Written by Quentin Tarantino and Matt Wagner
Drawn by Esteve Polls
Published by Dynamite Comics
Let me preface this review by stating that I was not a fan of the movie Django Unchained. I meant to write a review here but never got around to it, and I don’t really feel like going into details now. I just didn’t care for it. I wasn’t horrible, it just didn’t thrill. I might grade it a C? I saw it once when it came on HBO, and never felt compelled to watch it again.
But I do love Zorro. Always have. I never read any of the original novels, but I’ve seen many movies, and TV shows. A few years ago Dynamite Comics launched a comic book series written by Matt Wagner, which I bought the first year and enjoyed it, but then dropped it due to cuts in my disposable income at the time. But because of my fondness for that series, I decided to pick up the first issue of this new miniseries to see how it is.
The story is narrated in captions by Zorro’s mute servant Bernardo. It’s a non-specific amount of time since Django Unchained, as Django is back out West working as a Bounty Hunter (no mention is made of the whereabouts of Broomhilda yet). Don Diego Del La Vega is a gray haired old man now, but still rather energetic for his age. Bernardo says that after many years Diego, as Zorro (although that name isn’t actually mentioned in this issue), had brought peace to California and had spread out to other lands looking to combat injustice. Diego is traveling by stage-couch to Arizona when he and Bernardo encounter Django, who claims he lost his horse and asks for a ride, which Diego readily offers. They are soon beset by a group of armed bandits whom Django easily dispatches. Seeing how good Django is with guns, Diego offers to pay Django to accompany him to a town in Arizona as his bodyguard, for some mysterious mission, and Django accepts. At a brief stop in a small town Django gets a chance to see Diego in action when a group of hoods start mocking his fancy clothes, and Diego proves that he still has skill with a sword.
It’s a good first issue, it sets up the premise and doesn’t answer everything yet, but gives us enough info to make the reader want to come back for the next issue. The dialog between Django and Diego is nice, as Diego for the most part is acting in his “elite playboy” persona, yet Django is impressed by the fact that Diego appears to be completely unconcerned about Django’s skin color. The only flaw in the dialog is a panel where Diego asks Django to “have my back,” which feels out of place for the time period. Otherwise, I have no real complaints about the story.
The art is decent enough but a little rough in some areas. That’s the only thing bringing this issue down a grade. I wish cover-artist Jae Lee could have also done the interiors. Still, overall, this is a good package, which I would recommend to any fan of Zorro or Django Unchained, or both.