Who is Zorro? Zorro is a fictional character first appearing in Johnston McCulley’s series of stories The Curse of Capistrano. It appeared in 1919 in five parts in the pulp magazine All-Story Weekly, which later were published under the collective title The Mark of Zorro as a book. The creation of this hero was inspired by the stories of the Californian outlaw Joaquín Murieta. Johnston McCulley wrote over 60 more short stories and several longer Zorro novels.
Zorro has appeared many times in television series, movies and comics. Some of them quite loosely referred to the literary original. The changes concerned character motivation, opponents, allies, weapons used, objects of sighs, and even gender.
Who is Zorro? Zorro’s mission
Zorro puts himself in the role of defender of the people of California, especially around Los Angeles. This is happening at a time when this region was a Spanish colony. The population needs a protector because it is oppressed by local authorities – governors and military commanders. Thanks to his fox cunning, he outsmarts his enemies. It is from this intelligent animal that the hero takes his nickname – in Spanish, Zorro means fox. In addition, he is a sword master, an excellent shooter, and a great rider. Its hallmark is the letter “z” – the sign of Zorro made with three quick strokes of the sword. He leaves it on the clothes of opponents or in the place where justice is brought. Despite the high reward for his capture, he remains elusive and often mocks the soldiers.
Zorro’s faithful horse is the black steed, Tornado. In many versions, he also has a silent helper who serves as a spy.
Who is Zorro every day?
Zorro is a masked hero and no one knows his identity except a trusted helper. He works often at night, which is why his suit is all black. It consists of a cape, a sombrero hat, and a mask that covers the whole face or part of it.
When Zorro is not hiding under a black mask and cape, he is a wealthy noble, don Diego Vega or don Diego de la Vega. As the son of an important hidalgo, he had the opportunity to study in Spain. Upon his return, he decides to take matters into his own hands and fight tyranny, but cannot do so openly. To distinguish it from his brave alter ego, he pretends to be a dandy and a coward, uninterested in the political and social problems.
Diego’s hacienda hides many secret passages and tunnels. They lead to a cave, Zorro’s house, where he keeps his horse and equipment. It is his hideout, where he prepares his tricks, trains, and heals his wounds.