Discussing with friends on the topic of “Italian Superheroes” I was inspired by a friend who told me: “Don´t try to find Italian superheroes, we don´t have superheroes, Italians don´t know what a superhero is“. I suddenly realized that it´s true! The concept of being a superhero doesn´t belong to Italian culture. Indeed we have really original artists and writers, which realized masterpieces without talking about heroism.
Regarding comics there are two powerful examples: Hugo Pratt, who created Corto Maltese in 1967, and Angela and Luciana Giussani, which simultaneously invented Diabolik and a new comics layout, the pocket-sized “Diabolik format” (12 x 17 cm).
Hugo Pratt featured a complex character, the sailor Corto Maltese. He is a laconic sea captain during the 20th century. The character embodies the author’s scepticism of national, ideological, and religious beliefs. In fact, Corto wears an earring in his left ear (a typical anarchic symbol) and befriends many different kind of people, including murderous and any other kind of anti-heroes.
Diabolik was created by sisters Angela and Luciana Giussani. Diabolik is a successful and rich thief, who steals just for his personal and economical satisfaction. Although he embodies the dream way of living for many Italian men: wealth, success, a great car (the well-known Jaguar E-Type) and a wonderful partner, the famous Eva Kant.
Videoclip of the Italian song “Amore Impossibile” – Tiromancino, inspired by the character of Diabolik: