for one particularly odd fact: according to a file put together by Albert Wesker at some point between 1998 and 2006, Brandon Bailey was thought to be dead.

As such, we have a possible angle for a limited series. How did the Connections truly form, and when? What else have they worked on? Is their leader truly Bailey? If it is him, is he still alive, and if he is, how did he escape the searches of Wesker and likely others?

Unlike another villainous group that was shown only briefly and never reached true justice (the Family from Resident Evil 6), the Connections have a direct link between two different games, and are mentioned in the aforementioned Report that comes with Village. If nothing else, such a series could help to provide a bridge for people hoping to connect (again, pardon the pun) between the pre-7 games and any later releases.

The Rise, Rot, and Ruin of the BSAA

A Tyrant-type based BSAA operative in 2021

“BSAA are now a rotten and ruined organization who use soldiers created with new technology.”
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– Tomonori Takano, art director of Resident Evil Village, on the organization in 2021

The Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance, better known by its initials BSAA, is an international counter-terrorism organization sanctioned by the United Nations that was founded in the wake of the dissolution of the Umbrella Corporation for bioterrorism in 2003. Primarily known to players of the games as the group that Chris Redfield belongs to in the wake of the 1998 Raccoon City incident (seen across many games), it also has had other prominent agents such as Sheva Alomar, Jill Valentine, Parker Luciani, Piers Nivans, and more besides.

More or less one of the only “hero organizations” to which the protagonists seem to belong in many releases between 2009 and 2017, their appearance in Biohazard’s conclusion and the subsequent “Not a Hero” downloadable content epilogue is a bit murkier in terms of morals. Allying themselves with a group that fans tend to call “Blue Umbrella,” made up of ex-Umbrella agents working toward making the insignia a force for good, they started to worry Captain Redfield, who disapproved of working with anyone having the Umbrella insignia at all.

As shown by their behavior documented in the Baker Incident Report and the final stretch of Village, he was right to worry, as they seem to have indulged in research into bio-organic weapons (BOWs) themselves, using the Tyrant types as their main soldiers that came to collect the mold and Cadou parasite from the seemingly nameless village.

A series that delves into how they degenerated to that degree would be very interesting, perhaps focusing on certain important people from prior games who would have seen the signs and tried to stop them, or even from the perspective of someone following them from near their beginning through to the early 2020s (outside of the “Original Eleven” who are likely all against them now.)

Defection of the Hound Wolf Squad

Chris Redfield and several members of the Hound Wolf Squad, 2021

“According to recent reports, you have taken personal control of the elite unit, the Hound Wolf Squad, without permission. And you’ve accessed a number of top-secret documents, also without permission. […] You’ve been very critical of BSAA since the Baker incident. You might be one of the founding Original Eleven, but I cannot let you continue to run around unchecked.”
– BSAA HQ, Investigations, The Baker Incident Report

Once an elite task force within the BSAA (see above), the Hound Wolf Squad only came to prominence for fans of the franchise with the actions of its leader, founding BSAA member and Special Operations Unit Captain Chris Redfield in 2018, as explained in Village. Having grown distrustful of the organization after they covered up the events of Biohazard to save face over their failure to eliminate E-001 (Eveline) in Munich before she could board the Annabelle carrier ship (a failure that ultimately resulted in the aforementioned incident), Chris took command of the unit without the approval of BSAA Headquarters, and spent the next three years hunting down Mother Miranda, effectively making the group a rogue unit.

A more military-focused series owing to connecting more directly with Chris Redfield, a focus on this defecting unit, their origins and perhaps the events between 2018 and 2021 would help to bridge the gap between the two installments of the Winters’ family journey. Another idea could be to delve into each individual member (perhaps through the lens of Chris’s experience with them, or even the other way around), giving more insight into the personalities and specialties of such members as Rolando “Umbra Eyes” Elba, Dion “Canine” Wilson, Charlie “Night Howl” Graham, John “Lobo” Perlman, and Emily “Tundra” Berkhoff. Alternatively, it could take the antagonists’ side, and look at BSAA’s attempts to rein them in without success.

The Four Lords

The symbols of the four houses. Clockwise from top left, they are Dimitrescu, Beneviento, Heisenberg, and Moreau.

“Mother Miranda is the cold, calculating ruler of this village. Four lords serve under her. The first you’ve already met, the Lady Dimitrescu. The second lives deep in a valley of mist, Donna Beneviento. None of her playmates have ever come back from that dank, old estate. The third is Moreau, a being of twisted flesh that lives in the reservoir past the windmills. It’s said that he is not the only monster that lives in those waters. The fourth and most dangerous is Heisenberg. He works in his factory on the village outskirts. And the project? Let’s just say parts of the human imagination are better left alone.”
Continued below

– The Duke explains the apparent last members of each house to Ethan Winters, 2021

The Four Houses, better known as the Four Lords of the Village, are supposedly ancient, having reigned over an underground city in the vicinity of the current village. According to folklore, their names changed over time, with House Berengario becoming House Beneviento, House Cesare becoming House Dimitrescu, House Guglielmo becoming House Heisenberg, and House Nichola becoming House Moreau. Once all feudal lords together, by the 20th century only the Dimitrescus were seen as nobles, with the others as local gentry. There are two main ways of looking at the Four Lords: one approach to a comic series would delve into the underground city and possibly early bio-organic weapons, along with other pieces of the symbol that would ultimately become the Umbrella logo.

The other approach would be to delve into the last of each family line: Alcina Dimitrescu and her “daughters” Bela, Cassandra, and Daniela; Donna Beneviento; Salvatore Moreau; and Karl Heisenberg. Some information is already known about each of them, with special emphasis on Dimitrescu (who had the first primary arc of the game as is customary for many of the games’ most advertised villain) and Heisenberg (who took up the majority of the endgame), but relatively little is known about Beneviento or Moreau. Some information on their history and heritage can be gleaned from research notes or other diary entries and the like, but they are relatively sparse and serve more as filler between other segments.

An anthology series of one-shots, or even a small limited series for each of the lords, would help expand upon their characters, making them more than their initial inspirations in folklore, literature, and mythology. For Dimitrescu especially, extra focus on the rise of her “daughters” would help to flesh them out and even distinguish them from their origins; while revisiting the protagonist of the “Maiden” playable demo, and how she came to her own situation by the time of the main game, would be an interesting tragedy.

The Tale of Mother Miranda

Miranda and her daughter Eva, circa 1918

“Eva… I have waited for too long to see you again.”
– Miranda on her mad quest, 2021

Despite being just introduced in Village, main antagonist Mother Miranda is a figure with quite a history: from her experiences during the 1918 influenza pandemic, to her time in the village itself, she has an extensive history to explore. On an odder note, there is also her experimentation with the Black God (known as the “Megamycete” in the English translation) and the connected work on the Cadou parasite, which delve dangerously close to outright mystical abilities, especially the ability to transform into a murder of crows, along with the other abilities seen in various Village residents similar to ghouls or werebeasts.

Mother Miranda’s mystery and intrigue come not only from the elements of her past steeped in original material, but also those connected deliberately to earlier installments in the Resident Evil franchise. Her work with the Connections led to the creation of Eveline, and even more shocking, she seems to be the reason behind the creation of the Umbrella Corporation itself, by accidentally piquing Ozwell E. Spencer’s curiosity about the possibilities of immortality. His experiences in what appears to be roughly 1953 (if one were to use Umbrella Pharmaceuticals’ founding of 1968 as a basis) in the seemingly nameless Eastern European village laid the groundwork for most of the entire franchise to date, so the interactions between the ancient woman and the “visionary” young lord would be very interesting to discover.

Any of these pieces of her past could be explored, presumably in a limited series.

Where Are They Now?

The “Where Are They Now?” anthology style is far from unique, often being used in the form of epilogues on given stories. However, when it comes to a series with as many characters and interconnected storylines as Resident Evil, it is common for some people to more or less drop away from public view altogether.

An anthology that kind of expository story, or even a series of one-shots examining their path since when we last saw them, would do quite a lot for many characters across the franchise, from animated films to manhua to video games and more.

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It seems best to go into these in order of when they were last seen (or directly contacted) in the franchise:

  • 1998: Billy Coen (RE 0), HUNK (Human Unit Never Killed) (2), and Carlos Oliviera (3)
  • 2002: Bruce McGivern and Fongling (Dead Aim)
  • 2005: Jessica Sherawat and Raymond Vester (Revelations)
  • 2011: Jill Valentine (Revelations 2)
  • 2013: Ingrid Hannigan, Sheva Alomar, Helena Harper, Jake Mueller, Sherry Birkin, Ada Wong (6), Natalia Korda, Barry Burton, and Moira Burton (Revelations 2)
  • 2014: Parker Luciani (“Heavenly Island” manga), Rebecca Chambers, and Maria Gomez (Vendetta animated film)
  • 2017: Joe Baker (Biohazard)

Others such as Claire Redfield, Zoe Baker, and Leon Kennedy exist aside from these, but they have come up during the anniversary celebration in various installments of different sorts, so they are left unmentioned.

Spread across at least ten installments, these characters, especially the ones who were playable in the story of their games and the ones who are unresolved antagonists, deserve at least enough time in the spotlight to show that Capcom has not forgotten them.

As for creators to work on these series, each of them have possibilities. Ales Kot is one such example, from his work on the “Bloodborne” comic series. Dan Watters has also made for some excellent horror amidst military aspects (as much as outside of them) on the likes of “Lucifer” and “Wolfenstein: The Deep.” For other creepy horror, Ryan O’Sullivan is another option, especially with his work on “Dark Souls” comics and “The Evil Within: The Interlude” (which came around the same time as the aforementioned “Wolfenstein” comic).

In terms of artwork, a variety of options emerge. The artist known as The Black Frog, who worked on “Outlast: The Murkoff Account” for the game’s publisher Red Barrels itself, is one such option, especially for stories that are more focused on being creepy than action-based. Szymon Kudranski, Andrea Olimpieri, and Damien Worm are other options with their history in video game comics and horror, while Piotr Kowalski is closer to certain elements of eldritch horror in some cases. Depending on the tone, any of these seem possible.

//TAGS | We Want Comics

Gregory Ellner

Greg Ellner hails from New York City. He can be found on Twitter as @GregoryEllner or over on his Tumblr.


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