American Mythology Productions 2018
Written by David Avallone
Illustrated by Roy Allan Martinez
Coloured by Emmanuel Ordaz Torres
Lettered by Natalie Jane
A horde of undead demons are sweeping across Alta California, conquering and killing all who stand in their way. Can Zorro stop them? When he learns that cold steel won't be enough, the masked avenger seeks mystical help, tracks down old allies, and unlocks the mysteries of the Swords of Hell! Swords and sorcery, as Zorro fights zombies...
There is something to be said for being able to read this and the Legendary Adventures so close together. To see his classic tales and to understand how he’s been seen for so long compared to modern storytelling and what someone like David is able to come up with, premise and story wise, it really is like night and day. I have said it before and I’ll say it again seeing Zorro face this kind of supernatural threat is beyond expectations and as thrilling as it gets. In some ways it reminds of The Phantom in how I perceive all this and it just continues to make feel excited time and time again.
The way that the book is structured is very well done. I like how we see the ebb & flow of the story and how the transitions almost feel like I am missing a commercial break or at least a Hostess advertisement lol. Still it fits beautifully with the idea behind the character and how cinematic we have to come to expect things to be. The story itself is fantastic and I like that we see Esteban working to increase his power through any means necessary and that he also doesn’t seem very much fooled by Lolita’s ploy and yet I love that all plays out before our eyes nonetheless.
The characterisation here is spectacular and that Bernardo is as easy to understand as he is thanks to not only the words of Zorro but also through his deeds and actions is not something so easily accomplished. David really does a superb job with the Mute Ox, thanks Captain for that, and it is rather refreshing to see someone who is willing to go that extra mile to ensure that a character who cannot speak is still an integral part of the story. Also I have a new favourite character in Abuelita who everyone should be afraid of, even Zorro!
If there is one thing where seeing old school versus new school that is more disappointing is that nowadays backgrounds are a rare commodity. When Zorro and Bernardo get to the village and it’s smoking ruins that’s fantastic, then they disappear during the fight scenes and dag nabbit I think they should still be there. No don’t talk of cluttering the page or any of that nonsense either. The linework is amazing to see as it brings these characters to life, including the creativity and imagination in these fantasma. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show off a solid eye for storytelling. The colour work is nice and honestly to see the black on black that is Zorro is handled extremely well. I would like to see more colour gradation to go along with the shading because Lolita’s dress was a tad more solid than I cared for.
This series has been a ton of fun so far. While there are tweaks that could be made to make it even better what these folks are doing is by far some of the most fun I have had reading modern Zorro adventures in quite some time. American Mythology continues to surprise and impress with their devotion to their franchises and projects as well as hiring some top notch talent to bring it to life.