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Comic Book / Satanik

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"Cruelty. Sadism. Greed. Violence. This is Satanik."

Satanik is a 1964 Italian comic belonging to the fumetto nero (black comic) genre, authored by Max Bunker and Magnus. One of the most successful endeavors of the genre, the comic is distinguished from others of its kind by the massive presence of supernatural and horror elements, which were absent in the grittier, more realistic examples like Diabolik and the several other comics that came after it. Running for 10 years, it ended in 1974 amidst many controversies, which surrounded this production more so than any other black comic of the period, yet it has enjoyed several reprints, and is still considered a classic by the aficionados.

Marnie Bannister's life, to put it bluntly, sucks. Despite being a brilliant biologist and chemist, having earned herself a Ph.D. at just 25 years of age, she is despised and ridiculed by pretty much everyone around her because of her poor origins and of an angioma that viciously scars her face. The third daughter of an alcoholic and of a closed-minded housewife, she still lives in the family, along with her beautiful sisters Dolly and Lydia, who continuously disrespect her because of her unsightly appearence. Pushed to the edge by the abuse, Marnie invents a serum by expanding on the research of the mad alchemist Masopust. After drinking the serum and going through a painful transformation, Marnie is turned into a beautiful red-haired seductress. Inebriated by her newfound appearence, and filled with grudge against the world, she decides to make the most of it, calling herself Satanik and starting a life of crime and lust for power that will leave countless bodies behind...


Satanik contains examples of:

  • All the Other Reindeer: Because of the extensive angioma on her face, Marnie was faced with ridicule and contempt for all her life.
  • Antagonist Title
  • Back from the Dead: Baron Wurdalak, several times. Justified because he's a vampire.
    • Satanik herself in issue 201.
  • Being Evil Sucks: A major theme of this comic: yes, it might feel good for a while, but in the long run, no matter how much money, power or dark magic she amasses, Marnie's victories invariably end up feeling hollow and pointless.
  • Big Sister Bully: Marnie had two of them. Emphasis on had.
  • Big Good: Lt. Trent comes the closest to qualifying.
  • Crapsack World: The world as depicted in this comic is a pretty shitty place, where neither good nor evil people truly prosper.
  • Dark Action Girl: Satanik prefers to use stealth and seduction to get what she wants, but she's a capable brawler and a pretty good shot.
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  • Enemy Mine: Satanik and her arch-nemesis Lt. Trent have to team up more often than either would feel comfortable with.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Happens quite often, as Satanik is faced with other disreputable people who are after the same thing she's trying to obtain.
  • Faking the Dead: Deconstructed. In the third issue, still inhebriated by the change in her life, Marnie starred in a movie and then had to fake her death immediately after. In the following issue a potential ally recognizes her and guesses she has something to hide, prompting her to murder him to protect the secret, and in the fifth she walks into a trap Trent set up after seeing her picture on the paper and realizing she has survived the fire he thought she had died into.
  • Femme Fatale: Satanik is a man-eater who has no problem using seduction and even sex to manipulate her prey.
  • Hero Antagonist: Lt. Trent
  • The Villain Protagonist Dies:In issue 200, Satanik is blasted to ashes when her medallion is broken during a shootout, and the energy overpowers her. She comes back to life in the next issue.
    • Happens again in issue 231, and this time, it sticks.
  • Hot Witch: Satanik is pretty easy on the eyes and makes use of black magic and dangerous alchemy.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: This is the trope that keeps Satanik from losing all audience sympathy. A sizeable chunk of her victims were corrupt businessmen, sleazy perverts and, in general, terrible excuses for human beings, which admittedly softens the blow of Satanik's terrible deeds.
  • Made of Iron: Trent. Marnie has made countless attempts to kill him, and she even came close quite a few times. He is still alive at the end of the series. She isn't.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Satanik.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Baron Wurdalak, one of Satanik's recurring enemies. Though he´s actually pretty standard fare, as far as vampires go.
  • Science Versus Magic: Averted. Marnie is a skilled chemist as well as a powerful witch, and has no problem combining the two.
  • Slasher Smile: Marnie's is somewhat more restrained than others, but it still coveys the trope.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Trent
  • The Dog Bites Back: Marnie's sister and parents hated and abused her. Guess who are the first ones to suffer Satanik's wrath?
  • The Vamp: Satanik is one of the best examples of this trope.
  • Villain Protagonist: Satanik practices black magic, kills the innocent and the guilty alike to get what she wants, and entertains plans of ruling the world from time to time - though she tends to lose interest in such plans quickly enough.
  • Villainous Crush: Satanik gets several of them throughout the series. It never ends well.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Issue 15, "The Picture of Alex Bey". As in, they weren't even trying to disguise it.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: If one is feeling charitable, Marnie's behavior can be interpreted as that of a young, intelligent and resourceful woman who's fed up with all the abuse she's received and is lashing out at the world that mistreated her, under the delusion that this will make her feel better somehow.
  • Younger Than They Look: The angioma that disfigured Marnie's face also made her look far older than her 25 years of age. It is only when she becomes Satanik that she actually looks her age.

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