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athan Never is an ex-policeman with a terrible past. His wife
Laura was killed by a criminal who was running away from Nathan himself, and his daughter Ann has been in a psychiatric clinic for years recovering from the shock of having witnessed her mother's death. In order to pay for his daughter's treatment, Nathan, who retreated to a Shaolin temple to study martial arts, has been forced to return to work, and to accept a post as a
special agent in a private detective agency. He's a hero in the traditional mold, absolutely honest, hardened to the work he does but certainly not cynical or disillusioned. His life takes place in the near future, in a civilization dominated by technology and constantly taken up with problems of pollution and the excessive power of the mass-media. The city looks like an immense megalopolis; furthermore, the State is well aware that the police force alone can't manage to tackle the rising crime, and so the authorities have encouraged the establishment of private agencies partly subsidized by private funds. The Agenzia Alfa Nathan works for is one of these. The metropolis where Nathan lives and works doesn't have a name. It, or rather SHE is simply "The City", obviously inspired by Los Angeles in "Blade Runner" and Gotham City in Frank Miller's "Dark Knight". But there's also no lack of short visits to a sort of Far West made up of land scorched by the sun or by radio-activity (like Australia in "Mad Max") and the adventures in a "zero" lunar setting (the location of mines and a super-prison) or on orbital stations, real cities suspended in the darkness of space. A cross between the
old honest, fearless hero and the new cynical, easy-going anti-hero, Nathan Never was created by Michele Medda, Antonio Serra and Giuseppe (Bepi) Vigna, a trio of young authors who had long been working for Sergio Bonelli as scriptwriters for some of the Dylan Dog and Martin Mystère stories. Nathan Never is physically strong and athletic as a result of his training. He doesn't have any bionic grafts or extra-sensory powers.
In his world there aren't any machines for travel in space or time. Nathan uses his gun only when there is no alternative. His special agent's salary, although high, isn't enough to make him rich; for years he has used his money only to pay for his daughter's treatment. And now that she is cured and has left to go into space, our hero only uses his money to build a new life for himself and his partner Hadija. Nathan fights for justice, but he's not fighting a crusade. One of the features of the series is that all the characters, heroes or criminals, are portrayed as people who have a motive - right or wrong - for doing what they do. Goodies and baddies don't exist - but good and bad deeds do.

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ddis Abeba, Ethiopia, is Napoleone
Di Carlo's birthplace, where his
parents, his father an Italian and his mother a French lady, give him a Western education (he studies at the Italian school). But young Napoleone simultaneously assimilates the more archaic culture of the African country where he is growing up and is strongly attracted by the primitive spirituality of the animistic beliefs of these peoples. Following his own natural bent, he becomes a policeman and works as a security officer at the Italian embassy in Addis Abeba. But soon his

enthusiasm for this profession fades and he is faced with bitter disappointment. Napoleone - this is the reason for his disillusionment - feels responsible ever afterwards for the failure to arrest the Cardinal, a diabolic criminal he has met during his years in Africa, who becomes his sworn enemy and repeatedly manages to trick and evade Napoleone's grasp.
The Cardinal, disguised as a merchant accredited by the Italian embassy, manages a veritable slave trade and has no hesitation when confronted with the need to get rid of a whole human cargo (small boys taken away from native villages) because Napoleone, too late unfortunately, is just about to find the way to unmask his trafficking. Disenchanted, Napoleone abandons the police force and, following the premature death of his
parents (killed during a tribal revolt), he leaves Africa - though he can never forget the charm of this continent.

 
 
is real name is Patrick Wilding, but the Indians
call him Za-gor-te-nay, "The Spirit with the Hatchet". On the old American frontier in the first half of the last century, Zagor fights to maintain peace, protect the Indian tribes and hunt down criminals. Son of an army official retiring to live as a
pioneer in the forests of the north-east, Patrick Wilding sees his parents die at the hands of a band of Abenaki Indians, led by a certain Salomon Kinsky. Taken in by a strange vagabond, the boy grows up with only one thought on his mind: revenge. When he is old enough to fulfill this he finds out that his Father had himself slaughtered many Indians, and the boy's understanding of the relativity of the concepts of good , evil and justice compels him to transform himself (with his accomplices the Sullivans, a family of acrobats who are his image makers) into Za-Gor-Te-Nay. Better still, shortened, Zagor. He is a kind of avenger always ready to side with the weak and the oppressed, whether red, white or black, whoever they may be. Moving his shack to an island surrounded by quick-sand in a marshy area of Darkwood Forest, Zagor begins his work as a peacemaker.

He becomes a veritable myth for the Indians, who believe he is an immortal spirit; he is also respected by the whites who know of his many skills. Dressed in his unmistakable Native American Super-Hero costume, with the symbol of a thunder bird on his chest, he maintains law and order, using a pistol, but mostly his rough stone hatchet that he handles so skillfully. Agile, strong and athletic, Zagor exploits these talents to make people believe that he is the messenger of peace from the Great Spirit. He is not a solitary and arrogant avenger: quite the contrary! Loyal and generous, as well as having a vagabond soul, Zagor has numerous friends and is ready to rush, accompanied by his
faithful friend Cico, to wherever there is need of him. Woe betide the wicked man who hears the echo of his battle cry: the man's fate is already sealed! With these elements that are a clever mix of Tarzan, Robin Hood, Don Quixote, Davy Crockett and the Phantom, Sergio Bonelli, alias Guido Nolitta, started a saga in 1961 that is still evolving today. It has successfully won the favor of a large section of the public, thanks to the variety of stories which, beginning with a Western backdrop, range
from horror themes to science fiction, from magic to psychological tales. The character has been graphically created by the skillful hand of Gallieno Ferri.


     

  
 

o an overwhelming extent, the aura of fascination surrounding
the exploits of Commander Mark and his Ontario Wolves is to be attributed to the authors- Pietro Sartoris, Dario Guzzon and Giovanni Sinchetto, collectively called EsseGesse - who must be credited with much of the appeal of this figure: for the authors have displayed amazing ability in the characterization not only of the leading man, but also of the foils populating the series.
Against the background of the war fought in the second half of the Eighteenth century by the American people to defend their independence from English domination, our commander is presented to the readers as a handsome and brave man, a sturdy and invincible young man, who nonetheless does not convey any trace of the aloofness that is often generated by a protagonist's sense of superiority over the surrounding world. Mark has just the right degree of self-confidence as a hero and he instils in us a warm feeling of confidence; he has accumulated excellent experience in his field (pitched battles and uncompromising warfare against the soldiers of His Majesty the

English king) and he uses his vast knowledge on every occasion and always successfully. This is why his name strikes terror and dismay in the colonialists' ranks, and there is no reward, blackmail, trick, ambush, trap or deceit that works with him… He's a sly old fox, as elusive as a ghost. Mark seems to be immortal. Immortal as the symbols he embodies, justice and freedom. He moves together with the Ontario Wolves, a group of indomitable guerrilla fighters composed of men and women from many different places, of all ages and from all social classes, people with different histories and past lives who have joined together and are united by one single great aspiration: to fight for their right to live in freedom! They have their own chant: "The Ontario Wolves is our name/ To fight for America is our aim/ You Redcoats, tremble and shake/ Our imminent victory will make you quake!". And every time their chant echoes in the Canadian forests, their hated oppressors quake with fear!

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