Cold dog in this swamp: BLACK LEGION

Black Legion” is the title of Zagor n° 690 (Zenith 741) dated January 2023. The screenplay is my work, the drawings are by Oliviero Gramaccionithe cover was made by Alexander Piccininelli and colored by Roberto Piere. This is the second installment of a story divided into three albums. Of the first, “The past of Rochas”, I have already spoken in a previous post (you can read it by clicking on the title). Naturally, since the adventure is not yet over, I will comment on it as a whole when it is finished next month (and it would be desirable that the more sensible commentators would, in turn, make their assessments when the story is finished – then everyone rule as you see fit, of course).

One thing, however, can be said right now. As those who have already read the book will have noticed, in “Black Legion” the Spirit with the Hatchet is only seen in about twenty plates. Much of what is narrated concerns the past of Paul Rochas, the trapper great friend of Zagor – object of the manhunt by ruthless militiamen of a paramilitary body. However, the events recalled in flashbacks are (or should be) dramatic enough to make the story tight and engaging as if our hero in the red coat were on the scene and not just listening (after all, Rochas is one of the family and we know of him it matters). The readers who have sent me their impressions on this point have all been reassuring (then I have no doubts that there are others with the opposite opinion, perhaps even very angry, who knows).

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The peculiarity of the register has its own explanation. “Rochas’ past” is a story meant to be published in a Maxi Zagor of the old format, those of 286 pages. If the story had come out in a single whale, as expected, the flashback with Pablo’s story would have been contained in the central part of the volume, preceded by a first section with Zagor very present and by an absolutely action-packed third section, in which the Spirit with the Hatchet is the protagonist in great dust. So the absence of the King of Darkwood from the narration of Rochas’ history would not have been noticed, the story would have been perfectly balanced.

However, the publishing house has recently transformed Maxi Zagor into Zagor More, publications, always self-contained but 190 pages long. Therefore, all the stories with a greater number of pages have the Zenith series as the only possible outlet on newsstands, which allows them to be divided into episodes. Therefore, the 282 tables of the “Past of Rochas” were broken into three tranches of 94 each. And the central flashback ended up occupying almost the entire second, logically. In the end, however, the important thing is that the story is exciting and, in my opinion, closed the last page that you can read next month, most of you will be satisfied – or at least I hope so.

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