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The world of Nathan Never
by Giovanni Gentili
translation by Walter Aric˛

Nathan (6k)
drawing by G.Gentili
"The Adventure of Futur, the Futur of Adventure..." Nathan Never will bear in Gadalas in 2135 (old calendar) and his adventures develop in our future, exactly 178 years ahead.

The Catastrophe Nathan's world has been upset from a big environmental catastrophe, provoked by an experiment aimed at exploiting the magma in the Earth's center. The catastrophe, unfortunately for us :-), has happened in 2024.

In consequence of that the whole planet has decided to take the calendar back of 78 years, bringing again the Earth to "1946" and effect a kind of "psychological rebirth". Unfortunately the catastrophe, the change of dating and the Macintosh Act (to transform papery files into electronic database and deadly events connected) have caused the loss of most work and of pre-catastrophe history. About many events there isn't more certain elements.

Future's World Nathan's world is therefore twisted in geography, institutions, technology and society.

Future Earth is divided into three continental federations (Europe, Asia, North America) reunited in the OST (Organization of the Terrestrial States).This three federations are absolutely not belligerents between them. South America and Africa are divided into small states contolled by big multinational society or under dictatorial regimes. In Italy we can only see Venice, by now submerged, but saved by a gigantic transparent dome. Antartide is occupied from minings installations, that have a comparable autonomy to small independent states. Many zones in all the world are not habitable, like for instance in North America, "Territory".

(22k)
metropolis, drawing by De Angelis
(c) 1997 SBE
   
 
Many also are the orbital stations around the Earth, created after the Planet's habitable surface reduction caused by the catastrophe. They produce the 70% of the victuals consumed on the Earth but they are more and more in contrast with the federations. Always in the space also exists a base-jail on the Moon and a particular martian colony, isolated from the earth for a long period. The minings activities are very developed in the asteroids' band.

Nathan lives in the big metropolis on the North America's Oriental coast (New York- Washington-Chicago- Toronto- Boston). The city develops on 7 superimposed levels. A city that looks much like that presented in the magnificent "Blade Runner", but characterized in the style by Claudio Castellini (also a Marvel artist).

In Nathan's world there also are the robots C3, intelligent, created by doctor Sung. They are legally protected, after they had revealed themselves useless in helping the man, because too much bound by three robotic laws.

There is also the race of the changed, beings created in laboratory through genetic experiments, with green skin and with specific ability because destined to very humble jobs. Their production is by now forbidden and the existing changed live in the cities' lowest levels, where not even the police takes risks. They formed terrorists groups to see their laws recognized.

Agencies. In order to oppose the increasing spiral of violence and illegality in the big metropolis, the federal government has decided, with the Callaghan Act, to allow the creation of Safety and Vigilance Agencies that flank Police (more and more eaten up from corruption).

One of the most important agencies is the one directed by Edward Reiser: Alpha Agency. The best members are: Legs Weaver, the magician of the computer Sigmund Baginov (inspired to Anthony Rot), May and April Frayn, Jack O'Ryan, Link the robot, Andy Havilland, Al Goodman, Mendoza the technician, Janine the secretary and naturally Nathan Never the best alpha agent (but don't tell it to Legs!! ;-).

So much the second-leading actors: Jerry Lone the pilot of shuttle (inspired to Mister No), Mac the robot, Olivia Olling the lawyer (inspired to Vigna's wife, Olivia Olla), Katia's neighbors and Julia with Ubiq the dog, captain Ishimori associate to Yakuza (that must initially look like Poirot), the inconclusive Ash and Leonid and many others.

Among the bads we have to mention only one, indissolubly tied up to Nathan's life: Aristotle Skotos.
 


More and more... There also are Atlantis and then the Future of the Future or Technobiological wars and the "Technodroids", Sapiens and Ultra-Sapiens races, Brotherhood Shade, Temporal Rings... and Nathan Never that always plays a decisive role in the world's fates. But this is another history (a possible history)...

Pessimisme. In this scenery Nathan Never moves, whose adventures with science-fictioned background are often a metaphor of our reality, of our actual society's contrasts (poverty, racism, bio-etics, loneliness, corruption...), problems amplified from the future

Nathan's histories are often veined by a "characteristic" pessimism, that also bears from his tragic personal history that we can hardly resume in few lines: the only data we can report are that his wife, Laura Lorring, has been murdered by a criminal, Ned Mace, that Nathan wanted to hunt out. Ann, Nathan's daughter, abducted and for a long time imprisoned by the same Mace, now is autistic and sheltered in an institute. Nathan bears the blame of his wife's homicide and of his daughter's illness, also because in that period, in a moment of incomprehension, he betrayed his wife...

Nathan's character is hard and melancholy, but Nathan is never cynic or insensitive. He has never lost the trust in the ideal of justice, but he has some doubts on himself and on the world surrounding him. Nathan's vision is Jansenistic: although the world has changed, man is always the same: bad.


Serra, Medda e Vigna, self-portrait
(c) 1993
   
 

The authors. Medda, Serra e Vigna began to collaborate in 1986 with Bonelli writing texts for Martin Mystery and then for Dylan Dog. In 1988 they begin to define Nathan Nemo (this must be the name of the character). The official Nathan's date of birth can be considered 11 November 1989, because in a reunion in Milan, came approved the plan: the heading would have arrived in newspaper kiosk in June 1991.

The complex universe "three Sardinians" have built in the long years of preparation, has strengthened Nathan's histories, but, perhaps for a fate's joke, although the "background" is about science-fiction, the best histories tell about single or groups' "torment", not about bold and innovating science-fictioned tricks. With a small effort many histories could happen at present. Because in his future technology is, also, a threat, but man is always the biggest threat...
 

 


 
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