Il Tredici, also known as The Strangler and 13, is a deadly, nigh-unkillable assassin who acts as Absinthe's secret weapon in hunting down and killing Bandette. He is an antagonist in the comic series Bandette, first appearing in issue 5.
Description and Abilities
Il Tredici is a tall, gaunt man with deathly gray skin and a skeletal face, dead blue eyes that seem to transfix whoever he stares at, and stark white hair. He wears a blood-red suit and a bolo tie with a skull clasp that he is frequently seen adjusting, and he has the number 1 tattooed on his left hand and the number 3 tattooed on his right, so when he strangles people, as is his modus operandi, the unlucky 13 will be around his victims' necks. He has a peculiar rhythm when he walks, which to many is the only sign they get before he dispatches them.
He is known as The Strangler because that is his primary method of dispatching his targets. It is unknown if his gaze truly petrifies people, but in issue 6 when he is fully revealed by strangling some "loose ends" for Absinthe, his other targets could only stand and watch in terror. He has an iron-like vise-grip which he uses to strangle the life out of his victims, and once his hands wrap around someone's neck it takes a lot of force to remove them. He is also shown to be resistant to pain and nigh-unkillable, as in issue 7 he is shown being poked in the eye by Bandette, falling hundreds of feet into a pool of crocodiles in a zoo, not only improbably surviving the fall, but managing to strangle the crocodiles to death in the process.He is shown to have very little emotion, and is absolutely focused on dispatching his targets by any means necessary, and drawing out his true quarry by hurting innocent bystanders, as shown when he tried to corner Daniel and Dalton, two of Bandette's friends, in a library, although Bandette was his true target.
He first appears in issue 5 as the next assassin Absinthe chooses to go after Bandette, replacing the master fencer Matadori.In issue 6 he tries cornering Dalton and Daniel in a library, presumably to try to strangle them to death, but Bandette, hearing his signature walk pattern, tells them to escape through the window before he can kill them. He later walks into a warehouse occupied by lazier, less loyal FINIS operatives, and, after introducing himself, proceeds to strangle them to death one by one.
In issue 7, Il Tredici follows Bandette onto a plane on which is one of Absinthe's priceless artifacts. She takes it and flees by parachute just before Absinthe can strangle her in the cargo hold. He jumps out of the plane without a parachute, latches on to Bandette and tries strangling her, but she pokes him in the eye, sending him falling into a pool of crocodiles, whom he kills.
In issue 8, Il Tredici, having survived the fall into the pool of crocodiles, calls a tailor to get his mangled suit replaced. It is presumed that he killed the tailor after he did his job. Later, he arrives with Absinthe during the police raid on FINIS' headquarters, and Absinthe orders Il Tredici to strangle Bandette. However, Bandette easily evades the strangler with her agility and acrobatic prowess.
In issue 9, the final issue of the story arc, Il Tredici attempts fighting both Bandette and Matadori at the same time, and while the hero and former adversary successfully manage to rout him, he still manages to bring his hands to Matadori's throat and starts strangling her. After Bandette distracts him, Matadori lands a series of painful blows on him, culminating in a strike to the head from the butt of her saber, rendering him unconscious. While what happened to him in the aftermath of the police sting is unknown, it is assumed that he has been arrested and is now in police custody.
In issue 14, the start of "The Six-Finger Secret" story arc, Il Tredici makes a return, paid by an unknown party through a mysterious female benefactor to grab the Artist's Studio, a painting that has been used by many figures including Madame de Pompadour and Charles de Gaulle to hide sensitive and scandalous information, being told to kill anyone who may stand in his way. He tracks the painting while Bandette's friendly rival Monsieur is in possession of it, Il Tredici being prepared with an ornate medieval axe.