As a child of the 1980s, I was first introduced to Zorro, through his Saturday morning cartoons and through his later live action Disney series. I remembered what made him cool, was what Batman cool, which was that he was a man of mystery. He corrected wrongs where there were ones and fought for justice in black suit and black mask, much like Batman. You add in, the fact, that it was a Western set in , Pre-America Los Angeles, and it gives a reader a peak into just how California was, before it became a part of the union.
Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained was one of my favorite westerns of all time, not just because it was a real western, in the traditional sense, but it was the first time, we saw a black Cowboy, since Posse. He was a different character in many respects, than how we have seen former slaves, in movies, one in which, he not only gains his freedom but harbingers revenge on his captors and ultimately is reunited with his wife. The movie, addressed everything from the KKK, to buck fights, to how bounty hunters worked, and most importantly, the true horrors of slavery, some of which have not been seen since Goodbye Uncle Tom. The movie, of course, was a fictional story, with factual elements throughout, as most families were rarely reunited, but definitely one of the best revenge movies I have seen in a long time.
When I heard Quentin Tarantino was making a sequel to Django, in comic form, I was more than intrigued; I heavily anticipated how Mr. Tarantino’s writing would translate to comics. As the official solicitation for Django/Zorro describes the miniseries:
Set several years after the events of Django Unchained, Django again pursues evil men in his role as a bounty hunter. Taking to the roads of the American Southwest, he encounters the aged and sophisticated Diego de la Vega by sheer chance. Django is fascinated by this unusual character, the first wealthy white man he’s met who seems totally unconcerned with the color of his skin… and who can hold his own in a fight. Django hires on as Diego’s bodyguard, and is soon drawn into a fight to free the local indigenous people from brutal servitude. Learning much from the older man (as he did from King Schultz), he discovers that slavery isn’t exclusive to his people, as he even dons the mask of Zorro in their mission of mercy!
The story gives the reader; a chance to catch-up on all of Django’s exploits since the movie, and definitely gives Zorro, new roles as teacher and partner, who are much older, than how he has been portrayed in movies, TV and books. By story’s end, the reader is taken a blood soaked tale of betrayal and revenge, as both men fight for some semblance of peace.
Overall, a solid story, that will have the reader twisting and turning, as much as the story does, and get very familiar with both of these characters, as the older Zorro, very much reminds me of Michael Caine’s character in Harry Brown. The story by Quentin Tarantino and Matt Wagner, hits it out of the park on so many levels, as they not only bring the flavor of Django from the movies to the comics but they also immortalize him in the Western canon. The art by Esteve Polls is downright beautiful as his research sows through the book and the way he draws gunfights is truly a sight to be seen. Altogether, a tightly woven story, with incredible art, which shows why the creative team, are not just great creators but masters at their art.
Story: Quentin Tarantino and Matt Wagner Art: Esteve Polls
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
Dynamite Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review