Diabolik is an Italian comics series created by sisters Angela Giussani (1922-1987) and Luciana Giussani (1928-2001).
One of the most popular series in the history of Italian comics, Diabolik was created in 1962 and consists of more than 800 volumes, leading to the birth of the fumetti neri comics subgenre. The series is named after its protagonist, an anti-heroic thief, inspired by several previous pulp fiction characters from Italy and other countries. Its stories consist of monthly black-and-white, digest-sized volumes.
The series takes place in the fictional town Clerville and stars the titular Diabolik, initially represented as a ruthless and cruel thief who does not hesitate to murder anyone in order to accomplish his deeds, aided by his partner and lover Eva Kant. Over the time, the character evolved his personality, developing healthy roots and ethical principles such as honor, the sense of friendship and gratitude, and respect for noble souls, robbing and killing also other criminals. Throughout his adventures, he is pursued mainly by the Inspector Ginko.
The series sold more than 150 million copies, becoming one of the best-known and best-selling comics series from Europe. Its success had also inspired a live action movie, a radio show, an animated television series, video games, novels, and countless parodies.
Creation and development：
The idea for the character of Diabolik was born from seeing commuters every day. Co-creator Angela Giussani, who lived near Milano Cadorna railway station, thought of making comics in a format designed for travelling and carrying in one’s pocket. To better understand the tastes of her potential readers, Angela made a survey of the market, from which she concluded that many commuters read mystery novels. Another version of the story claims that the very idea came from her finding a Fantomas novel abandoned in a train. Thus was born the “Diabolik format” (a small 12 x 17 cm (7 in) book), which proved popular with other publications in the same genre. The pocketbook format contributed, in fact, to the success of the character.
Diabolik and Eva Kant, drawn by Sergio Zaniboni.
Diabolik is a ruthless master thief. He typically steals from criminals (and has no issue with killing them if need be, but rarely, if ever, kills the innocent or the police), and has a set of lifelike masks which he uses to fool his opponents, assuming every identity at will. He seems to have a deep knowledge in many scientific fields, including chemistry, mechanics, and computers. In his first appearances, Diabolik was a more straightforward villain who did not hesitate to murder anyone in order to accomplish his deeds. He was later given a more “Robin Hood”-like persona and was shown stealing essentially from criminals, in order to soften the series’ violence and amorality.
He was raised as an orphan on a secret island hideout of a criminal combiné, where he learned all his criminal skills, including developing his special masks, before killing the head of the combine. Diabolik’s true name had never been revealed in the series, and he does not know it himself. Diabolik took his name from a dangerous black panther that the head of the combine killed on the secret island. From issue #3 of the series, Diabolik is aided by his “moll”, Eva Kant, who has gained an increasing role as his partner and lover.
Diabolik always drives a black 1961 Jaguar E-type. Graphically inspired by the actor Robert Taylor, he usually wears a skintight black body suit that leaves only his eyes and eyebrows (very distinctive ones) exposed when going “into action”. Diabolik does not use firearms: his main weapons are the daggers he throws with uncanny ability, as well as a small dart gun with knockout darts. Eva drives a white Jaguar, and unusually goes into action wearing a heavy sweater and pants, no mask and no revealing clothing. The stories are set in a fictional town, Clerville, loosely inspired by Geneva, Switzerland.
Diabolik’s main opponent is Inspector Ginko, known only by his surname, a fierce and incorruptible police officer who is almost always thwarted by astute tricks devised by Diabolik. The only other recurring character is the noblewoman Altea, Ginko’s fiancée.
Diabolik – A legendary thief who follows an ancient code of conduct.
Eva Kant – Diabolik’s lover and accomplice, she is a skilled and ruthless criminal in her own right. Their relationship begins as adversarial, then he becomes her abusive lover. Later in the series she is reimagined as Diabolik’s partner and equal.
Inspector Ginko – A determined and incorruptible Clerville police detective who attempts, unsuccessfully, to capture Diabolik on numerous occasions.
Altea – A titled heiress and Ginko’s lover.
King – The leader of a powerful criminal organization, he became Diabolik’s foster father and trains him in the skills he will need as a criminal. King eventually betrays Diabolik and plans to murder him, but the infallible criminal kills him first.
Elisabeth “Tina” Gay – A nurse who becomes Diabolik’s first love after meeting him in the hospital. When she discovers his true nature, she betrays him to the police. Eventually, Diabolik drives her mad and Tina is confined to an asylum.
Dr. Alberto Floriani – A famous neuropsychiatrist who treats Elizabeth Gay during her stay in the asylum and eventually marries her. Part of Diabolik’s assault on Elizabeth’s sanity involves him visiting her in the hospital, disguised as Albert.
Bettina – a girl who should become familiar with Diabolik and Eva, until she becomes like a daughter.
Gustavo Garian – son of a wealthy family, which will be decimated by Diabolik; he will seek revenge on several occasions.
Many of the Diabolik stories are set in the fictional city of Clerville, which is located in a state also named Clerville. However, in the first issues of the series, Diabolik carried out his heists in Marseilles, but the authors decided to invent a new city, so as to avoid having to do continual documentation on the city.
It is clear that Clerville is in Europe, since in 2002, it adopted the Euro as its currency; the city’s previous currency had never been named, but had the same value as the Italian lira.
The state of Clerville also includes other cities, such as Ghenf (styled after the German name for Geneva: Genf), the second most important city in the state, which is situated on the sea (Clerville, the city, is located in the interior and is crossed by a river).
Diabolik uses a variety of gadgets and equipment which he uses as an aid in his robberies, to wiretap conversations and variety of weaponry.
The trademark of Diabolik is his black suit, which completely coveres his body except for his eyes, eyebrows, and black running shoes. He uses it as an aid in his burglaries or robberies and to protect his identity. He has variety of gadgets and weapons stashed under it. His outfit can be used as a diving suit since it can keep him warm while underwater, and it’s also fireproof. However, it cannot protect him from lethal harm (bullets, knives), but he relies on his fighting skills to cover that up.
Diabolik and Eva Kant use a variety of drugs to stun, kill, or force their enemies into submission. They mostly use Pentothal as a truth serum to force the victims into obeying and aiding the two in their burglaries or robberies. They also use scopolamine to cause amnesia and a variety of sedatives to stun their enemies. They also use cyanide to kill their enemies during a quick getaway, but mostly for their targets.
Weapons and gadgets：
Diabolik uses a variety of weaponry and gadgets to stun or kill his enemies. He never uses firearms or owns one, and prefers stealth. He mostly uses stun gas if necessary, but avoids it when he can. He also uses daggers to kill his enemies in seconds. He has a variety of gadgets for quick usage, some of them momentarily as an aid in his robbery. Also, Diabolik carries various radio-controlled equipment, that trigger specific objects into helping him, placed over Clerville (traffic lights to create green waves, sprinklers that spray black paint onto incoming police cars, train ramps, etc.). He even once inserted a device in Ginko’s car to activate his airbag during a police pursuit. He also has a variety of weapons inside his Jaguar to aid him, such as gasling guns or heat-seeking missiles. He uses wiretap bugs and mini cameras to spy on others, and he communicates with Eva via a walkie-talkie hidden in his watch.
One of another Diabolik’s trademarks is that he almost always uses special designed plastic and photorealistic masks that he uses to impersonate his victims or enemies, and used a multitude of them to help him. Diabolik uses this in almost every burglary he attempts, and Eva sometimes uses it while directly acting with him. He used the masks to impersonate people that are of great use to him, and sometimes only to hide his looks. Diabolik and Eva use it while going somewhere out in public to avoid being recognized (they used false looks once while going out to dinner).
Diabolik was published as a succession of series, most of them one year long. The Giussani sisters wrote many of the stories until the 1980s, passing them gradually to Patricia Martinelli’s – and others’ – hands. The main bulk of the artwork is executed by Sergio Zaniboni, who has been drawing Diabolik since 1969 (currently sharing the role with Giorgio Montorio). Other artists working on the series include Brenno Fiumali, Franco Paludetti, Enzo Facciolo and Lino Jeva.
出版社：Astorina｜作者：Angela Giussani，Luciana Giussani｜插图：？｜出版日期：1962-2013｜格式：jpg｜册数：800v｜页数：99747p｜尺寸：900×1300px｜大小：36GB｜语种：意大利文