Zorro #2: Clashing Blades
by Matt Wagner, Cezar Razek (Dynamite, 2010)

The first volume of Matt Wagner's new series, Zorro, was overly burdened with its own backstory. The second volume, Clashing Blades, is where things get good.

Zorro's campaign to uproot corruption in Spanish California gets going in earnest even as local authorities step up their efforts to apprehend him, end his thievery and put a stop to his growing, Robin Hood-like legend among the local population.

At the same time, Don Diego continues to play the foppish European, fooling both his father and the object of his affections, the lovely Lolita Maria Immaculata de la Pulido. Of course, it wouldn't be much fun if someone else -- in this case, one of Zorro's deadliest foes -- did not also pursue her hand ... and Diego's courtship is also hindered by Lolita's disdain for his cavalier ways and her growing admiration for the mysterious Zorro.

There are plots and machinations aplenty in this story, and Wagner's narrative is greatly enhanced by the glowing art of Cezar Razek. Razek's work certainly exceeds that put forth in the preceding volume, so I hope this artist sticks around.

After a disappointing start, Zorro has become a must-read title in the Dynamite line.

review by
Tom Knapp

18 September 2010

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