Zorro always seemed to be one of those characters that just existed. As long as I could remember he was a part of my pop culture subconscious yet I can’t recall ever watching or reading a single thing with him in it. When I finally decided to investigate it was with the popular 1940 The Mark Of Zorro movie with Tyrone Power, while a fine film it started with Don Diego Vega as an adult donning the costume and his first night out as Zorro. What happened prior to this? Looking for more answers I ordered a trade with author Matt Wagner’s first 8 issues of Zorro for Dynamite Entertainment, dubbed Year One: Trail Of The Fox.
When Dynamite Entertainment first announced a 5 issue Robotech/Voltron crossover I was thrilled. I have a love in my heart for Voltron like few other cartoons from my youth; the concept alone had always been endlessly fascinating to me. Robotech on the other hand is something that I found in my adulthood and it was refreshing that it could fit neatly alongside the cartoons of my youth but also be much more sophisticated. I was hoping this miniseries would be a fun 80’s style crossover, which is not exactly what we got.
I am truly fascinated by the original pulp vigilante The Shadow for my money he was the best of those creations from that era. He’s left quite a legacy in his wake with legions of imitators. I was excited when Dynamite picked up the license for the character (amongst many, many other old school pulp characters) and began a new series with him back in 2012. I picked up the trade for Vol. 1 The Fire of Creation as soon as it was released without reading the 6 collected issues prior. The author of course was Garth Ennis whom I didn’t particularly have great success with his Fury miniseries but I was willing to give this a shot.
With 2014 upon us we’ve been seeing a slew of new series and new #1 issues partly due to Marvel’s idiotic business model of constantly relaunching series because of new creative teams or new directions of the character. I digress though because this has already been discussed so let’s take a look at 3 new series I read this week.
Black Widow #1
This book starts off in James Bond mode and giving us the end of another adventure in Russia where Black Widow’s saving someone’s life who has a hit on them. We follow Natasha back to America where we find out that in her personal time she’s been taking dangerous jobs in order to pay back the families of people she’s done wrong by. The writing and the art on this book are both solid. It’s a great encapsulation of a first issue; it gets the point across and sets things up pretty quickly. I know it’s hard to say, since it’s a #1, but strangely I’m just not feeling this. It’s exactly what I thought it was going to be which I was looking forward to, but for whatever reason it just didn’t sit well (Stan Sitwell?) with me.
Dynamite Entertainment is an interesting comic book company. They have rights to a lot of licensed franchises and movie adaptions giving them access to numerous characters like Voltron, John Carter, Robocop, Buck Rogers, etc. They also have the market cornered on classic pulp creations like The Shadow, The Spider and The Green Hornet and have been responsible for the recent “boom” in pulp. With all of these characters falling under the same umbrella for the first time, Dynamite decided to develop a mini series that would be a first ever crossover for all these major pulp characters. The series is called Masks and the writing is helmed by Chris Roberson and the first issued has interiors painted by Alex Ross. This is a big deal since Alex Ross hasn’t done any interiors for a comic in about 5 or so years. Of course, he’s no stranger to pulp as he does many of the covers for different Dynamite books. For the rest of the series Dennis Calero will be handling the art duties.