Corto Maltese #13 Onder de Middernachtzon – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: Adventure
Written by: Juan Díaz Canales
Illustrations: Rubén Pelejero
Coloring: Rubén Pelejero
Publisher: Casterman

Corto Maltese #13 Onder de Middernachtzon – Comic Book Review

Site Score
Good: Pleasant pace
Bad: The coloring might not be everyone's cup of tea
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

After having been put stop for over twenty-five years, Corto Maltese now has a new album out, albeit written and illustrated by Juan Diaz and Rubén Pellejero, and not Hugo Pratt, who originally shaped the character. Corto Maltese is an adventurer in heart and soul, always traveling to different places but nonetheless, he always keeps his cool in every situation, making him also seem a bit reserved. Let’s see if he is still as fit as back in the day.


When Corto goes to the races together with some old acquaintances, Mrs. Prentiss gives him two letters from his old friend, Jack London. The first one is addressed to Corto himself, the other one to Waka Yamada. In his letter to Corto, he asks him to take the other letter to Waka, a former dancer who now strives against the trade of white women in Nome, Alaska. He fears that he will never see her again, as he is very ill, and thus he asks this favor of Corto. In return he left him a little present in his cabin in Dawson. Of course, Corto decides to head to Nome right away in search of this mysterious woman. There he finds out that she has been taken to Dawson City against her will, due to her fight for these women. It seems Corto is not liked either in Nome, as he is soon taken prisoner. Luckily he manages to escape, and he boards the next ship leaving the harbor. The crew are on their way to the Beaufort Sea when they get caught in a storm. Once the storm has settled, they see that their ship is damaged too much to be able to sail on. Thus they have to get help, which they find in a camp of a British expedition, with whom they travel along. It is only the beginning of Corto’s endeavor to find Waka.

Given this comic book counts eighty-two pages, there is quite some room for the story to develop. Even though eighty-two pages may sound like a lot, it gave Juan Díaz Canales the opportunity to tell a story where there are many different characters and many things happening all the way, but still has a pace that feels rather pleasant. The many different places Corto visits, such as the North Pole, but also the dark neighborhoods of Noma, keep the story interesting. Danger is always lurking around the corner, be it in the form of a polar bear, a storm, or armed men (or women).

Rubén Pelejero’s illustrations look a bit particular. Certainly the lack of detail in the background (sometimes no background at all) is quite striking. Another thing that adds to this feeling of peculiarity is the coloring, which uses only cold, faint colors. Backgrounds are often colored in just one color, even when there is some more detail to them. It’s something we are not used to, but nonetheless it helps to evoke a certain atmosphere of coldness and distrust.

A nice extra is that on the interior of the cover, there is a big world map that shows where Corto Maltese’s adventures have taken him over the previous albums.


Corto Maltese #13 Onder de Middernachtzon tells a nice story about Corto Maltese traveling around to fulfill his friend’s wish. Even though the story has a lot to tell, it never feels hasty, due to the length of the album. Illustrations are quite different from your usual comic book, which makes them stand out, even with the cool and faint colors that were used. All of these elements make this comic book quite different, which you might either love or hate.

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Corto Maltese #13 Onder de Middernachtzon - Comic Book Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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