Alright, this one might seem out of place next to the creator-owned stuff I have and will be continuing to promote, but I'm putting it up here anyway because it's such a great treat.
Dynamite's Zorro series, largely at the helm of Matt Wagner has been an absolute blast. The focus has been on something that has rarely (if ever) been touched upon in Zorro's 90-year history; his origins. Drawing largely from the recent novel by Isabel Allende that also covers similar grounds, Wagner has spent the first year of the series on the shaping of Zorro.
And what a history it is - Wagner succeeds at breathing a sense of the fantastic while maintaining a healthy suspensions of disbelief. This is an origin story worthy of Zorro's high-adventure caliber - pirates, secret societies, Native American spirit rituals and every last bit of pulp-era excess is lavished onto the character to bring some new vitality to the legend.
Another interesting bit is the focus on the social justice - the struggle between different classes of society and between different ethnicities. It shouldn't be a surprise that concepts of race, identity and justice are so firmly entrenched in this version of Zorro; but it is surprising to see it painted in terms that are immediately recognizable and timely. I can't help but think that in a modern society that is focused on ethnic and class struggles, the character of Zorro offers an interesting mirror to both the past and present.
Also, there are some nice sword fights. And did I mention the pirates?
Yeah, check this out.