From Academic Kids

Missing image
Guy Williams as Zorro

Zorro, Spanish for fox, is the name used by a fictional character, a Mexican-era California masked hero and master swordsman of the Old West, whose real name is Don Diego de la Vega. (Don Diego Vega in the original story). He fights for the Californio people against the corrupt tyranny of the Spanish governor, proving himself to be much too foxlike and cunning for the bumbling authorities to catch.

The character's visual motif is typically a black costume with a cape, a small flat brimmed hat (wide sombrero in the original book) and a black cowl mask that covers the top of the head from eye level up. In addition, his favored weapon is a sword which he often uses to leave his distinctive emblem, a large Z made from three quick scratches .

Zorro first made his appearance in a novel, The Curse of Capistrano, by pulp writer Johnston McCulley, serialized in the pulp magazine All-Story Weekly in 1919. After the success of the silent film The Mark of Zorro (1920) starring Douglas Fairbanks, the novel was re-released by the publisher Grosset and Dunlap under the new title The Mark of Zorro. (Fairbanks also starred in a 1925 sequel titled Don Q, Son of Zorro, playing Don Diego's grown-up son, Don Cesar, as well as reprising his role as Don Diego.)

McCulley had no idea how successful Zorro would become, so at the denouement, Zorro's true identity is revealed to all. Zorro soon became a regular character in numerous pulp fiction magazines. He has been also adapted for numerous movies. Aside from the initial The Mark of Zorro, they include:

There has also been a parody for the premise called Zorro: The Gay Blade (1981), which starred George Hamilton.

Isabel Allende gave her interpretation of the Zorro legend in her 2005 fictional biography Zorro: A Legend.

Although not completely original in its concept and recognizing influences from previous publications like the Spring Heeled Jack adventures, this character is one of the earliest precursors of the superhero of American comic books, being an independently wealthy person who has a secret identity which he defends by wearing a mask, and who accomplishes good for the people with his superior fighting abilities. He even has an animal symbol, though English-speaking peoples would not recognize it, in his name being Spanish for "fox," though it is never depicted as an emblem. In fact, Zorro has also been adapted for comic books and comic strips. The most notable character whose creation was highly influenced by Zorro is Batman, created by Bob Kane in the 1930s (within the Batman storyline itself, Bruce Wayne was inspired by Zorro, and his parents were killed after an evening watching "The Mark of Zorro". Zorro kept his horse in the basement of his house, and similarly Batman keeps his Batmobile in the basement of his). Zorro was also the inspiration of the remarkably similar character El Coyote.

External links

de:Zorro es:El Zorro fr:Zorro (srie tlvise) it:Zorro pl:Zorro sv:Zorro


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