by Daniele J.Farah
translation by Chiara Martellossi
Who created her?
Milanese writer and complete artist Luca Enoch had already reached national fame with the Sprayliz character (a teenage graffiti artist) when he created Gea in 1994. The idea was then shelved for five years, during which the original concept was redefined and rerouted. Thus, Gea the rocker girl in search for her first gig grew into Gea the Bulwark at the Archangels' service. In her definitive form, the character sees the light in June 1999 in six-monthly issues published by Sergio Bonelli Editore. Covers, writings, art and columns are entirely by Enoch alone.
Gea is, first and foremost, a Bulwark. Bulwarks are guardians, appointed by the race of the Archangels to watch over the imperceptible frontiers among the different planes of existence and dimensions. Their duty is to prevent intrusion of extradimensional "migrants" into our world. As an extreme measure, Bulwarks are even authorized to destroy the intrusive entities.
At the same time, Gea is an average teenager. She was fourteen when she first appeared, but it is in the author's intentions to let the character grow with a predefined rhythm. For example, she turned fifteen and threw a birthday party in the October 2001 issue. She lives alone in a loft, attends high school and practices kendo and fencing. Not unlike many boys and girls of her age, she goes to concerts, plays bass guitar in a band and fantasizes about her yet-to-be first sexual experience. Her two personalities coexist peacefully: the heavy responsibility that weighs on Gea's shoulders does not restrain the teenager's carefree lifestyle; the young girl is not an Achilles' heel 1for the Bulwark and does not hamper her judgment and coldness in the exercise of her duties.
Gea is an orphan, but she does not remember how her parents died. This is not due to the shock of the loss itself, but rather to a precise lock imposed by the Supernals on her mind. This because the ultimate knowledge is a fruit that is best appreciated in small morsels. With zealous study, meditation and experience, she will follow her personal path of growth that will render her able to discover the notions that are still dormant within her, and that she acquired from her matrilineal ancestors. Her cognitive ascension is visually represented by the changes to the tattoo she carries on the palm of the hand, like the grades of a celestial report card.
She wears a cross pendant which shape derives from the fusion of 4 "F" representing the Four Means (Force, Faith, Firmness, Confidence - Fiducia in Italian) that Bulwarks need in order to be able to carry out their mission.
The book is not located in a precise period, although it deals with current topics. Also the city where Gea lives is not defined geographically. It could be any modern cosmopolite metropolis.
Who are her friends?
Cagliostro is Gea's familiar. He's a bewitched black cat, upon whose forehead a white star appears each time an intrusive entity reaches our dimension. Therefore, he acts as a sniffer dog that will lead Gea straight to the extradimensional squatter. Cagliostro has to share Gea's favor with three funny imps that help her with the chores and such trivial matters, in exchange for little treats.
Lovely and lively Leonardo is a close friend of Gea. He's constrained on a wheelchair since a road accident, but his arms alone are still more than enough to play the drums in Gea's band. He's the only one to know the secret of her double life.
Another friend, Sigfrido, a.k.a. Killer Whale, is a player in an ice hockey team and is openly gay. He introduced Gea to Leonardo, whom he knew from his period as a drafted social worker.
Gea's uncle is not really a relative of hers: he built her a false identity, complete with a fake family - but Gea's parents, an engineer and a soprano singer, always working and touring abroad, do not exist in reality. The "uncle", whose face is never shown, provides Gea with the economical support she needs for a living and intelligence about her missions.
Then there are the school mates, some of which share Gea's passion for music, such as Vic and Paula - the singer in the band - and the other Bulwarks, some of which are quite experienced; Tara, whose appearance resembles one of the ten forms of the Kali goddess, and is Gea's spiritual guide; and a bunch of harmless intrusive entities, whose presence Gea tolerates: the Blemii, the Nagas, the Shadows and the Satyrs.
Ordinary criminals often happen to cross Gea's path, thus she unknowingly may find herself cooperating with positive figures such as Ahmad al Khatib, a police officer of Palestinian origins. The goofy Diddly, head of the underestimated "alien contact department" branch of the secret services, is also worth a mention.
Who are her enemies?
Archangels' enemies are her enemies: the Enemy Race known as the Devils, no less. In Gea's city the Devils' emissaries are Ardat-Lili and the Exarch. The latter is superior to Ardat-Lili within the Devils' hierarchy, but he reached our plane of existence in an incomplete form. His body in decay, he needs constant supply of vital energy and thus he lies in a sort of forced inaction. Ardat-Lili is Gea's direct counterpart, as she is able to lead a normal life even in the eye of the public. She's socially integrated and masquerades as a successful stylist, also known as the Diva.
Other creatures with ties to the Devils' hierarchy are the Rakshasas - one of which is Diva's adjutant - the Gregarious, the Ensigns and the Maziqins. But there are also renegade Bulwarks and ordinary criminals such as organ smugglers, pushers, pimps, robbers and terrorists.
Sergio Bonelli Editore
Copyright (c) 1999
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