by Paolo Ottolina
translation by Walter Aricò
Who created him? Alfredo Castelli, already Zagor and Mister No's scriptwriter in Bonelli, launches archaeologist Martin Mystery's figure in 1982: the series is a eal bet, because for the first time the seam of the classical adventure has been abandoned, opening the popular comic strip to cultured suggestions. Each number is in fact rich of news and historical,geographical, anthropological, sociological curiosities: the culture enters Bonelli's comic strip, in its widest meaning. Because of his characteristics, the series has earned a believer and attentive public.
Who's he? Martin Mystery is graduate in anthropology, he has then achieved numerous other specializations (archaeology, history of the art, cybernetics). He's then shod in small culture and he likes to surprise his interlocutors with the "omniscience." But he is not at all a pedantic and arrogant academic: rich of humour and of auto-irony, he likes to joke about his own defects and to tease himself good-naturedly. He has lived for a period in a Tibetan monastery, where he has learned many esoteric secrets and where he has earned the mystical "third eye". His studies and his searches cross official streets that science usually snobs and derides.
Who are his friends? Martin has an assistant, Java, million years old: Java is in fact a true man of Neandherthal, arrived in America among Martin from the mysterious "City of the diaphanous shades", hidden in a undiscoverable valley of the Himalaya. Martin, during a dramatic adventure, has earned Java's respect and affection;the old man just arrived in the modern civilization, has known how to adapt without excessive problems. Java is mute and he expresses in Amerslam, the language of the gestures used by deaf-mute; intelligent and perspicacious, he possessesextraordinary physical strength and a bestial intuition, that more than once has helped Martin in desperate situations. The other fixed series' second leading actor is Mystery's eternal fiancée, the blonde and beautiful social assistant Diana Lombard: tenacious and good sensed, Diana has often shared Martin's adventures and she wait the day in which she'll put the ring to the finger of his (refractory) boy-friend.
Who are his enemies? Martin's nemesis is his ex-friend and ex-colleague Sergej Orloff: Orloff is for everyone a respected and esteemed business man, but Martin knows his avarice and pitilessness. In numerous occasions Martin has met and clashed Orloff, going very near to kill him. In a recent adventure, however, Orloff seems to be reformed and he could return to the path of the "Good". But the most dangerous enemy for Mystery doesn't have a true face: it is the secret, powerful and almost invincible organization of the "Men in black", a kind of sect that from millennia wants to preserve society from each discovery contrary to the "common sense" and to consolidated convictions: for ex. it sistematically hide all the proofs of the existence of alien and of disappeared civilizations like Atlantide and Mu.
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