Albedo: Erma Felna EDF

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Command Review #1 cover.

Albedo: Erma Felna EDF (or also Erma Felna, EDF, for short) is an American Furry Comic created by Steven A. Gallacci, who ran it in from 1983 to 2005 in his Albedo furry comic anthology.

The main story is the following: In a very distant future, a sector of known space is populated by sapient and humanoid versions of many Earth animals (who have no clue as to their origins.) The titular heroine, Erma Felna, is an officer from the EDF (Extraplanetary Defense Force, a extraplanetary version of The Federation), and she begins her military career during a military invasion of the ILR (Independent Lepine Republic, another federation populated by rabbits who are bend to conquer the known space, but not without killing anyone who is not a rabbit.) to a planet named Derzon.

Unfortunately, the ILR is fighting this in a bloody, but very canny, way as sociopolitical warfare; they are not trying to defeat the Federation in battle as much as they are trying to undermine its political viability. This means the rabbits are attempting to force their enemy to fight in a way that means the maximum amount of collateral damage and civilian death toll on their own side is caused. With this, the ILR hopes to eventually cause enough resentment to weaken the civic structure and make them easy to conquer.

This is a special element in this series, as the characters, especially Erma, have extensive conversations discussing the socio-political ramifications of their latest battle and struggle to find a means to fight back in the political sphere. In fact, the very idea of a serious science fiction political drama essentially gave a major boost to Furry Fandom as this series showed that Funny Animal stories can be so much more than for laughs.

But, as the story is developed, the whole plot is starting to getting more and more complex, as many events and plot twists befalls Erma and her whole society (and probably, the whole universe...)

There is also a distant sequel series that ran in the 1980s Fantagraphics furry anthology comic book series, "Critters", called Birthright. This takes place a few generations after the events in Erma's stories where the civilization has partially collapsed and a young Fox and his friends fight to restore a sustainable and just order. It is currently being reissued on Radio Comix's website in a webcomic form.

You can find some info about this series here and here. It's not very easy to find about Albedo in the web, due of the relative obscurity of this series, so your best bet it's trying to buy back issues in online auctions.

Not to be confused with the main villain from the Xenosaga series

Tropes used in Albedo: Erma Felna EDF include:

  • Absent Aliens - Besides the furry characters, there's very few no-sapient alien life in any of the planets so far.
    • Althrough later in the series, they found a wrecked spaceship with an female human corpse inside it.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene - This series was famous for this with their aftermath discussions about the sociopolitical ramifications of the action scenes.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The computers, collectively called the Net, are initially artificially intelligent to a degree and work strictly subordinate to the organics. Eventually, the overall personality, installed long ago by the furry civilizations' human creators, starts asserting itself subtly, setting up a political movement with Erma invited on board. Eventually, after Tavas and his cronies stage their coup, the Net eventually goes public with both the EDF and ILR. In doing so, it declares that it will be taking a more active role in political and military affairs, albeit as simply an equal participant with the established authorities in the interest of their survival and their own laws. Furthermore, the only way it can be removed would be for the furries to completely gut their computer control and communications systems, so they are basically struck with it.
  • All There in the Manual - There's lots of supplementary material and facts unexplained in the comic books covered in side-stories published in different anthologies and series besides Albedo and also many of the backgrounds stories of the EDF, ILR and Enchawah Corp. are explained in the Albedo Tabletop Games published in the 80s and the 2000s reprint.
    • The Refractions anthology is a very interesting case: It's the only (mostly) official source with three side-stories dealing with the Creators (aka humans) and how they created the species in first place.
  • Alternative Calendar - SD (Standard Date). In the "Refractions" anthology it's revealed that the whole history take place in early or in the middle of the 21th century.
  • Animal Jingoism - One of the main themes of the series.
  • Anyone Can Die
  • Attack Drone - The ACV (Autonomous Combat Vehicle) is a sci-fi version used in this series.
  • Author Existence Failure - Or more precisely, Author's Wife Existence Failure since the author cancelled the comic for good after his wife died of cancer. However, since joining Fur Affinity recently, he's been so flattered by the effusive praise he's gotten that he's giving the idea of reviving the series some thought.
  • Badass - All of the members of the EDF and the ILR.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family - The Felnas were already screwed up even before Erma was born (in fact, she was born in a middle of a terrorist attack.) and later when Kanoc is captured and tortured by the ILR, but after Tavas Ikalik decided to make Erma suffer BIG TIME, the things are starting to getting much uglier for them.
  • Cool Starship - Averted. Most of the spaceships are cylindric-shaped and plain-looking due to the need to create artificial gravity for the ship.
  • Cloning Blues - Teka Ardehad is a clone of Erma, when the Ardehad family wasn't able to have an biological heir.
    • Erma herself had many cloned sons and daughters, after losing contact with her biological family.
  • Cloudcuckoolander - Kanoc courtesy of the ILR
  • Culture Chop Suey - Some planets and characters have characteristics from some Earth cultures, despise the whole sci-fi background of the series: The culture of the Planet Dornthant (Erma's homeworld) is based in Japan and the Japanese culture. Toki's homeworld, Danet, is based in many European countries, possibly the Netherlands, judging with her personality.
    • Also, but in a very negative light, the ILR is based in the worst aspects of the USA and the Nazi Germany.
  • Death From Above - The ILR tried to wipe out Erma's homeworld bombing the planet with ACVs, but Erma managed, somewhat with the help of The Net, to prevent a total apocalypse against her planet.
  • Derelict Graveyard - The wrecked Human spaceship.
  • Distant Finale - Despise the original story ended in a massive cliffhanger due of the death of Gallacci's wife, there's a side-story who takes place many decades after the events from the original series when Erma is already an old woman and a legendary war heroine (or a genocidal war criminal for the ILR, possibly.) and she tells the story of her life to a reporter and her cloned family.
  • Fan Service: Gallacci couldn't resist having semi-nude scenes of Erma and Toki in the shower, swimmng or suddenly having to get out of bed in the buff to show off their beauty.
  • Fantastic Racism - Both sides of the conflict indulge on this, but the ILR takes this to genocidal levels.
  • A Father to His Men - Captain Arrat does not take it lightly when someone hurts his crew.
  • The Federation - The Confederation (ConFed), the EDF (ConFed's military branch), and the Enchawah Corp. (A Zaibatsu-style conglomerate of planets).
  • Four-Fingered Hands - And they also use a base-8 numerical system to match this, until they find the derelict human spaceship, who uses a base-10 system on the ship's computers for obvious reasons.
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animals - The entire cast.
  • Genki Girl - Toki.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke - Especially in the Refractions anthology.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy - According with the Refractions anthology, one of the possible main points for creating the species in first place (besides the fact mankind found out they were the only sentient beings in the universe) was because humanity was becoming too lazy and there were too many restless people (aka Scientists) and humankind needed to keep them busy with some kind of "Grand Experiment" (Not to mention for self-preserving purposes)[1]
  • Gory Discretion Shot - Steven A. Gallacci loved to abuse of this often, with some very gorier exceptions.
  • Gray and Grey Morality
  • Honorifics - A very rare, non-Asian example: Many of the characters uses the "Honorable {insert last name}" honorific for adressing to very important people. It's the equivalent of using the "-sama" honorific in the same way in Japanese.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes - Unlike its sequel, Birthright, the original was never re-issued, as of 2011.
  • Killer Rabbit / Hair-Raising Hare - The ILR army is a whole army of them!
    • The EDF also counts too.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better - Justified, since kinetic weapons are more effective for destroy entire cities and targets than nukes.
  • Lady of War - Erma, Toki, and many other females counts as those.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia - The side-story In the Beginning, published in the Refractions anthology, the Human Creators wipes out any memories from their existence (but not vital information, like using advanced technology, etc.) from the Species (critters) with the help of drugs. Needless to day, many human scientists were were not amused by that.
  • Last-Name Basis - Justified, due to the military protocol the characters are subjected, but also used in civilian contexts.
  • Law of Alien Names - Used here in full force, with some exceptions. (Including the titular heroine)
  • Love Hurts - Almost none of the couples appearing in the Albedo universe (and their families) have a good marital or romantic life due of the war. Erma and Alfon were an exception of this trope, until Alfon dies during the ILR attack over Dornthant thanks to Tavas's schemes over The Net.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac - Toki, all the way.
  • Master Computer - The Net
  • Master Race - The Lepines (rabbits) from the ILR are bloody serious about being the rulers of all species.
  • Mature Animal Story
  • Mix-and-Match Critters - Averted HARD. According to Steven A. Gallacci, people can only breed (and having viable offspring) with other people of the same species (felines with felines, rodents with rodents, etc.) This doesn't prevent Toki to having sex with every good-looking guy in the universe, regardless their species.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name - The ILR is The Third Reich meets Eagle Land Type II IN SPACE! AND WITH RABBITS!
  • Ojou - Erma is a military example. Her mother is a more classical example.
    • Teka Ardehad, Erma's cloned daughter, is also an Ojou too.
  • Physical Gods: It's implied after the appearance of the derelict human spaceship that the species were genetic contructs created by the human race (The Creators) possibly for investigating how those species can create a society from scratch without any kind of human intervention using The Net as a way for investigate them and keep them in check.
  • Precursors - The Creators, named in-universe by all the characters in the Albedo universe. They also are known as the Human race.
  • The Republic - the ILR.
  • Self-Deprecation - The ILR is basically an over-capitalistic, xenophobic and genocidal version of the United States and its army. This is even more Harsher in Hindsight if you know that Steven A. Gallacci, the author, was a member of the U.S. Air Force.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran - Many characters, especially Kanoc and his daughter Erma in her final years of her life.
  • Strange Syntax Speaker - Due possibly to the Translation Convention used in the series, all the characters speaks using a very weird syntax, making the dialogues sounds a bit more alien.
  • Title Drop - Used when Erma and some EDF members found the wrecked human ship and they aren't able to see it from outside.:

EDF Officer: The pan-spectrum Albedo on it is almost zip.


Birthright features

  1. Althrough this is mainly a speculation from the author.