Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (B.I.B.L.E.) is a series of comics about Heaven, Hell, and everything in between. The universe of the comic takes root in Christian mythology, draws inspiration from many religions and myths and stays true to none of them.
The world is divided in two planes: That of the living, and that of Heaven and Hell who have been at war for as long as anyone can remember. Most mortals like you and me live with no real knowledge of the afterlife, and it is Heaven's most important duty to keep it that way, however hard it is with Hell itself constantly trying to break down the borders.
Heaven is inhabited by those dead who have earned a chance to live forever as an angel. Hell is full of demons and monsters that can only look at the benefits of having a soul with envy, and in turn most of them hold a natural hatred for all things to do with Heaven. These conflicts are only fueling the strife that seems like it will last for all eternity.
- Action Girl: Opal, Mei and some other female angels.
- A Colleague Of Mine Until He Turned To Evil: Balthazar and Opal apparently knew Rex pre-Face Heel Turn.
- Affably Evil: Rex.
- All There in the Manual: The authors explain a lot of things in their comments under the respective comic page.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: They aren't actually anthropomorphic (or even Funny Animals like most of the cast), but each of the Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Heavenly Virtues has its own spirit incarnation.
- Badass Longcoat: Balthazar wears a red one.
- Badass Long Hair: Balthazar again, though he keeps it bound up when he's on duty.
- Bishonen: One of the vampires has the Fan Nickname of Horribly Gay Bishie Elf.
- Big Damn Heroes: Several times, angels have been saved by another angel arriving just in time.
- Black and Gray Morality: Obviously, the devil is as black as they come, but surprisingly, heaven isn’t as perfect as it sounds. Granted, it's still a very light gray.
- Blondes Are Evil: The Fallen One
- Cannon Fodder: The cherubim. Balthazar once described them as Mikael's walking sacrifices.
- Celestial Paragons and Archangels: There are the extremely powerful but rarely seen archangels, and then there are Seraphs one step below.
- Cessation of Existence: Angels are the souls of people who've already died, so if they get killed again that's it.
- Cool Sword: Balthazar has a Flaming Sword with also makes him immune to fire.
- Council of Angels
- Eldritch Abomination: The Sins. Wrath is a giant bear with horns and glowing eyes. Four others are pictured in the gallery section, and are just as hideous.
- Mr. Fanservice: Lieutenant Duncan, both in- and out-of-universe.
- Everything's Worse with Bears: Wrath. Also, he drools lava.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Wrath goes on a rampage after the Summoning Ritual is disrupted.
- Also, several of the vampire cultists were disintegrated by Wrath's power when the ritual was still working properly.
- Eyes of Gold: All demonic creatures.
- Eyepatch of Power: Rex. Balthazar has also lost an eye, but doesn't bother wearing an eyepatch.
- Face Heel Turn: Lucifer rebelled against God over the great powers It gave the humans, and was cast down to become the Fallen One.
- Also Rex, who was once a Seraph before he got demoted for dereliction of duty and flipped out.
- Fantastic Racism: Oh yeah. Elves look down on vampires, species created by God look down on those created by humans...
- Fantastic Rank System: It goes soldier, elite soldier, lieutenant, general (highest combat rank), Seraph.
- Fantasy Gun Control: Partly because of Heaven's Alien Non-Interference Clause and partly because most demons are Immune to Bullets anyway.
- Forever War: Enforced by the fact that God has forbidden full-on conquest of Hell, which means that the demons will never be completely wiped out.
- Four-Star Badass: General Balthazar.
- Fourth Wall Mail Slot: The Ask the Characters section in the gallery.
- God: It’s called BIBLE for a reason.
- Holy Halo: Denotes rank among angels: line troops have red ones, medics have green, officers have pink, generals have pink ones with white runes on, council members get blue with runes, civilian angels are gold, and Seraphs have solid gold discs.
- Humans Are Special: We have yet to see any in the comic proper, but Creation mentions that humans are the species that God loves the most and gave by far the most power to.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Opal to Balthazar. It's actually a joking matter between them.
- I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: Balthazar could probably get in trouble poking around the records of a Fallen Angel, but not if Max forgets to make a note that the file was accessed.
- I Shall Taunt You: Rex, not that it really works.
Nicholas:Why do you put up with that, Sir?
Balthazar: Ha. Him? What did you expect me to do? Pitch into a fight, man to man, to defend my honor? Kid, he is the bad guy on this mission. It's like part of his gimmick to hand out sarcastic comments. Just ignore him.
- Jerkass: Balthazar is both completely tactless and mildly vindictive. Luckily he has Opal to keep him in line.
- Knight Templar: Pick a cherub, any cherub. Lulu is a particularly good example.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: In contrast to the white-winged angels around him, Balthazar's wings are orange.
- Loads and Loads of Races: Justified, since both afterlives take souls from every mortal race in the universe.
- Mildly Military
- Military Maverick: Balthazar is well known for his disrespect (bordering on outright hatred) for the archangels, particularly Mikael.
- Nonuniform Uniform: Warrior angels don't seem to have any dress code, so each one wears whatever clothes or armor they feel like.
- Our Angels Are Different: These ones are the souls of the virtuous gone to heaven...and heaven receives souls from every planet, so most of the angelic characters are basically Funny Animals plus wings.
- There are also cherubim, which may or may not be souls but are all barbarous thugs.
- Our Elves Are Better: No, they aren't.
- Our Vampires Are Different: "Soul vampires" are demonic half-breeds, have mortal souls, and have a distressing tendency to form cults. Also, they don't drink blood or souls.
- Power At a Price: Magic comes with such a high price that angels are outright banned from using it, although healing seems to be an exception.
- Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Angels don't age in the conventional sense. Balthazar, for instance, is 951 years old.
- Red Sky, Take Warning
Balthazar: This area is so contaminated with sin we might as well be in hell.
- Required Secondary Powers: Balthazar has to wear special gloves to safely wield his Flaming Sword.
- Satan: The Fallen One, who else? Though she is a girl this time.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: All the New Meat, but especially Nicholas. He attacked a vampire commander alone, and would have been fried if Opal hadn't been there to save him.
- Summon Magic: Used occasionally by demonic forces. Summoned creatures are very powerful and Feel No Pain, but have No Ontological Inertia and vanish instantly when the summoner is killed or incapacitated.
- Summoning Ritual: Distinct from Summon Magic above (which can be done at will), the vampires also summoned up Wrath in a ceremony involving lots of chanting and some poor schmuck being burned to death on a glowing-hot summoning circle.
- Team Mom: Opal to Balthazar's command.
- The Legions of Hell
- The Ditz: Nicholas.
- The Medic: Healer angels use a unique form of White Magic that's channeled to them through their halos, as well as mundane bandages and medicines.
- The Unmasqued World: Kimera. The borders between normal reality and the afterlives were somehow shredded there, to the point where the angels had no hope of concealing the war from the Kimeran elves and decided to spill the beans so they'd side with Heaven.
- Too Many Belts: Balthazar wears at least four, plus a Badass Bandolier.
- Tsundere: Nicole.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer
Balthazar: Not everything can be solved by swinging your sword around.
Nicholas: [disrupts summoning circle by chopping a column with his sword]
- With Catlike Tread: Angel troops are horrible about this, even the authors complain. They could have successfully backstabbed any number of bad guys, including Rex at one point, if they'd just kept their mouths shut.