By Moreno Burattini
One thing's for sure: there's no shortage of momentous adventures and special events in the Spirit-with-the-Hatchet's saga. If 2015 was the year of Zagor's n. 600, with the return of the Akkronians, Hellingen's rebirth and the revelations about “Guitar” Jim's past, 2016 promises to be the year when we'll ignite a whirlwind of extraordinary returns of old friends. Some of them have been heartily requested by our readers, while others will surprise most of you. And this will just be the tip of the iceberg, since many villains (and many friends, as well) will take centerstage in 2017, too. So, let's take a closer look at this year.
The tastiest of our new issues will be the regular series album that will be published in October: Zenith n. 666 will see the light right in the middle of the celebration for Dylan Dog's 30th anniversary. And since 666 is one of the "Devil's numbers" (as well as the number on the license plate of the Nightmare Investigator), we decided to dedicate a special, full-color issue to Tiziano Sclavi, the man who had a "dress rehearsal" for his most popular character on Zagor's pages. A self-contained story will bring back places and characters created by Sclavi and now integral to our saga, forging a link with Dylan's universe. With a story by Luigi Mignacco, a writer who worked with both our heroes, the album will feature art by one of the "classic" illustrators of Dylan's saga: Luigi Piccatto.
Still talking about anniversaries, after a celebration, we will move on to a remembrance: in February, the Spirit-with-the-Hatchet's album coincides with the first anniversary of Ade Capone's passing away. The author of many adventures of the Darkwood King, Capone is well known as a comics' writer, but he was far more than that in his life: he wrote books, worked as a publisher, entrepreneur, talent scout, TV author and even owned a bookshop. His last Zagor story, with art by Paolo Bisi, will be published posthumous on the February and March issues. It is a story featuring important returns, too: the Black Wolves, soldiers of a special army unit, who in the past have starred in a classic story by Nolitta & Ferri, “Guerra!”.
Straddling next Fall and Winter, we'll be treated to a long vampiric saga, written by Jacopo Rauch with art by Raffaele Della Monica: this time, we'll be witness to the comeback of Countess Ylenia Varga and Baron Bela Rakosi. A blood-red end of the year is in store for our readers!
A picture by Paolo Bisi, from the February album "Il ritorno dei Lupi Neri".
In September, yours truly, with the help of my "partner in crime" Giuseppe Prisco, will bring Satko, the Cherokee lawyer, back under the limelight: our Maxi Zagor is thought as a sequel to “La lunga marcia”, a 15-year old story in the same series that was very popular and praised by readers and critics alike. January's Maxi, by Mignacco-Cassaro, has marked the comeback of another popular supporting character, Bat Batterton. In this endless string of reapperances, our regular series will feature Professor Oldbones, in Spring: the archaeologist/expert of Egyptian antiquities will go back with Zagor to the desert valley where the madman, Vincent Krebs, once had built his own pyramid... and those ruins, submerged by sand, still hold hidden mysteries and treasures.
We'd like to leave a little bit of mystery, for now, about the character in the Darkwoodian microcosm that will star in our traditional Color Zagor, in summer (there's always a prestigious comeback in this album): suffice it to say that, if you think that the characters coming back in the next 12 months are a great number, the same amount (with more surprises in store!) will return in the next two semesters: then, the Darkwood King will take a journey that will... no, really, that's too much. Let's stop here, we don't want to spoil the surprise for you!
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