Corto Maltese is a popular European comic book character, the hero of an eponymous comic book series created by late Italian comic artist Hugo Pratt (1927-1995). Most stories are set near, during or just after World War I and follow Corto, a laconic sea captain and adventurer who often travels to exotic places around the world, but rarely gets anything out of it. The brutality of the world and this chaotic era is often depicted in these stories. Secret societies, mad warlords and other more behind-the-scenes players are met by Corto more often than he'd like. This movie is based on one of these stories.