American Mythology Helps Zorro Begins A New Century Of Adventure
Could 2019 be the year when Zorro finally gets his due?
He’s no stranger to me. I was first introduced to Zorro via black-and-white television during my elementary years via the Sunday evening Wonderful World Of Disney, about the same time I discovered the Lone Ranger on Saturday morning childrens’ programming. I also read some Dell Comics featuring both of these characters along with Bugs Bunny and Donald Duck comics, long before I was introduced
to super-heroes (my first superhero title was a DC Showcase featuring Hawkman, followed by Worlds’ Finest with Superman and Batman.)
To my way of thinking, Zorro is an under-appreciated character deserving of more recognition from this generation of the pop culture audience. As a wealthy nobleman who devotes some of his money as well as his skills to championing the oppressed, he’s a character that’s had a large influence on superheroes in comics, especially Batman. (Zorro had a secret armory beneath his castle to go along with his secret/dual identity as influential Don Diego de la Vega.)
Now, the 1919 creation of pulp writer Johnston McCulley is about to mark a milestone. Zorro, the Spanish-American masked man in the all-black costume, cape and sombrero celebrates his 100th birthday in 2019 and will enjoy a bigger spotlight thanks to the efforts of comics publisher American Mythology.
Earlier this week a successful fundraising Kickstarter campaign wrapped up, which will result in a colorful hardcover history of the character, The Mark Of Zorro: 100 Years Of The Masked Avenger, written by American Mythology contributor James Kuhoric and scheduled to be published later this year.
Zorro was first introduced to comics readers in Dell Comic’s Four Color in 1949 and frequently featured in that title until the final issue in 1959. Gold Key Comics kept things going with a Zorro title that ran from the early 1960’s through 1968. The decade of the 1970’s was noticeably missing the presence of Zorro (as well as many Western-themed heroes), a trend that continued into the 1980’s until Eclipse Comics launched a new Zorro book in 1986, followed by reprints from Eclipse, Hermes, and Image.
Even Marvel gave Zorro a try-out with a 12-issue series in 1990-1991. Topps, in their short-lived venture into the comics business, published a Zorro series in 1993. Then came another absence of Zorro from comics.
Beginning in 1998, new adventures of Zorro have been infrequently released from several publishers, including Moonstone, AC Comics, Image and Dynamite.
Since 2018, American Mythology has been carrying the Zorro banner beginning with Zorro Legendary Adventures Volume 1 in 2018 and Volume 2 in 2019, a four issue Zorro: Swords of Hell series in 2018, the Mark Of Zorro reprint of a 1949 Dell Comic (Four Color #228), and now this brand new mini-series.
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