Original title: Commander Mark
Characters: Commander Mark, Mister Bluff, Sad Owl, Flok the Dog, El Gancho, Red Coats, Ontario Wolves, Betty, Doctor Strong
Authors: EsseGesse (Pietro Sartoris, Dario Guzzon, Giovanni Sinchetto)
Sergio Bonelli Editore|
Year: September 1966
Gender: Western comic
Recommended age: Children from 6 to 12 years old
Born in Italy in 1966, the commander Mark was created by a group of cartoonists from Turin called "Esse G Esse" the name is given by the initials of the authors Sinchetto, Guzzon and Sartoris, the same authors of the "Great Blek" and of "Captain Miki". The comic was published by Daim Press (the current Sergio Bonelli Editore) in 1966 and despite the classic genre that has remained unchanged over time, remaining faithful to itself, it still finds today a large number of very loyal readers, thanks above all the quality of the stories and the characterizations of the main characters commander Mark, set during the American war of independence against the British, tells the story of a group of American patriots called "The Wolves of Ontario" fighting against the English "red coats" and led by the legendary Commander Mark. The history of the Commander Mark it begins when a French merchant ship, with nobles aboard, was sunk by an English fleet.
A patriot survived the shipwreck who managed to rescue a newborn, which was kept afloat by the hand of a man (probably the father). Once ashore they were cared for by a tribe of Indians and the child, who was called Mark because of an "M" embroidered on the dress, grew up integrating perfectly with the customs and traditions of the Indians. Despite all the good adoptive father, he did not fail to teach them all the culture and studies of European civilization, as well as the use of weapons such as the rifle, the pistol and in particular the sword. Mark grew strong and sturdy and quickly learned the man's teachings, so much so that he was able to surpass him even in fencing. He met a little girl with blond braids named Betty who he saved from the wolves and with whom he fell in love. But soon Mark, now grown up, had to undergo events that profoundly marked his life. In fact, the British, who sowed terror among the local population and also carried out massacres among the Indians, killed Mark's adoptive father, as he was a partisan who was fighting for the independence of the American people.
On this occasion he met a faithful friend of his adoptive father: Mister Bluff, a man in his fifties characterized by a thick, bristly beard and a completely bald head. With him I joined the fight against the British and together with a large group of patriots took refuge on a small island in Lake Ontario, where they built their fort and called themselves "The Wolves of Ontario", electing Mark as their commander. The group was also joined by an Indian chief named Owl Sad, whom Mark had known long ago because they had fought in a duel, in which Mark had won. Owl Triste, now the only survivor of the massacre of his tribe by the English, becomes together with Mister Bluff one of Commander Mark's inseparable friends. The group also includes Mark's inseparable girlfriend, Betty in charge of the kitchens and always ready to pull out her nails in case of need.
Commander Mark's publications have always been a little different from others, such as those of Tex or Zagar, in fact, the episodes are always self-contained and rarely in installments. In addition, they are always contained in 64 pages and not in 98 as in the Bonellian standard, the remaining pages are occupied by the episodes of other characters of the Essegesse such as Alan Mistero, Il Great Blek and Kerry the Trapper. The recurring theme of the adventures is that of espionage. In fact, since it was an American civil war at the end of the 700s, the English enemy could hide anywhere and the same opponents could also hide among the patriots. Among the English "bad guys" who were defeated by Commander Mark and the Ontario Wolves we remember the cruel and ruthless Colonel Sparrow, Major Stoddard, and many others, but in these adventures there is no shortage of pirates and smugglers of the worst kind and the Indians corrupted by "fire water". As mentioned, the success of this comic series is also due to the characterization of the characters. Commander Mark is the prototype of the unblemished and fearless hero who fights for the ideals of freedom, handsome, young, strong and very skilled in fencing. Mister Bluff is the classic right-hand man, pragmatic, wise, courageous and faithful, but also ironic
Owl Triste is instead the funny aspect of the group, in fact he is a great jinx and his maxims of his great-great-grandfather sorcerer, are all based on pessimism and possible misfortune. A male chauvinist, he does not look favorably on women, according to his point of view, the bearers of troubles and misfortunes. From Owl Triste and Flok, the skin, bones and hair dog of Mister Bluff, the best gags of the series are born, in fact the favorite goal of this bony dog is to bite into the ass of Owl Triste, but also the latter for its part , never misses an opportunity to set some traps for the poor dog. Gufo Triste and Flok are also characters who at the right moment show off great courage and skill when it comes to fighting against the hated English "Red Jackets". Betty, on the other hand, represents the eternal girlfriend of comic book characters, blonde with a soap and water face, has the charm of a housewife, and is very jealous of her beloved Mark's encounters with some attractive woman on duty. Another character to remember is the sailor. El Gancho, the classic sea dog with a hook in his right hand, an old friend of Mister Bluff and also fighting against the English. Commander Mark there is no lack of references to historical figures of the time such as George Washington or invented by EsseGesse itself as "Il Grande Blek".
There have been episodes in which the Commander Mark he also had to face other enemies in lands far from America. This is the case of numbers 104 to 107, when we see him in Egypt as the protagonist of an adventure against the mummy of an Egyptian pharaoh. The series (now published by Sergio Bonelli Editore as TuttoMark) ends with issue 281 "The Last Victory", in which Mark and Betty get married and the Americans win over the British. Although the adventures of Commander Mark may appear naïve and obvious to the eyes of the most critics, they always manage to maintain their charm precisely to be out of time and unchanged over the years, and it is precisely for this reason that they are very usable and functional in their reading.
The character of Commander Mark, the names, images and registered trademarks are copyright Sergio Bonelli Editore and are used here for cognitive and informative purposes.
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