Casanova #1 (June 2006). Art by Gabriel Bá.
|Publication date||June 2006 - May 2008|
|Number of issues||14|
|Artist(s)||Gabriel Bá (1-7)
|Luxuria hardcover||ISBN 978-1-58240-689-3|
|Gula hardcover||ISBN 978-1-58240-866-8|
Casanova is an American creator-owned comic book series by writer Matt Fraction and artists Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon. It was first published by Image Comics and premiered in June 2006 in the Slimline format of 16 pages of story per issue, sold at the reduced price of $1.99. Beginning in 2011, it is published by Marvel Comics' Icon imprint.
The first issue was cover dated June 2006 and published in the Slimline format of 16 pages of story per issue, sold at the reduced price of $1.99.
A collection of the first seven issues is titled Casanova Volume 1: Luxuria. Fraction has stated that he hopes for seven collections, each subtitled with the Latin word for one of the seven deadly sins, in the following order: Luxuria, Gula, Avaritia, Acedia, Ira, Invidia and Superbia.
Album 1: Luxuria #1-7
At the beginning of the first issue, Casanova "Cass" Quinn works as a freelance thief and espionage artist who has turned his back on the rest of the Quinn family. His father, Cornelius, runs the world-spanning spy organization E.M.P.I.R.E. of which Casanova's twin sister Zephyr is a top agent, while his mother Anna has been hidden away in a vegetative state for unknown reasons. Casanova is the black sheep in the family and only makes contact with his father when his sister is killed during a mission - they meet again and fight at her funeral.
The funeral is actually a turning point for Casanova's life as a mystery device is planted on him without his knowledge, a device which thrusts him bodily into the inner sanctum of Newman Xeno—a bandaged super-genius hedonist running an evil organization called W.A.S.T.E. (a reference to Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49). This Xeno, however, reveals that Casanova's actually been transplanted into a parallel timeline - moving from Timeline 909 to Timeline 919 - where Casanova was the dead E.M.P.I.R.E. agent and the very much alive Zephyr is the bad girl thief working for W.A.S.T.E. The morally ambivalent Casanova is drawn into a deceitful game where he appears as his own dead counterpart to work both sides of the W.A.S.T.E./E.M.P.I.R.E. coin.
Casanova is forced to undertake various missions and counter-missions, such as removing a former E.M.P.I.R.E. Agent who is the ruler of a sex island, or killing David X, a magician whose stunts could lead to his being seen as a messiah. At the end of the volume, Cass manages to break free of Newman Xeno's control and with his newly acquired team, decides to begin to genuinely work for E.M.P.I.R.E., operating out of a giant Japanese World War II era robot.
Album 2: Gula #8-14
Also subtitled as 'When Is Casanova Quinn?'. Casanova's team have a new mission, to stop a revolutionary new aircraft powered by the mysterious 'H-Element'. The book then skips forward 2 years, with a masked E.M.P.I.R.E. agent fighting the plane, now a reality. The plane is piloted by a blue-skinned multi-armed woman called Sasa Lisi, who asks the agent, Kaito (Casanova's 'Intern') 'When is Casanova Quinn?'
Sasa Lisi is from the future, and an agent of M.O.T.T. who claims not only to be a lover of Casanova's from the future, but also that finding him is essential to the survival of the 'Multiquintessence'.
Elsewhere, Zephyr has returned, and is working with Kubark Benday, son of the head of X.S.M. and 'potential future love interest'. She and Kubark are hired by her former lover, Newman Xeno, who offers her ten billion dollars to return to him, she refuses, but agrees to do the contract job, hits on all the people who know about H-Element, including Cornelius Quinn.
After successfully killing all three people who know about the H-Element, it is revealed that Zephyr was really working undercover for E.M.P.I.R.E. and everyone she and Kubark killed were robots, including Cornelius. Kaito mourns the death of Ruby, who he does not elect to revive.
Cornelius and the gang race toward X.S.M.'s island, where Xeno and the Bendays are about to launch Lisi's shuttle which, along with the H-Element, will grant Xeno's past self the Fakebook. The closer the gun gets to launching, the more body parts Lisi seems to grow, existing in multiple, conflicting timestreams. Zephyr, too, begins to display some of Lisi's side effects, until she is shot by a mourning Kaito. It is then revealed that Zephyr was really Casanova, working to try to atone for his sins by undoing everything. Cornelius, angry at his son's death, elects to fire the gun and preserve history.
In the final pages, Casanova is returned to male form, Kubark rails at his betrayal, and David X sneaks in and escapes with Xeno and Kubark. Casanova, now shunned by his father, agrees to work for E.M.P.I.R.E., though Cornelius will not recognize him as his son.
Vol. 3: Avaritia
In April 2009, Ba confirmed on his blog that Casanova will continue in the future, writing "I can speak for Matt, Fábio and myself when I say we are doing all we can to bring Casanova back the best way it deserves to come back. And I can tell you this: It WILL come back."
In August 2009, Fraction appeared on the "War Rocket Ajax" podcast and went into detail regarding the return of Casanova. He said that issues #1-14 will be reprinted in color, possibly combining two original issues of the Image Comics-released 16 page "Slimline" format into one, resulting in seven full-color reprinted issues. Fraction compared the new full-color format to be similar to the color scheme of Steven Soderbergh's film "Traffic" where each of the film's storylines were filmed in a separate hue of gold, green, and blue. Fraction said that while the book will have a wider full-color palette, it will retain the use of green and blue as the dominant color similar to the original Image series.
The reasoning behind this is that while Casanova was originally produced with single spot colors of green and blue, the creators were paying for the more expensive full-color printing to achieve the effect. Also, Fraction said that comic book stores regarded the book as a black and white book (generally thought of as unpopular to mainstream comic book readers) and placed very low orders. Fraction said that he and co-creators Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba are enjoying wider success due to Fraction's work for Marvel Comics (Invincible Iron Man and Uncanny X-Men) and Moon and Ba's work on Dark Horse Comics' "Umbrella Academy" and DC/Vertigo Comics' "Daytripper". Combining their higher profiles with a full-color/longer format, the hope is that the book will have a broader appeal and wider support from both fans and retailers.
After the re-release of the colored #1-14, Volume Three will begin. Fraction said they hope to have most, if not all, of Volume Three completed by the time it begins publication.
Fraction also said that the trade paperback of Volume One: Luxuria will go back to print and a trade paperback collection of Volume Two: Gula will be released to support the revamped book.
In February 2010, the online version of Comic-Con Magazine featured a conversation between Matt Fraction and Brian Michael Bendis. It was revealed that the new "Casanova" would be debuting at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con. It will be moving from Image Comics to Marvel Comics' creator-owned Icon imprint, home of Bendis' own "Powers" series which was also originally published by Image Comics. 
Three years, four months, three weeks, and one day after the last issue of Volume Two, this whole "future" section became the past as Casanova Volume Three: Avaritia issue #1 hit the shelves on 7 September 2011. Marvel Comics are publishing it under the Icon imprint.
In April 2013, Fraction stated that Casanova would return in late 2013 with backup stories written by Michael Chabon.
The series is being collected into trade paperbacks:
- Luxuria (144 pages, hardcover, May 2007, ISBN 978-1-58240-689-3, softcover, January 2008, ISBN 978-1-58240-897-2)
- Gula (144 pages, hardcover, April 2008, ISBN 978-1-58240-866-8)
- Casanova at Fraction's site
- The Full First Issue available online, Newsarama
- "Casanova" or "How I Learned to Stay Cool and Love the Multiverse", Comic Book Resources, February 14, 2007