ZORRO 4

ZORRO 4
Written by Matt Wagner and Drawn by Francesco Francavilla
Published by
Dynamite Entertainment

Zorro continues his campaign against the evil Gonzales and his men, while we learn even more about the hero as a boy as the flashbacks continue in what is easily the best issue of ZORRO to date.

Indeed, the best material in this issue is again the flashback work, as Wagner takes us to a time in his early adolescence when he learns a horrific lesson: sometimes heroism causes more pain and suffering that the alternative, and that shows the true face of evil. Our protagonist learns this the first time he falls for a girl and decides to protect her from the horror of some soldiers who have her cornered. What he does not realize is that saving someone is only half the battle if you let the bad people roam free.

This leads him into the next stage of his development, but it surely takes a toll on the lad. And that’s why this comic has been so excellent from the start: Wagner’s story has been just as concerned with the makeup of his lead character and what is inside him that makes him put on a cape and commit these acts against tyranny. It isn’t enough to just throw him into the mix; it’s important to show why we should care. And we do care- very much.

Francavilla continues to turn out fine looking pages, and in a rarity for modern comics, each issue feels like a complete meal, even though we’re in the middle of an arc. I continue to highly recommend ZORRO to just about every type of reader.

Marc Mason

ZORRO 1

ZORRO 1
Written by Matt Wagner and Drawn by Francesco Francavilla
Published by
Dynamite Entertainment

Diego de la Vega was a precocious child. The son of a Spaniard nobleman and a Tongva warrior woman, he grew up with the best of both worlds at his disposal. Alongside his best friend Bernardo, he gets an education in his teens that covers both sides of his heritage, learning not only about the injustices of class inequity and how they affect his fellow men, but also about the spirit quests of his mother’s tribe. Intelligent and cunning, he will grow up to use that knowledge to become one of the greatest heroes of all: Zorro.

ZORRO represents another terrific launch for Dynamite over the past few years, and added to a lineup that includes Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s THE BOYS, Alex Ross’ PROJECT SUPERPOWERS, establishes the company as perhaps the go-to place for top talent who want to do projects away from the three largest publishers (Marvel, DC, Image). Having Matt Wagner at the keyboard here is simply a huge deal; the man is one of the giants working in the field today, and has basically produced “prime”-level work for going on 20 years now. If you don’t believe me, take a look at his track record and find a bad dud over the past two decades. I’ll wait- but trust me, it isn’t there.

Wagner’s take on this new incarnation of ZORRO is done just about perfectly in this first issue. We get an introduction to the main character as an adult, but we also get a compelling origin story woven throughout the book, and it all works in a lovely balance. It also helps that Francavilla possesses the skills to get Wagner’s story across on the page in solid fashion, and he doesn’t try and overwhelm the plot- he gets that Wagner is the star attraction and plays his part exactly as he should.

The book is accompanied by the usual high production values the company typically delivers, and overall lacks even the tiniest thing that would give me pause in recommending it. Matt Wagner on ZORRO? Three bucks well spent.

Marc Mason