Martin Mystère (or Martin Jacques Mystère) is the protagonist of fumetti with the same title, which was created by writer Alfredo Castelli. Graphic identity for the character was designed by Giancarlo Alessandrini. The first publication date is 1982, by Sergio Bonelli Editore. The series are still being published, and it has been translated into many different languages and published in different countries such as Germany, Turkey, Serbia, Croatia, USA, India.
Mystère is a successful and famous art historian, archaeologist, author, professor and TV show producer. He was born in New York but studied and spent most of his early years in Italy. After the unexplained deaths of his parents in a plane crash, he started studying the phenomenal and mysterious events, places and people. He has a good knowledge of history, anthropology and social sciences but he is still hungry for knowledge and information. This creates a huge problem as he is running out of space to store his books which he just keeps buying and reading.
Mystère lives in New York, at 3 Washington Mews, New York with his long-time fiancée Diana Lombard and close companion and friend Java, who is a Neanderthal, speaking in a primal grunt-like (Hrmgh!) but rich language. Diana is a beautiful and loyal woman. Although Martin is not a womanizer, due to his popularity and profession (Detective of the impossible), beautiful and successful women are always around. Diana has full trust in Martin but she never stops making sharp puns about the subject. Java is a close friend to Martin. Their story is quite fantastic, anything less would be odd for Martin. Java has a great physical strength and still sharp senses. These properties make him the great adventure companion for Martin.
Some recurring characters and close friends also helps Martin in his adventures. Kut Humi, who is a man of wisdom and eternal knowledge, has taught a lot to Martin and his former close friend Sergej Orloff. Chris Tower is Martin's connection in "Elsewhere", a secret organization for collecting and protecting rare and powerful artifacts. Inspector Travis of NYPD is another friend of Martin, and helps him a lot throughout his adventures.
Sergej Orloff is the main bad guy in the adventures. They together visited Kut Humi in Agharti ("a city both in this world and not"), and gained great knowledge and unique abilities, along with one ancient ray-gun for each, called Murchadna. As Martin's weapon only stuns the target, Sergej Orloff's weapon can kill, and this pretty much sums up the path that Sergej chose after their training. Although they have a classic comicbook hostility amongst them, they still have a connection.
One of the most dangerous enemies of Martin is the arcane organization, Men in Black. This organization has a lot of members, most of them are men in black suits, without any identity. Sometimes important people of high authority, or managers of well known companies are unexpectedly come forward as servants of the organization. Their sole purpose is to stop the truth about history of the world go public, thus controlling the masses. Real historical events, people or places like destruction of Atlantis and Mu or UFOs are their area of expertise. Martin's father is known to be a member of the organization, but he thought that the purpose of the Men in Black are for the greater good. When he realized the true purpose of the organization, he decided to leave, and that was just one day before the plane crash that took him and Martin's mother.
Subjects of Martin's adventures are mostly based on alternate mythology or loose adaptations of real world myths, widely acclaimed conspiracies or authors' alternative approaches to real life events. Most of the time Uncle Marty meets many historical, mythical or imaginary personalities, literary figures, witnesses many important events, but most of the time, there are very little or no evidence to show to the world.
He lives in the same era and world with some other Bonelli characters, like Dylan Dog, Mister No and Zagor. Although he had some collaborative adventures with those characters, he often remembers and talks about them. He once even travels to Nathan Never's era.
During Martin's travels and adventures, reader learns a lot of things about new places and events, this might helped the readers to broaden their horizon in the pre-internet times. Because he likes talking and most of the times he will summarize the history of anything he saw. But the myth is so well welded with the reality, one could easily lose the distinction and accept this alternate reality as the true information. The story of Atlantis and Mu, which were destroyed after a great catastrophe (A flood as in Noah's story). They were advanced civilizations where Mu was a representation of Eastern and Atlantis was the Western societies. After their destruction, very few remaining people created our current civilization. While Man in Black kept this truth as a secret and shaping the history of Earth, we still witness some involvement of those civilizations in Martin's adventures. Whether it is a myth or real life event, the touch of the long-lost advanced civilizations create an alternate reality and truth which is represented as history, of course just in Martins's world. These are mixture of some historical or more modern legends, which create the unique and fantastic world of Martin.
There has been some spin-offs in different medias. One is Stories from Elsewhere (Storie da Altrove) books, which presents stories related to Elsewhere organization. Series also has Giant Albums (Albo Gigante), Specials, Extras, One Shots, Maxi series and Almanacs. An animated TV series was created called Martin Mystery, which is a loose adaptation of the characters and series. There is also a video game called Martin Mystère: Operation Dorian Gray.