“Django/Zorro” #1, co-written by the duo of Quentin Tarantino and Matt Wagner and drawn by Esteve Polls is also co-published by Dynamite Entertainment and Vertigo. The tale, obviously set in the Old West, provides ample opportunity for these two characters to meet as can only happen in fiction.
The story introduces the characters directly to the reader, as Django and de la Vega introduce themselves to each other in the sandy desert. At first glance, “Django/Zorro” #1 is the beginning of a straightforward adventure where the two characters have a mutual interest and are moving towards a satisfying conclusion. Tarrantino and Wagner avoid the cliched notion of “first they fight, realize their misunderstanding and then unite against a common foe” and choose, instead, to focus on Zorro as a charmer and a diplomat, as quick with his wit as his sword. Django also proves to be a worthy ally, and the writing duo makes a strong case for readers to take interest in both characters.
While this first issue includes plenty of action, Django takes the spotlight early, as his solo performance is first chronologically. Tarrantino and Wagner reveal Django to readers as de la Vega himself learns of his new traveling companion’s talents. This makes for a fun choice, and opens the opportunity for the writers to infuse some levity into this comic book as readers can almost hear de la Vega huffing and puffing by the time the initial threat has passed.
Solid art from Esteve Polls adds credibility to the entire adventure. Old West gunfights and horses require tight discipline from artists to execute properly, and Polls does just that. With dynamic character design and a small cast, Polls is afforded the luxury of ensuring every character is consistent and every panel concise. The action moves nicely through Polls’ storytelling and gets a firm boost from Brennan Wagner’s colors. Wagner trades out the standard fare and adds in bright red backgrounds when shots are fired or the conflict escalates throughout this tale.
Like an Old West “Brave and the Bold” issue, this is a fun start to a story that is sassy and reverential. Tarrantino, Wagner and Polls give readers a solid introduction to Django and Don Diego de la Vega in a tight space, while also setting up enough of a plot to make this team-up possible. Django has only been around a couple years, but in this adventure, alongside Don Diego de la Vega, he seems timeless. “Django/Zorro” #1 takes two beloved characters and gives readers a first step into a new adventure.