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Diabolik's the one with the knife. Surprised?

Diabolik is the eponymous Villain Protagonist of a long-running series of Italian comics, created by sisters Angela and Luciana Giussani in 1962. His stories appear in monthly black and white digest-sized booklets. The character was inspired by several previous characters from French and Italian pulp fiction, primarily Fantomas.

Diabolik is a ruthless master thief, who was raised as an orphan on the secret island hideout of a criminal combine. There he learned many of his lethal skills, before killing the head of the organisation and escaping. His true name had never been revealed in the series, and he doesn't know it himself, having taken his alias from the name of a dangerous black panther that lived on his childhood island home.

In his early appearances, Diabolik was a straightforward villain who did not hesitate to murder anyone in order to accomplish his crimes, but was later shown robbing and killing mainly criminals and other "unsympathetic" types, in order to soften his violence and amorality. From the third issue of the series, Diabolik has been aided by his assistant Eva Kant, who has gained an increasing role as his partner and lover. Throughout his adventures, he is pursued by the relentless Inspector Ginko.

Despite, or perhaps because of, his unconventional education, Diabolik seems to have a deep knowledge in many scientific fields, including chemistry, mechanics and computers. He creates all sorts of gadgets, especially disguised weapons and communication devices, has developed a range of truth-serums and mind-control drugs, and creates perfect life-like mask disguises.

The Diabolik comic was adapted as the campy film Danger Diabolik, and also an animated television series. The film has its own entry, but the comic and animated series provide examples of a number of tropes:

Tropes used in Diabolik include:
  • Awesome Yet Practical: Some of Diabolik's tricks are that. For example, on one occasion he was being pursued by a police cruiser, who crashed to avoid two children that, on closer inspection, were identified as cardboard figures.
  • Batman Gambit: Both Diabolik and Ginko pull these, but only Diabolik's work.
  • Battle Couple: Diabolik and Eva.
  • Beware of the Nice Ones: Beware of Altea. She never fears Diabolik, failed to take down a terrorist organization only because Diabolik beat her to it, and when a Corrupt Corporate Executive put an hit on Ginko, she tricked Diabolik into swearing he'd kill him (two nights later, the Corrupt Corporate Executive was found dead by Diabolik's hand).
  • Bound and Gagged: Usually done to the people Diabolik and Eva impersonate. Happens in numerous episodes of the animated series as well.
  • Break the Cutie: Elizabeth Gay, Diabolik's lover in the first stories (before he met Eva Kant). A sweet girl who didn't know that her fiancee was Diabolik and accidentally exposed him as the King of Terror, getting him arrested and sentenced to death. After escaping the guillottine, Diabolik waited she recovered from the near-madness the shock of his identity provoked and then drove her completely mad, even faking the murder of her doctor and new fiancee.
    • Eva Kant as a child: she was the sweet illegitimate daughter of a nobleman and his maid, but her uncle drove her mother into suicide and sent her in a reform school filled with sadist teachers.
  • Break the Haughty: hinted for years that Eva did this to her uncle, and showed in a special issue telling her origin story what she exactly did him: she married him to get back her last name before telling him who she was and make his life a living hell, and gave him an heart attack. Then, as she was growing bored, he tried to feed her to a panther, but she turned the table back on him, and the reader finally found out why Eva is so adamant in saying her husband's being killed by a panther was an accident she was just trying to escape.
    • Tried by Elizabeth Gay on Diabolik and Eva: years after he drove her mad, she, after recovering enough sanity to leave the hospital, captured Diabolik and tortured him, sending the pictures to Eva just to punish Diabolik for picking Eva as his accomplice. Diabolik didn't even aknowledge the torture, Eva freed him and Elizabeth ended in an asylum again.
  • Broken Bird: Eva Kant, of all people: her childhood was hellish. She recovered after getting back at the responsible of her misfortune and meeting Diabolik.
    • Also, Ginko: he took his strange last name after the father he adored while growing up confessed being a corrupt judge, and joined the police to prove he was better than him.
  • Butt Monkey: Poor old Ginko must get fed up with constantly being outwitted.
  • The Chessmaster: Diabolik, definitely.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Eva Kant's obsessive jealousy of any other woman who appears to have caught Diabolik's eye is frequent plot point.
    • Justified by the fact that becoming Diabolik's lover is literally the one good thing that happened to her.
  • Crazy Prepared: Diabolik has always a plan, a back-up plan, a bunch of cars with different gadgets and the roads around the city boobytrapped. He still got caught on a number of occasions, so that's not only justified but barely enough.
    • Some of his victims are almost on his level. On one occasion he had to deal with a nearly-impenetrable vault that was usually filled with poisonous gas, and when the owners had to enter and remove the poisonous gas they entusted a series of lethal electric traps and a python (Diabolik still completed the heist, killing the snake in the process).
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Diabolik appears to be a genius who could make a fortune in law-abiding pursuits.
    • Case in point: as part of a heist he designed, built and sold to his victim a Diabolik-proof safe. Granted, the safe had an hidden gizmo that would reveal Diabolik the combination allowing him to open it and steal the jewels the victim had placed inside, but after that was removed the victim had a fully Diabolik-proof safe certified by Diabolik doing his damned best to make sure even he wouldn't be able to open it...
  • Dark Action Girl: Eva Kant.
  • Death By Origin Story: plenty, and climbing: once a year we have a special issue with a flashback story, and somebody dies.
    • For Diabolik: his adopted father King, killed by Diabolik himself before he could kill him for the secret of his masks, 'Ronin', the smuggler who taught Diabolik many of the trade secrets and the fellow members of his organization massacrated by mercenaries for looking in the wrong place, and Natasha Morgan, Clerville's lady of crime who helped Diabolik settling in exchange of him cutting her a few loose ends before she retired, was kidnapped by King's surviving mooks so she'd lead them to Diabolik but she crashed the plane and started Diabolik's legend as the King of Terror.
    • For Eva Kant: her mother was driven to suicide by her uncle (and died in Eva's arms), her father was killed by the same uncle, and the uncle was eaten by the panther he had just set on Eva.
    • For Ginko: a friend of his father died saving him when he was a child, and a friend in the police when he was a young recruit was killed by a corrupt cop.
    • Subverted by Altea, Ginko's fiancee: her husband, the Duke of Vallenberg and a fierce enemy of the terrorists the Grey Ravens, faked his death after learning they were about to target her to hurt him, and returned when she became a target anyway. Later she discovered he was the leader of the Grey Ravens and married her and faked his death to prevent being exposed, but before she could expose Diabolik arrived to settle an old score on him by putting a knife in his neck and exposing him personally.
  • Decoy Sidekick: In the first few stories, Diabolik (whose real face isn't yet known in-universe) has Elizabeth Gay as fiancee, lover and Unwitting Pawn. Then, in the story L'Arresto di Diabolik (The Arrest of Diabolik), Diabolik meets Eva Kant and they fall in love, and Elizabeth accidentally get Diabolik arrested.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Diabolik may be Crazy Prepared and Properly Paranoid, but sometimes he gets in trouble for things he couldn't have expected, like a group of children realizing he had replaced an old man because he had been polite (Eva actually cried "It's impossible!" when that was shown in TV), or an amateur radio operator accidentally finding out the radio frequency he used to keep contact with Eva during his heist because his pet cat played with the radio.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Periodically you'll have someone who think they can fool or blackmail Diabolik. Most of the times they'll always die with embarrassing ease because they didn't think it through (the others still die because they aren't good as Diabolik, but at least he has to actually try).
    • In one story a guy started hiring people to imitate Diabolik's heists in order to become the greatest thief of the city, and actually succeeded in trapping Diabolik when he tracked him and arrived to exact his revenge. Then Diabolik invoked the trope by pointing out he wasn't prepared for Eva. Guess who, in that very panel, was standing behind the imitator with a poison needle-launcher?
    • In another story, the media discovered about Diabolik and Eva's affection for a little girl called Bettina, and a gang decided to kidnap her in order to blackmail Diabolik. After finding the corpses of the gang members who had not been blowed up, Ginko casually commented that next time people will think twice before trying anything with Bettina.
  • The Dreaded: Diabolik is called the King of Terror because he's already terrifying when he's not actively trying to scare you, and makes good use of his fame. He has even driven to madness at least two persons...
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Diabolik has disguised himself as a policeman or Ginko himself on dozens of occasions, while Eva disguised herself as Altea or a cop a few times.
  • Enemy Mine: Diabolik and Ginko have occasionally forged uneasy alliances.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Diabolik and Eva always keep their word and pay their debts, and don't deal with drugs nor kill as long as they have another option. Also, Diabolik doesn't hurt children if he can help with it, and is disgusted by wife bashers.
    • Eva will never hurt children or animals, and keeps Diabolik from do so every time she can. Also, she's a mercyless and sadistic Wife-Basher Basher (and Diabolik will help).
  • Explosive Leash
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Elizabeth Gay, who had caused Diabolik's true face to become known and nearly got him executed, was driven to madness by Diabolik, who knew she was terrified by madness.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: once in a while, somebody tries to frame Diabolik for their own thefts. Ginko will usually find their corpse, evidence proving Diabolik didn't do it and, sometimes, that Diabolik, after proving he didn't commit the thefts, still took the stolen goods (sometimes he was trying to steal it to begin with but the framer beat him to it).
    • In a story, three mooks at their first heist named Gastone, Elietta and Filippo, tried to steal a golden necklace during a party, with Gastone wearing a Diabolik-like suit to frame Diabolik. They failed, as not only the necklace was a fake (the real one still being in a bank vault) but Gastone walked in a trap intended for the actual Diabolik (who was stealing the necklace from the safe after bombing the party's site with fireworks to distract the police). It's probably the only time attempting to frame Diabolik ended well: Gastone didn't rat out his accomplices, who, due sheer luck, managed to follow Diabolik and steal money and jewels from the now open vault (the story title was Crumbs for Unknown Persons, with the stolen goods being called 'Diabolik's crumbs' in-story) and divided the loot (with interest) with Gastone once he served his sentence. The only ones who could prove their crime are Diabolik and Eva... Who ended the story toasting at their success.
    • In the story The Sweet Death, Diabolik framed two people for an attempted murder they committed and the murder he committed while masked as them. The kicker is, the murder victim asked him to do this: when the two framed people, his wife and his lover, tried to kill him with an 'accident', they left him so crippled he was in perpetual pain and unable to do anything more than blink, so, when he accidentally encountered Diabolik who was stealing some jewels from him, he blinked him in morse code to kill and avenge him, and Diabolik decided to help by killing him and 'confessing' the attempted murder on camera while wearing the lover's mask and with Eva present masked as the wife. The story ends with Altea finding evidence they couldn't have committed the murder and destroying it, as she knew they had crippled the victim but couldn't prove it.
  • Gambit Pileup: Once in a while, Eva and Diabolik have a fight that results in Diabolik trying a heist alone and Eva trying the same heist to one-up him. Then we're treated to such things as Eva and Diabolik deciding the person that the other was impersonating had to die, Ginko interferences in a heist against a mafia boss forcing Diabolik to frame someone else in order to not be discovered only to find out Eva framed him by pure chance, and all the rest.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: done twice by Altea. The first time, in The Sweet Death, she destroyed the only evidence that two criminals were innocent of the crime they had been convicted for because there was no evidence for their actual crimes. The second time, in A Killer for Ginko, she tried to put an hit on the Corrupt Corporate Executive Ruggero Backmann who was paying killers to kill Ginko, and when she realized Diabolik had replaced her hitman to steal from Backmann she got him to swear he'd do the job, well knowing that Diabolik always keep his words and making sure he'd kill him (the day after Diabolik's heist, Backmann was found with a knife in the heart).
  • Indy Ploy: Diabolik hates improvising, but once in a while he's not Crazy Prepared enough, and he'll have to improvise a distraction for the police, or even blow up a building with a gas leak, a log and Eva's shirt.
  • Insistent Terminology: Whenever her husband's death at the jaws of a panther is recalled, Eva will specify it was an accident. Justified as her husband was trying to get her eaten by the panther, but Eva, defending herself, ended up accidentally setting the panther on him without even trying.
  • Instant Sedation: Drugged darts, gas-bombs, knock-out sprays etc. if Diabolik or Eva want someone alive. Poison equivalents otherwise.
  • Jerkass Victim: Diabolik usually steals from other criminals, mostly because they are a majority of the rich people and tend to keep jewels, gold and money in their homes.
  • Kick the Dog: The story Atroce Vendetta ('Atrocious Revenge') is a massive Kick the Dog moment for Diabolik and Eva Kant: in the very previous story Elizabeth Gay, then the fiancee of Diabolik's secret identity, had accidentally found one of his hideouts and denounced it to the police, causing Diabolik's arrest and death sentence (he survived only because Eva Kant, that he had just met, swapped him for a Jerkass Victim one hour before the execution), and as revenge they drove her mad with a series of nocturnal apparition of Diabolik (mistaken for allucinations because there was no way for Diabolik to reach her refuge. Apart the tunnel he built as she was moving there...) culminating in the fake execution of her new fiancee.
  • Knife Nut: Diabolik's favourite weapon. He always carries at least two.
  • Latex Perfection: Lots and lots of it.
  • Lighter and Softer: The animated series.
  • Master of Disguise: Both Diabolik himself and Eva Kant.
  • McNinja: Diabolik typically wears a skin-tight black hooded suit that leaves only his eyes exposed.
    • Justified in a recent story as a way to honor one of his late mentors: in his martial arts school, part of Ronin's criminal organization, you had to wear a more traditional ninja uniform and never expose your face, and after getting his face exposed during a lesson Diabolik decided the best way to prevent it from happening again was to put together his trademark suit as an alternative uniform. After first showing up with that, his teacher decided to teach him a lesson, but Diabolik managed to defeat him and gained his approval for the first time.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Il Re del Terrore-Il Remake (a remake of the very first story) starts the 'flashback'-part of the story (where an older Gustavo Garian revives the event of the original adventure) with a party at the 'Castle of Mart', and you can see an unmasked Diabolik among the waiters in many panels, even serving a drink to Gustavo himself. As Ginko later realizes, that's the moment when Diabolik drugs Gustavo as part of his plan to steal a collection of knives from him.
  • Meet Cute: Eva and Diabolik first encounter happened as she returned in her hotel room and caught him stealing the Pink Diamond from the room's safe, with Diabolik immediately threathening her with a knife. They fell in love in less than four pages of dialogue.
  • Mind Control: Diabolik and Eva use hypnotic drugs to induce cooperation from their victims.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Frequently used by Diabolik and Eva.
  • Mugging the Monster: Once in a while, a thug will mug Diabolik and Eva Kant, get the crap beaten out of him and have a massive freak out when he discovers who he tried to mug.
    • In L'Arresto di Diabolik-Il Remake (a remake of the stories L'Arresto di Diabolik ('The Arrest of Diabolik') and Atroce Vendetta ('Atrocious Revenge')), a garden-variety thug tried and mugged a beautiful but apparently harmless blond woman who had just left the airport. Eva Kant (who still had to meet Diabolik) dropped him like a potato sack, scaring the crap out of the witnesses (and impressing Diabolik himself, who was there disguised as Ginko).
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Happens to Ginko in one story, when Eva starts kidnapping people with the same blood type as Diabolik. Deducing that Diabolik was injured in a way that needed a lot of blood to heal but that Eva could treat on her own, he bugs the targeted blood donor in the attempt to find Diabolik. Eva finds it out and stops the kidnappings, so Ginko consoles himself that at least he stopped the kidnappings at five people... Then he finds out Diabolik's injury: radiation poisoning, that could be treated only with a complete blood transfusion, for which Eva needed a lot of blood. Blood that she could have taken in standard blood donors' doses from twenty or thirty people, as Eva originally planned, or by draining all the blood from five or six people, as Ginko forced her to do.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Diabolik comes from 'diabolico', the Italian word for 'devilish'. He's also known as 'The King of Terror', for good reasons.
    • In-universe, Diabolik is a double case: not only the name Diabolik keeps his origins, but it was the name of a panther so ferocious that had actually chased away a party of a dozen hunters before being lured in an ambush and killed by King (Diabolik's adopted father). King accidentally baptized the protagonist with his last words: "You attacked me! Like the panther! Like Diabolik".
  • Oh Crap: Happens when a Jerkass Victim learns that he accidentally provoked Diabolik, or when they challenge him and they realize he's about to kill them. Also, when a civilian or a cop, for whatever reason, finds himself face to face with Diabolik.
    • On one occasion two scammers sold four fake emeralds to four different banks. Then one night they were rudely awakened by a pissed off Diabolik, who wanted to know why the emeralds he had managed to steal in one night were all fakes, at which point the scammers were almost too scared to even talk. Luckily, Diabolik could take their place and get get a refund for the supposedly stolen goods from the banks, so he decided to spare them and even left them the true emerald they had used for the scam on condition they stayed the hell out of his way (they ran to another country).
  • Ojou: Altea di Vallenberg, Inspector Ginko's girlfriend/fiancée, and victim of frequent impersonations by Eva Kant.
  • Once More, with Clarity: Sometimes happens, but three occasions were on massive scale: the story Il Re del Terrore: Il Remake was a remake of the first story that filled a few plot holes and made clear exactly what Diabolik stole from Gustavo Garian; in Il Re del Terrore: Il Remake we are treated to a rumor of Diabolik having blowed up an airplane to kill a single passengers corredated by a picture of an airliner exploding, and the story Io Sono Diabolik shows what exactly happened (the last of Diabolik's mentor, Natasha Morgan, had been kidnapped by a group of King's followers and was on board to help them track Diabolik, but she managed to crash the plane (not an airliner) after forcing the pilot to make a distress call mentioning Diabolik to make him the King of Terror, thus gaining a powerful psychological advantage); finally the story L'Arresto di Diabolik: il Remake is a remake with plot holes filled of the stories L'Arresto di Diabolik and Atroce Vendetta.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Ginko is this when compared to Diabolik, as the totality of Clerville's criminal world.
    • Diabolik himself has been in the overshadowed role in the years between his escape from the Island of King and the first story: in the period he had been in the Far East he found himself outmatched as a Knife Nut and Crazy Prepared by the smuggler Ronin (who, as Diabolik had killed an enemy of him, decided to take him under his wing, teaching him how you fight and throw a knife and prepare tricks to cover the escape) and as a martial artist by Ronin's right hand (who, as a manner of saying hello to the young man he had just been ordered to train, knocked him down with embarrasing ease and told him to not speak him unless interrogated), and when he first arrived in Clerville using the identity of the supposedly late Walter Dorian he was kidnapped by Natasha Morgan, who had a grudge with the real Dorian and recognized Diabolik as a lookalike after looking him in the eyes (after they decided it was more productive to be allies, Natasha taught him how to move in the great and corrupt city of Clerville and play on his enemies' psychological weaknesses, even anticipating his rise as the King of Terror).
  • Police Are Useless: Ginko and his colleagues are outwitted again and again. Super-cop Ginko has managed to defeat Diabolik on several occasions, and even arrested him a few times, but the authorities are never able to hold him long enough to execute him (he has a death sentence since his third story, when he stood trial. That was the time they held him the longest), often owing to widespread corruption among other police officers, prison guards etc. who succumb to bribery on a routine basis.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Diabolik may be the King of Terror, but as long as you aren't in his way he'll leave you alone (or at most will steal from you). Also, he was willing to destroy a biological weapon instead of reselling it because Eva asked him to due the ineherent dangers of such a weapon (not just in handling), and he didn't only because the weapon's creator destroyed it himself before suicide.
  • Properly Paranoid: occasionally a criminal realizes he provoked Diabolik into wanting him dead and adopts more precautions than Batman would consider sufficient. They weren't paranoid enough, as none of them survived.
    • A particularly egregious example comes from the story A Bloody Red Treasure, where a corrupt cop capture Eva to blackmail Diabolik into working for him before being arrested and jailed. Every time he sees a man, he stays away fearing he's Diabolik, getting mocked by the guards... Only for a remote controlled mechanical bird to poison him!!! For bonus points, the guards had just told him that only birds could reach him...
    • Another example: a Corrupt Corporate Executive has just learned that he had a friend of Diabolik killed, and the titular criminal is out for him. He jumps on a plane piloted by himself to escape for destination unknown... And as soon as he's in flight Diabolik told him on the radio he's about to blow up the plane and stole the parachute. Yes, he had boobytrapped the escape vehicle before the victim learned Diabolik was out for him.
  • Red Shirt: Diabolik has killed a lot of nameless policemen and other Mooks over the years.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: cross Diabolik, and he WILL find and kill you, even after years (as the leader of the Grey Ravens would testify if it wasn't for that knife in the neck). Hurt Eva or one of his few friends, and you're better pray he's in a hurry or he'll do worse than kill you, before telling the media what happens when you do so much to look his friends the wrong way.
    • Diabolik found himself at the receiving end of two of those: in Il Tesoro di Diabolik (Diabolik's Treasure) a group of past victims of his banded together to make him suffer by stealing his favourite loots, while in L'Ombra del Giustiziere (The Shadow of the Avenger) the wife of a prison guard whose life had been ruined by Eva to save Diabolik's life back in one of the first stories reasoned that the authorities and Ginko were actually accomplices of the King of Terror and started bombing the city to force them to arrest and execute him.
  • Sadistic Choice: Rare, but happens. For example, in one occasion a group of temporary allies of Diabolik found a traitor among them and told him to choose between facing Diabolik or running to his freedom by passing trough a gallery that hosted a colony of rats. He choose the gallery, that offered a slim chance of survival, but got a Family-Unfriendly Death.
  • Shadow Archetype: Diabolik and Ginko are this for each other: both go by an assumed name (Diabolik doesn't know his true name, Ginko changed it to distance from his corrupt judge father), both are highly unconventional but very effective in their respective careers (Ginko sometimes goes so far as making use of Diabolik's masks and tools confiscated after one of his heists or in a raid on one of his hideouts), both are really good in their rival's career as part of the reason they're so good in their respective jobs (Diabolik proved a few times that he'd be a magnificent detective if he so chose, and Ginko made use of his cat burglar skill to aquire evidence on a criminal), both are very loyal to their beloved and could be as well as married to them if they only wanted (Diabolik and Eva could slip to a country where they aren't wanted and marry there, while Ginko and Altea don't even need that. Both couples just don't feel the need to marry), and God helps you if you earn their revenge (Ginko will find you and shoot to cripple or kill instead that to scare you into submission, while Diabolik will find and kill you if you're lucky). Ginko even looks like a more generic Diabolik...
    • Like their lovers, Eva and Altea: both are far stronger-willed than you'd expect from a first glance, both are noblewomen who goes by their late husbands' last names (the difference being in that Eva's last name should have been Kant anyway, but she was illegitimate and had to marry her father's cousin to get it), both are the indirect cause of their respective husbands' deaths in which Diabolik is somehow involved (Altea accidentally led Diabolik to her husband, who had been on his 'to kill' list for years, while Eva accidentally set on her husband the panther that he tried to set on her (Diabolik took his name from a panther, and sometimes he uses the panther as a symbol), both are very loyal to their lovers and would do anything to protect or avenge them (Altea, an otherwise honest woman, even set a hitman on a mob boss who was trying to get Ginko killed, and upon noticing that Diabolik had killed and replaced the hitman managed to set Diabolik on the mob boss), and both are among the very few persons who have managed to identify Diabolik under the mask.
    • Eva Kant has another one in the form of post-asylum Elizabeth Gay: after the asylum she became a much darker version of Eva in her Clingy Jealous Girl moments, both in character and skills (she even managed to recognize Diabolik under his mask. And not by some hint that he wasn't the person he had replaced, but by his eyes!!!), and is still very much in love with Diabolik (before slipping definitely into madness she admits her husband that her revenge on Diabolik wasn't for driving her to her first madness but for taking Eva as accomplice and lover). Fittingly, it's Eva who defeats her and frees Diabolik.
  • Shrouded in Myth: In the first story a group of rich people at a party talks of Diabolik as a murderous thief capable of stealing everything and change his looks in an instant, and reports of him having broken out of a prison from which it was impossible to break out and blowed up a plane to kill an enemy, and they weren't even sure he actually existed (Diabolik's existance was confirmed only that one time Ginko arrested him and managed to keep him in long enough for the trial). Bonus points for not only Diabolik having done all of this in his career (he hadn't done the plane one yet, but he would do it later) with embarrassing ease (his evasion consisting in him killing a guard, steal its uniform, take off the mask that was hiding his true face and walk out from the main gate), but also Diabolik being there preparing the heist of his first story. Diabolik continuing to pull larger than life stunts contributed to him remaining this even after his first arrest and an imitator successfully copying a few of them, to the point that in one occasion a victim wasn't surprised in the least of Diabolik opening his supposedly Diabolik-proof safe, he just wanted to know how it was even possible.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Way over on the cynical side.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Eva has collected a fair share of them, all of which ended up dead. The most notable of them is George Caron, secretary of the Minister for Justice, who in L'Arresto di Diabolik (The Arrest of Diabolik) attempted to blackmail a still not wanted Eva into marrying him: Eva swapped him with Diabolik one hour before his execution and died on the guillottine.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Inspector Ginko, played absolutely straight, and he is not an Inspector Javert because Diabolik really is a bad-guy. Ginko is very competent and utterly incorruptible, unlike many of his colleagues who frequently succumb to bribery. Ordinary criminals fear his investigations, because he will find enough evidence to get them arrested and convicted (assuming they don't piss off Diabolik somehow and get murdered first).
  • Tempting Fate: The story L'Arresto di Diabolik-Il Remake (a story that shows a remake of the original L'Arresto di Diabolik as part of a long flashback) starts with the director of the Hotel Excelsior explaining to the personnel how Diabolik and Eva Kant's first encounter in that hotel many years earlier had caused the hotel's closing, and that now that it had reopened they would have to do everything to cancel that black spot on the hotel's reputation. Not only Eva is among the hotel's personnel in preparation for a heist, but Diabolik has rented the very same room where they first met to help with the job. In the end the only reason the heist is not completed is that Diabolik and Eva change their minds and opt for some lovemaking in the place they first met...
  • The Dog Bites Back: Elizabeth Gay had been driven mad by Diabolik and Eva's Kick the Dog moment. Years later a now apparently sane Elizabeth would capture Diabolik, torture him and send pictures to Eva in revenge before being stopped and sent back to the asylum... From which she managed to cause her husband to make a nearly successful attempt at Diabolik's life.
    • In Il Tesoro di Diabolik (Diabolik's Treasure) four of his victims (an art critic whose engagement was accidentally ruined by Diabolik as he stole her family's heirloom, a government-backed scientist whose assistant and fiancee Diabolik revealed as a foreign spy while stealing his research, a former cop that Diabolik drugged into committing a murder and stealing for him, and a billionaire that Diabolik had almost bankrupted) allies to take their revenge on Diabolik: rob him of the titular treasure, composed of those loots that were of insanely huge value, he liked as a collector or for other reasons (like a golden Venus statue that looked like Eva) or were symbols of what he could pull (like an enormous platinum disk so huge that was supposed to be impossible to steal or the stuffed panther from which he took his name). Diabolik's face when he finds out that his treasure had been completely stolen save for the panther is priceless.
  • Title Drop: A strange case in L'Arresto di Diabolik-Il Remake, in which the stories L'Arresto di Diabolik (The Arrest of Diabolik) and Atroce Vendetta (Atrocious Revenge) are shown as part of two flashbacks: right before the start of the second flashback, Diabolik calls his revenge on Elizabeth Gay (subject of Atroce Vendetta and the second flashback) an atroucious revenge, put in bold for emphasis.
  • Truth Serum: Frequently used to extract safe combinations etc. especially later in the series. In earlier comics, Diabolik favoured Cold-Blooded Torture instead. Sometimes the effects of truth serums are represented realistically, and in one occasion Diabolik himself was fed a bunch of lies by an undercover cop.
  • Wham! Episode: The first two stories had Diabolik living as a Rich Idiot With No Day Job with Elizabeth Gay, fiancee and Unwitting Pawn. Then came the story L'Arresto di Diabolik (The Arrest of Diabolik), where Elizabeth accidentally gets Diabolik arrested, the police makes his true face known to everyone and Eva Kant enters the cast as Diabolik lover and accomplice.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: Eva does not tolerate wife bashers (and Diabolik will help her: he doesn't care of wife bashers, but cares of what Eva hates): the last who had the bad luck to get discovered by her has been locked in his own secret vault with no food or water on his late wife's behalf (she had just asked them to rob him blind before killing herself, but Eva went the extra mile).
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Once in a while, Diabolik and Eva have to enter places where their targets are Genre Savvy enough to check faces for mask disguises, so they regularly resort to wigs, coloured contact lenses and ordinary make up.
  • Worthy Opponent: Diabolik has something of this attitude to Inspector Ginko