Monday, October 13, 2014

Zorro and The Lone Ranger (Part Two)



I don't think that the influence these two characters had on superheroes and comic books in general can be underestimated.  Heroic characters have been around since the dawn of literature, but here were a couple that played up a dual identity angle complete with a masked alias.  That added an extra element of mystery and tension to their exploits that was integrated into the heroes of the Golden and Silver Age of comics.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any chance of fındıng an ımage of The Scarlet Pımpernel wıth a tıme travel angle brıngıng one of these two to the post-French Revolutıon perıod of the Holy Terror? The Scarlet Pımpernel may have been the fırst masked/superhero, btw.

Bob Greenwade said...

Anon is quite right -- the Scarlet Pimpernel is generally regarded as the first "Secret Identity" hero (though none of the stories I've read of him have him taking on a literal masked identity).

I think Zorro is probably the earliest costumed hero, having made his debut in the 1919 novella "The Curse of Capistrano."

pblfsda said...

The 1916 French silent movie serial "Judex" beats out Zorro, just barely, but I'm not certain that even that is the first. It might depend on how loosely someone wants to define "costume". But Judex was, unquestionably, the original Batman. If you've never heard of it, watch the whole thing, an hour a night perhaps, and your jaw will drop. Guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

From 1915 comes the novel by Russell
Thorndyke called Doctor Syn: An Adventure of Romney Marsh which has a clergyman who was a pirate and a
masked highwayman known as The
Scarecrow. This was what Walt Disney
based the movie The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh on and is considered to be the first masked adventurer.
On a different matter, how about a threeway teamup of The Specter, Moon Knight and Space Ghost???

Anonymous said...

Oops... I ment to say a fourway teamup of The Specter, Moon Knight, Space Ghost and the one which made me think of it in the first place considering your use of The Lone Ranger and Zorro above, the cowboy version of The Ghost Rider...
What do you think of those four together???

Ross said...

There's a cover in the pipeline that features two of those that you mention together.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the two of them met indirectly in the "Death of Zorro" story arc, from D.E. Comics, last year. There was a flashback about Zorro rescuing John Reid's father from assassination after refusing to undersell his Texas longhorns to the crooked Commandante of Los Angeles. So, when the Lone Ranger heard about the elderly Don Diego being killed by renegade ex-Confederates...

Bob Buethe said...

What about The Gray Seal in 1914?

diana green said...

I'm a huge Dr. Syn/Scarecrow fan, and would love to see a Batman/Scarecrow of Romney Marsh team-up. Though it would involve time travel, that's never been an obstacle in the past. There have been some really good Scarecrow comics, three from Gold Key illustrated by Dan Spiegle, and ten short stories in Disney Digest beautifully rendered by Bret Blevins.

Gerson B said...

I don´t know if you knew this, but in Brazil the Lone Ranger was also called Zorro! Crazy, no?

Great blog! I love some crossovers!

Forgive my bad english, please.

Ross said...

Thanks, Gerson!

Alan Ward said...

little known fact about the masked man

http://politicalblindspot.com/the-real-lone-ranger-was-an-african-american-lawman-who-lived-with-native-american-indians/

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