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Scars!: Zorro #1    by Don McGregor & Sidney Lima order for
by Don McGregor
Order:  USA  Can
Nantier Beall Minoustchine, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Lance Victor Eaton

Not quite the Zorro you remember from the good old days or even the Antonio Banderas version of recent acclaim (though the cover makes sure to make connections), this Zorro series follows the masked avenger as he and a rescued barmaid named Eulalia Bandini travel the western lands of Central and North America. After saving her from the clutches of Capitan Enrique Monasterio, Zorro (or Don Diego de La Vega) escapes from Monasterio's Los Angelos Soldados. The villain has pursued Zorro for several months now and our hero finds himself in what is current-day Yellowstone.

While making their way through the geyser-laden land, Zorro and Eulalia encounter Thierry and his wife, Amelie, cartographers of the great west who are being hunted by Lucifer Trapp's henchmen (including the troublesome Ripklaw). Zorro appears in the nick of time to rescue the couple from the gang but Lucifer doesn't quit that easily. He has enjoyed hunting and trapping in these fruitful lands and fears that Thierry's work will bring more people into the west and ruin his business. He'd sooner see the couple dead but Zorro, of course, has other plans.

Action-packed as any Zorro story should be, this graphic novel brims with sword fights, horseback sequences and duels, as well as a ski chase. The action scenes get a bit bloodier even than one would anticipate. As the beginning of a series, the authors effectively catch readers up to speed with why Zorro is where he is within the first few pages. The story does have inconsistencies and drawbacks. Some dialogue doesn't feel smooth or correct for events in the early 1800s - at one point, Amelie begins worrying about her weight and the manner in which she elaborates upon it does not fit with the time.

Though the art feels more cartoonish than comic, that actually works for the series. However, character traits aren't always consistent. Thierry and Amelie are portrayed with matching brown hair in the initial scenes but within a single panel transition (panel, not scene, mind you), their hair converts from sandy brown to golden blonde with no explanation. Overall, Scars! takes on deeper dimensions than one might initially consider with a story mainly oriented towards action, and also manages to set up an initial plot narrative for the sequel. Far-fetched in only the way that Zorro can be in his various forms, this edition to the canon will be enjoyed by fans.

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