Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for … Zorro

Zorro, or Don Diego de la Vega, has been around for a while. The Mexican Robin Hood was created in 1919 by Johnston McCulley and has been swashbuckling around books, comics, stage and screen (both large and small) every since. He's a man of many faces, and though he's a Mexican hero, he's seldom been played by a Hispanic person (at least in English language renditions). 

Usually, he's a rich nobleman in Spanish-ruled California, fighting for the rights of the common man against the landowners and less noble noblemen. He wears a mask, which leaves room for the role to be passed on to other men (as happened in the more recent movie version with Antonio Banderas inheriting the role from Anthony Hopkins).
I first knew Zorro from his old movie persona with Douglas Fairbanks and the 1950s Disney program with Guy Williams, programs I watched in re-runs with my parents. Both of these went with the silly secret identity. I liked this idea that everyone thought de la Vega a useless fop or fool, but really he had the heart of a hero! No one suspects him of the acts of heroism his alter ego accomplishes. 

There are resonances with a lot of other heroes with secret identities and deep pockets, from the Phantom to Batman, Oliver Queen to the Scarlet Pimpernel. It's an idea that still resonates for me today: the advantage you can gain from having your enemies underestimate you. And it takes a special kind of brass to let your public identity be the one everyone thinks little of, so you can accomplish your mighty deeds in secret. Zorro is a tricky fox indeed. 

This post is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I'll be writing about superheroes I love all month. You can check out other bloggers and see their creative takes on the challenge here.

Don't forget to check out my own superhero stories. Change of Life, book two of my Menopausal Superheroes series just came out a few days ago!


  1. I loved the TV Zorro when I was a kid and had quite a crush on him. Thanks for playing. I enjoyed it so much.

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  2. Doesn't matter who played Zorro, just like Robin Hood, he's a great character! One of my favorites!
    Happy end of the A to Z - congratulations!
    Thanks for your support all month, and I loved learning of these unique super heroes!
    Good luck with your book. lets schedule something in June or July - a guest post? I'm taking a May break! :)

  3. I did rather enjoy the first Banderas Zorro film, but the version I remember the most was the 1990 Duncan Regehr version. Great choice for Z and thank you for so many wonderful posts, I have very much enjoyed visiting this month.
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  4. I don't think I've watched any version of Zorro, actually. Congrats on finishing the challenge!

  5. The only version I've seen is the one with Antonio Banderas.

    Congrats on making it to the end of the challenge!

  6. I've always enjoyed Zorro in his many incarnations. He's a perfect end to the month. Congrats on completing the challenge!