Casanova #1 (June 2006). Art by Gabriel Bá.
|Publisher||Image Comics, Icon Comics|
|Publication date||June 2006 - Present|
|Number of issues||18|
|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 #1-4
Casanova is chronically sick and at odds with his father, Cornelius Quinn. E.M.P.I.R.E.'s new mission is to destroy Newman Xeno by destroying every alternate timeline they can find in the past.
In one of the alternate timelines, Casanova discovers Newman Xeno's real name: Luther Desmond Diamond.
The mission changes tactics and instead of obliterating an entire universe, Casanova now kills that timeline's version of Luther Desmond Diamond, which he finds to be less morally reprehensible, but more personal. Casanova begins to develop affection for Luther Desmond Diamond and decides to spare one of the versions.
Casanova and Sasa Lisi become romantically involved with the spared Luther Desmond Diamond, and Sasa Lisi formulates a plan to hide Luther from E.M.P.I.R.E. Luther Desmond Diamond is sent to a secret location that only Casanova knows.
Casanova and Newman Xeno have a fistfight aboard the crashing E.M.P.I.R.E. flagship, ending with Newman Xeno unravelling into nothingness.
Kaito, avenging Ruby's death, shoots Cornelius Quinn in the head.
Sabine Seychelle, who has taken over E.M.P.I.R.E. during Cornelius Quinn's medical leave, turns the tables on Casanova and begins hunting down alternate versions of Casanova in other timelines.
Casanova crashes Sasa Lisi's time machine crashes and he finds himself in another dimension, in Hollywood California.
In April 2013, Fraction stated that Casanova would return in late 2013 with backup stories written by Michael Chabon.
In January 2014 at Image Expo, it was announced that Casanova would be once again published by Image for its fourth volume, Casanova Acedia, with a main story by Matt Fraction and Fabio Moon, and a backup story by Michael Chabon and Gabriel Ba. Fraction added that the new series will be accompanied by "fancy-ass hardcover" collections of the previous series.
The series is being collected into trade paperbacks:
- Vol. 1: Luxuria (144 pages, hardcover, May 2007, ISBN 978-1-58240-689-3, softcover, January 2008, ISBN 978-1-58240-897-2)
- Vol. 1: Luxuria [colored] (160 pages, softcover, January 2011, ISBN 978-0785148623)
- Vol. 2: Gula (136 pages, softcover, July 2011, ISBN 978-0785148630)
- Vol. 3: Avaritia (152 pages, softcover, July 2012, ISBN 978-0785148647)
- 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