Written by Quentin Tarantino & Matt Wagner
Illustrated by Esteve Polls
Colored by Brennan Wagner
Published by Dynamite Comics/Vertigo
Release Date: 11/12/2014
This week Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction), along with Matt Wagner (Grendel) brings his Django character to comics in Django/Zorro #1 from Dynamite Comics and Vertigo. A collaboration that was announced back in June, the much-anticipated first issue finally hit comic book stands this week.
Dynamite and Vertigo announced this graphic novel as a sequel to the movie Django Unchained. If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend that you do so. However it is not completely necessary and readers unfamiliar with the Django plot should have no issues following this new storyline, which is set several years after the events of the film. After safely securing his wife in Chicago, and because he is wanted out east, Django finds himself out west and once again seeking justice by way of bounty hunting.
The story starts off with a carriage (carrying one Don Diego de la Vega) encountering a horseless Django, as the older gentlemen kindly welcomes Django on board. Almost immediately they encounter trouble as a group of outlaws known as the Barrington Brothers gang that Django has been tailing are lured to the flashy horse coach. The action only picks up after this, and later Django agrees to help Don Diego on a dangerous mission that will take them to Phoenix to confront the brutal villain who rules the entire territory, the Archduke of Arizona. Those familiar with the history of Zorro will know that Don Diego is indeed our masked outlaw, albeit an aged one, although Django is not aware of this as of yet.
Okay so what’s the verdict? Let’s start with the art. Esteve Polls is the ideal complement to this creative collaboration, as his body of work includes such titles as The Lone Ranger, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and Zorro Rides Again. His experience in illustrating western comics shines through here, as his rugged and rigorous style is backed up vividly by Wagner’s color work.
Next is the writing. This story has Tarantino written all over it, as he and Wagner do a fantastic job of depicting not only Tarantino’s style, but the spirit of Don Diego himself. The first issue was violent and honest, capturing the brutality and the hatred that was rampant during this time, although I feel that this was but a precursor of what’s coming in the next few issues. After reading this first chapter, I am convinced that a Django/Zorro team-up would totally work on the big screen, and it is clearly evident that it works well as a comic book.
REVIEW: DJANGO/ZORRO #1
Peter Rodriguez (Geek Sushi)