Zorro's Renegades
by Don McGregor, Mike Mayhew (Image, 1999)

I can only imagine how much thought Don McGregor put into figuring out what it would be like to be chained inside the mouth of a beached and decomposing blue whale as the tide flows in and fills the leviathan's gullet with storm-driven waters.

I mean, how did he even come up with the idea?

But that very scene is central to the plot of Zorro's Renegades, a book that has our masked hero contending with a female masked vigilante, an Indian freedom fighter and, of course, his usual nemeses among the provincial Spanish government in California.

Lady Rawhide, the anger-driven and scantily clad senorita who has proven a fair hand with a whip in past issues, is back for more -- and her temper hasn't cooled. Moonstalker, a native wrongly whipped by the Spanish overlords before being rescued by Zorro, has devised vast improvements on the basic bow-and-arrow concept -- and he plans to use his explosive new technology to take revenge on the Spaniards and strike a blow for Native American rights. And Zorro, who certainly has no love for the Spanish, finds himself with the unenviable task of trying to save their lives -- a task most difficult when chained inside a whale and left to drown.

Oh, and a villain from Zorro's past makes a dramatic return.

As you can plainly see, Zorro's Renegades is packed with action, as well as the hero's trademark wit and plenty of sword-and-whip exchanges. This series has escaped my attention for quite some time, but I'm glad I found it now.

But I still wish it was in color.

review by
Tom Knapp

20 December 2008

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