THE IDES OF MARS
Martin Mystère finds himself in a holographic representation of Mars, where he is greeted by Colonel Bozzo and the Marchef. Bozzo is the head of the criminal organization once called the Brotherhood of Mercy or the Black Coats, now known as BlackSpear Holdings. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the Nyctalope prepares to do battle with the last survivor of the evil Martians he destroyed decades ago. Bozzo tells Martin some of the Martians’ technology was acquired by Kiang-Ho of the Golden Belt, who was defeated by Rama Rundjee, alias Doctor Mystère, after whom Martin was named. He also says Jean de La Hire was the Nyctalope’s biographer, just as Watson was Holmes,’ Ponson du Terrail was Rocambole’s, Burroughs was Greystoke’s, and Féval was Bozzo’s own. Bozzo knew Martin’s ancestor Remy d’Arx very well.
Short story by Jean-Marc Lofficier in Night of the Nyctalope, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2012; reprinted in French in La Nuit du Nyctalope, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Rivière Blanche, 2012. Martin Mystère’s exploits have been portrayed in comics by Alfredo Castelli. Colonel Bozzo (aka Colonel Bozzo-Corona), the Marchef, the Black Coats, and Remy d’Arx appear in a series of novels by Paul Féval. BlackSpear Holdings, the present-day incarnation of the Black Coats, also appears in Castelli and Lofficier’s graphic novel The Treasure of the Veste Nere and Lofficier’s novel The Katrina Protocol. The Nyctalope was the hero of French pulp stories by Jean de La Hire. Kiang-Ho of the Golden Belt is the archenemy of Philip Reade’s dime novel boy inventor (or “Edisonade”) Tom Edison Jr. Doctor Mystère’s adventures were recounted by Paul d’Ivoi; Castelli has established the Doctor’s adopted son Cigale is Martin Mystère’s great-great-grandfather.
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