September 1943. Lieutenant Morgan’s crew is on patrol in the Adriatic. Their assignment is a simple liaison with the Royal Navy. The young officer is bored. He misses the action. During a brief passage on the coast of Yugoslavia, Morgan, finally, has the opportunity to prove his bravery and courage. Noticed by his superiors for this action, he is going to be assigned to sensitive and strategic missions – including the elimination of a spy in Venice and the capture of a German outpost aboard a dirigible.
This is the last great story drawn by Pratt.
Set in 1849 in the Malayan Sea, a few miles from the west coast of Borneo on the wild island of Mompracem. Buffeted by violent storms, Sandokan, nicknamed the Tiger of Malaya, keeps watch for the British, who dream of capturing this colorful, much-feared pirate. One day, Yanez, a Portuguese comes and tells him of a beautiful young woman with golden hair. She lives in Labuan and the fame of her beauty has spread throughout the islands. Excited by his friend’s story, Sandokan sets out for Labuan to see this mysterious woman for himself. He is also planning to take revenge upon the white men who have killed his family.
We know from Hugo Pratt’s interviews with Dominique Petitfaux (De l’autre Cote de Corto [the Other side of Corto Maltese]- ed. Casterman) of the existence of a version of Sandokan created by Pratt in the late sixties. However, no one had access to his source, an incomplete and unedited story, which had been adapted by the scriptwriter Mino Milani from a well-known novel by the Italian writer Emilio Salgari (1862-1911). The latter specialized in adventure stories in the style of Jules Verne or R.L. Stevenson. Sandokan was rediscovered after a lapse of some forty years and eventually made its way to the bookshops. It had gathered dust in a drawer as a result of the troubled history of the publishing house that commissioned it in the first place.
This story is set in Northern Canada, around 1920. Jesuit Joe is a descendant of Louis Riel, who was the leader of the resistance of the Canadian Métis in1880. He is a complex character who hates white people, and is capable of both mighty and horrible deeds. This new hero created by Hugo Pratt fascinates us despite his cruelty and his strange ethics. “What really affects us is the almost poetic dimension of his characters, good or bad, which makes them attractive, despite their fierce and bloody actions. Everyone is so sleek and therefore strangely master of his fate.” (Jacques Hurtubise, source unknown). Wearing a Canadian Mounty uniform that he found in a hut, Joe Jesuit saves a child raised by a sorcerer. He then proceeds to Lake Artillery to look for her sister.
Anna of the Jungle
Gombi, a small garrison town somewhere in East Africa, is a British outpost. Living here, on the eve of World War I, are a handful of western military and civilians, including young Ann Livingston, the daughter of an English doctor. The adventure begins with the drums of all the tribes of the region announcing the death of Wambo, a very vengeful sorcerer of Wagaïs. The drum message also says that the spirit of Wambo will return from death to kill all white people. At the same time, a sailor named Tipperary O’Hara lands. He has with him a young prince named Dan, who is traveling incognito and hopes to go on a safari. But Dan’s plans will change greatly. A lot of things are happening in this corner of Africa, where everything is an excuse to embark on the “Golden Vanity” of O’Hara. Escorted by the military, they sometimes go to the rescue of companions in danger, or for a treasure hunt, on a search for a lost city, or a cemetery of elephants. Among these incredible encounters and after many dangers, Ann and Dan, two teenagers with exceptional courage and intelligence, become great friends. The character of Tipperary O’Hara is definitely a first “incarnation” of Corto Maltese, who will make Pratt a world famous artist.
The Shadow is an avenger who belongs to the great tradition of masked avengers. More than that, he has an irony all his own, and a very Mediterranean style. He’s a good superhero, with a split personality and a full compliment of nerve gases, truth serums, flying machines, and hyper-powerful cars. His great enemy, “The General” (also called “The Admiral” or “The Supreme”), wants to get his hands on all the shipments of gold in the world. A gang of murderers and an army of strange miniature, remote-controlled robots assist this legendary “super villain,” also in the tradition of “comic noir.” In three episodes, the Shadow’s adventures will ultimately take him to Jaipur to free a kidnapped Rajah from “The Supreme.”
The story starts with the adventures of Criss Kenton, a boy from Virginia, and Patrick Fitzgerald, a British lad during the American War of Independence. Initially friends and comrades in the struggles against the Indians, they separate when Criss decides to continue fighting for the American colonies while Patrick, following in the footsteps of his uncle, takes the side of England. Nonetheless, their roads are destined to cross again in the course of a long sequence of events that mix historical fact with fiction.
The adventures of a young American, Caleb Lee, unfold in Ticonderoga. He has just joined the king’s army and his first battle turns into a disaster because the British army was unprepared for a war in the forest. Caleb is saved by Joe Flint (called Ticonderoga Flint), who is a young enemy of the French. Flint is a true man of the woods, very close to the Indians. With him Caleb Lee will have a real experience of war and friendship. The series was created in Argentina with the title of Ticonderoga Flint in 1957.
The Federal Commissioner’s words still echo in the head of Sergeant Kirk: “The attack against me and my escort cannot go unpunished. Prepare an expedition! My revenge will be the end of the Comanche!” Kirk has already participated in a massacre of Indians in Pueblo Negro and does not want this nightmare to be repeated again. This crisis of conscience pushes the sergeant to leave the U.S. armed forces and he sides with the Indians, who are much weaker. Designed between 1953 and 1959 when Hugo Pratt was in Argentina, Sergeant Kirk is the most prolific and also the most misunderstood of his works.
The scenarios are signed by Hector Oesterheld (as for Ernie Pike).
Ernie Pike, a war reporter during the Second World War, follows the battlefields from the Pacific to North Africa, and then to Europe. He tells human stories, writing a daily news column on the cruelty of the fighting. He also includes scenes of mutual aid between comrades in arms. Betrayals, courage, heroism or escapes — nothing avoids the eye of this acute witness who knows the atrocities of war.
The Scorpions of the Desert
The Second World War, told through the eyes of Hugo Pratt’s Polish officer Koïnsky. An adventurous journey through the arid dunes of the desert, abandoned forts, and remote oases populated by a stunning variety of people — women warriors, bloodthirsty Bedouins, opera singers and officers in love — all trapped in a conflict where no one knows which side to take anymore.
Pratt’s touching tribute to Saint-Exupery, who flies for the last time through the skies of the world and the memories of his incredible life. Dodging the blows of enemy planes, jumping from Saigon to Guatemala, he mingles with high society in Buenos Aires and crosses thresholds in the middle of the Libyan Desert. He walks in the clouds till the end, then turns West of his last dream and goes on, now and forever, toward the legend.
In 1879, in Zululand, an entire British military force was massacred. In 1879 the young prince, Louis Eugene Napoleon, was also killed by the Zulu’s spears. Anglophone nationalism exploded. The protagonist of this story is Milton Cato. He is a gambler, a cheater, and a violent man. He is disrespectful of rules and hierarchies of the military. He is a deserter from the British army, fated to be a former officer, former hero, ex-lover, ex-outlaw — a former everything. When fleeing to the North he meets a girl in danger, runs into a caravan of Boers, and saves a shipment of British soldiers from an attack by angry Zulus. During the 1914-18 war in Tanganyika, after becoming the military adviser of a Zulu chief named Usibepu, Cato disappears.
The Man of the Caribbean
This is the story of a commotion in the Caribbean Sea between a gangster concerned with his booty and an opportunist revolutionary. Svend, a Danish sailor and transporter, is embroiled in events that will make him lose his imperturbable cover. By setting his story as an adventure film, Hugo Pratt cleverly plays two of his favorite themes: betrayal and revenge.
The Man of Sertao
This is a story where adventure becomes surreal. The drawings are beautiful, and the story touching — Pratt is in the highest of his artistic form. The author takes us into the heart of northeast Brazil where the soul of Gringo Vargas hovers in the hinterlands. To find eternal peace he will take revenge on his killers.
The Man from Somalia
Set in December 1931, in the desert of Somalia bordering Ethiopia. It is a hellish furnace and hostile to all life. The camel patrol led by Lieutenant Robinson hunts a solitary, elusive warrior who signs his misdeeds with a nickname, “The Avenger.”
Is this a man, an idea, a reincarnation, or a ghost? As the search progresses, the landscape becomes more rugged and arid, blurring the boundaries between the real and the supernatural. All the ancient legends that permeate this Biblical land seem to bring Robinson and his men to the edge of madness.