Eva Kant, the blond leading character in Diabolik’s adventures, loyal and inseparable partner, is the character that has probably gone through the deepest psychological evolution. We don’t know much about her past, less than we know about her partner’s. When she appears the first time (number 3, “Diabolik’s Arrest”), she immediately captures the male readers attention and naturally Diabolik’s too. She’s attractive and charming, even if there are suspects about her: they say she’s a widow and she’s rich because her husband, Lord Kant, left her the title “Lady” when he died during a safari in not very clear circumstances. Diabolik is about to rob her, when a magnetic attraction immediately takes place between the two of them: his steel color eyes had already attracted many women who ignored his real (and terrifying) identity. The others were too naive for him. Eva, though, knows who he is but she doesn’t fear him. She saves him right from the start when he’s about to be guillotined, helping him escape from prison. It’s Eva’s courage that makes him, one of the most implacable criminals, fall in love. The episode after she frees Diabolik, however, Eva begins thinking about the decision she has taken, she loves Diabolik but she is also a little afraid of him. You shouldn’t forget that in the beginning Diabolik killed anyone who got in his way with absolute no pity. In no time, Eva begins to gain confidence in herself, she becomes daring and soon enough she becomes Diabolik’s partner, maybe because she becomes aware of how much he loves her after he saved her many times from jail, risking his own life, or maybe because she feels its time to “soil her hands” (by this time, on one calls her “Lady” anymore). Eva learns Diabolik’s tricks (she knows how to make disguises, use the acids, narcotics and needle-throwers). Sometimes she plans by herself escape plans for her boyfriend, she even made her own private secret shelter that Diabolik doesn’t even know about it. In the beginning Diabolik doesn’t believe they’re on the same level. You can tell from the way he calls her “my little fool” or “my adorable pest”. As a matter of fact, neither does Ginko or the readers think they’re on the same level especially when Diabolik is condemned to the guillotine, while as Eva only to 20 years of prison because in their opinion she has undergone his negative influence. Naturally, Eva doesn’t like the fact that he doesn’t consider her on his same level amd many times, she’s forced to compete with him (see “Eva’s Robbery”) to show him her ability in planning and doing a complicated robbery. This spirit of competition and her jealousy are the main reason why they fight and this complicates or sometimes ruins their plans. Jealousy is another recurrent subject that makes Eva suffer a lot, always insecure of his love (see “The Train of Death”), when Diabolik kidnaps a beautiful woman to make her think he’s forgotten about his blond “Lady”, temporarily in jail. Although, the reason he does this is to reduce her prison’s surveillance, so he can organize the escape. When Eva finds out about his presumed “love affair” with another woman, she’s deeply hurt (because she thinks about how she’s ruined her life with a criminal that abandons her so soon)! There have been many misunderstandings between the two in these 35 years buy they’ve never been unfaithful to each other. And so after many escapes, going 200 km per hour on their Jaguar, daring robberies, jealousies, misunderstandings and many vacations at the beach (Eva’s favorite destination), Eva earns Diabolik’s trust and Ginko’s respect, who admitted more than once that Eva is Diabolik’s worthy partner. During recent years Eva influences Diabolik to the point that she can pursued or dissuade him from doing a robbery, some are done just so he can give her a statue or a jewel. Diabolik even designs jewels for her, chooses romantic places, goes on vacation more often and creates a perfume with an original fragrance for her. So you can clearly see that in the beginning he didn’t even let her know what he intended doing, whereas now, he calls with the radio clock just to let her know that he’ll be a bit late. Eva has become very important for Diabolik in a way that no other woman could ever hope to be.
EVA’S CAR AND WARDROBE
One of the strip’s characteristics is to be, contemporarily, in and out of time: Diabolik is one of those characters that never grow old, while the world around goes on and changes. In Diabolik we know time passes by because of some details like the clothes Eva wears and the cars she drives. During the first stories when Eva just waits for her man at the shelters, she wears very elegant dresses; tight skirts that reach below her knees, but very classy, they emphasize her splendid body and her predication for anything that is elegant. Some years later, during the 70’s, Eva starts wearing bell bottoms and knotted shirts showing her bellybutton. Since she has a model’s body, Eva wears a lot of short mini skirts with high heel shoes. In the 80’s, during the day, she wore Bermuda and stir-ups and during the night, very elegant, tight, long gowns made by Ghenf and Clerville. Eva can afford luxury since she’s well off, but even so, she’ll wear a comfortable pair of blue jeans. Finally, when Eva takes actively part in the robberies she chooses her “working uniform”: black turtle-neck pullovers and black pants with flat shoes. The car is the only thing that doesn’t change, they always use the same black Jaguar but Ginko changed his from the famous Citroen DS to the more modern XM. Eva, on the other hand, seems to have a preference for small cars to move around in traffic and park easier. However, Eva seems to like new cars, even if they’re small. You see her go to Clerville’s with a Mini then a Panda and later with a Y10. Unfortunately, since the strip is in black and white, we can’t tell what colors she prefers for these cars white during the day or black during the night like the Jaguar: black like a dark sky with no moon.
Eva, during the years, has become, progressively more courageous, daring and ruthless, but she has never been able to free herself from a weakness that has always characterized her and that Diabolik accuses her of: superstition. This insecurity has different aspects: Eva firmly believes in the legends about cursed jewels, to the point that she tries dissuading Diabolik in stealing them, but he doesn’t listen to her. In some cases, however, he has to change his mind (even if he won’t admit it) because fate, in some ways, prevents him from meeting with success. That’s what happens in “Curse of the Black Pearl”, that causes death to anyone who steals it from the legitimate owner. Diabolik doesn’t believe in the curse, but only in his capabilities, so he tries stealing it, but the results are disastrous; the shelter where Eva’s at gets on fire and she’s saved by a miracle, Diabolik is bitten by a snake and Eva gets arrested while she tries to get the serum for him. The situation turns to normal only when Eva, without telling Diabolik, gives the pearl back to the owner. Even in this case Diabolik doesn’t admit that the pearl brings bad luck, instead, he always finds a logical explanation for all the mishaps. In the end, though, the authors show that in this case Eva’s right. However, he didn’t fail every time he tried stealing a “cursed object”, since his skills can overcome any spell. Diabolik is often interested in jewels and objects that belonged to Egyptian pharaohs and that were found in their tombs. These objects are famous for their curses aimed to anyone who tries to plunder the tombs. But for the credibility of the story and its characters, stealing “cursed” objects can’t always be a failure. There are many stories of stolen Egyptian jewels, necklaces, belonging to the pharaohs’ wives and other ancient treasures.
Eva’s superstitions aren’t only based on these aspects but also on her presentiments. She goes to gypsies that predict her future: the answer is always ambiguous, but Eva always gives her personal explanation drawing to the conclusion that the next robbery won’t go well. In “Incredible Prophecy” she tries everything to prevent Diabolik from going on with his plans, making him exceedingly angry. The episode usually finishes with Eva that swears to herself (and her partner) to never believe again in prophecies: the readers know she’ll keep her promise only till the next episode. Her superstitions are dangerous because besides making her behavior unforeseeable, they are a double-edged weapon because everyone knows about it and tries using it against her and Diabolik. In one occasion, a couple of people find out about Diabolik and Eva’s real identity: since these people aren’t honest, they decide to steal the 2 criminal’s riches using a clever system. They give Eva a pendant telling her it’s a good luck charm. She, naturally, accepts it. But the pendant has a transmitter inside it. Eva never leaves her charm, thinking it will bring Diabolik good luck during his robberies. Only in the end they find out about the trick, but by then, they had already run many risks, all because of Eva’s superstitions. Diabolik can’t stand this aspect of Eva’s personality, they have a lot of arguments about it too, but in the end he always forgives her for everything maybe because he realizes no one can be perfect like he is.
Eva Kant, the criminal genius’ companion, is cool and clever like her partner. She doesn’t have, though, the same strength and mental resistance that he has. For this reason sometimes she passes through crises, during which she can’t keep up with Diabolik and becomes a burden for him instead of an assistant. These situations rarely happen and if they do, they’re justified by the fact that she’s undergoing long and intense stress. A typical example is represented in “The Long Night”, episode in which Eva and Diabolik are disguised and have to stay side by side Ginko and Altea: this is a very difficult situation for Eva. But then bad luck doesn’t stop here. The 2 prisoners that Eva and Diabolik are disguising themselves as, free themselves, and warn Ginko, who starts an endless chase. Eva has to race away and face a long swim during the night (where she almost drowns) and then a tormenting escape in a motor boat. Finally, tired in desperation takes over her identity and she tells her boyfriend she’s had enough of that kind of life. Only when Diabolik proves his love for her, getting himself arrested to save her life, she comes back to her senses. Eva recovers energy and courage and stops being a burden, becoming again Diabolik’s reliable partner. Obviously, it’s not only Eva’s nature’s fault if she has crises. In many cases, fate is responsible. For example, when Eva falls from a chair, hits her head and risks a permanent paralysis, when she got a pneumonia but above all when she’s convinced that she only has 3 months to live because of a tumor. Eva doesn’t want her man to suffer so she prefers giving a “Desperate Goodbye”, pretending to be in love with another man. Diabolik goes through a very hard time during which he tries to react with his invincible willpower. After long pain, regret and indecision, Eva decides to tell Diabolik the truth: the adventure naturally concludes with a happy ending. In “Without a Past”, Eva has amnesia and goes to Ginko who takes advantage of the situation and makes her reveal where Diabolik is. The trap doesn’t work because Eva, just in time, gets her memory back and saves Diabolik and herself miraculously. The cause of Eva’s problems could also derive from those people that try to separate her from her man, knowing they don’t have much hope, they use sly means like hypnosis or drugs to make her forget her past, but as you can imagine, they have no success. There’s also the case when someone tried using Eva to eliminate Diabolik using hypnosis but it turned out to be a failure (Diabolik is always on the alert) and Diabolik ends up freeing Eva from any negative influence instead. There’s also an unscrupulous psychiatrist that uses Eva as a guinea pig for his experiments on new drugs that eliminate your will. A more tragic case is in “Drug Slave” where Eva thinks she’s a big drug dealer’s daughter and starts using heroine and when she goes back to Diabolik she causes a lot of trouble before she gets out of it. Obviously, Eva’s crises put her life and Diabolik’s in danger, if in the end everything goes for the better, it’s because that mocking destiny that has put them in danger reverses the situation to their advantage. Ginko is well aware of these 2 aspects in Diabolik’s favor but he thinks and hopes that good luck will be on his side one day.