Zorro finds himself marooned on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ fabled island and must use his legendary sword skills to defeat legions of man-eating dinosaurs.
In the world of comic books, there is perhaps nothing quite as exciting as a crossover. A crossover is a story in which one or more proprietary characters or universes appear in the same comic as one or more other proprietary characters or universes. While this definition may not sound that exciting, readers were ecstatic in 1940 when the first crossover pitted the Human Torch against Namor the Sub-Mariner in Marvel Mystery Comics #8. Since then, the crossover has become a popular comic book trope. Recently, two of pop culture’s oldest properties have been thrown together in another crowd-pleasing crossover title: Zorro in the Land That Time Forgot #1.
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The Land That Time Forgot was originally written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1924. Burroughs’ fantasy novel is about a sabotaged German U-Boat that stumbles upon the long-rumored island of Caprona. The crew disembarks and begins exploring this untouched tropical paradise. Fantasy turns to horror, however, when the submariners discover that Caprona is populated with prehistoric man-eating dinosaurs. The Land That Time Forgot was an immediate success and has twice been adapted to film. The novel also influenced Michael Crichton’s bestseller, Jurassic Park. After The Land That Time Forgot fell into the public domain, American Mythology Publishing began producing comic books related to the novel in 2016.
Set years before Burroughs’ novel, Zorro in the Land That Time Forgot #1 finds the wealthy Don Diego de la Vega funding a sailing expedition to find the aforementioned island of Caprona. The recipients of his generous contribution are unaware that de la Vega is secretly the masked vigilante swordsman, Zorro. He initially declines an invitation to join the expedition but reconsiders when he discovers that the local magistrate has placed soldiers on board with the intention of commandeering the mission. When the rumors of Caprona prove to be true, these explorers suffer the same fate as Burroughs’ protagonists. Zorro must use his legendary sword skills to fend off the prehistoric monsters.
Zorro in the Land That Time Forgot #1 was written by Mike Wolfer with art by Alessandro Ranaldi. Since his creation in 1919, Zorro has appeared in dozens of comic books for a wide array of publishers, including Quality, Dell, Disney, Gold Key, Topps, and Dynamite Entertainment. American Mythology Publishing acquired the license in 2018 and immediately began publishing original Zorro titles. American Mythology is a relatively new comic book company, having been founded in 2014 out of Bel Air, Maryland. They specialize in creating comics based on classic film and television properties, including Zorro, Laurel and Hardy, The Three Stooges, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and – of course – The Land That Time Forgot.
Rarely does an artistic team get the opportunity to blend two storied universes that have inspired so many modern media franchises? Zorro in the Land That Time Forgot #1 combines the character that influenced Batman with the novel that influenced Jurassic Park. American Mythology Publishing may be spartan, but their role in the media landscape is pivotal. They foster the legacies of fading entertainment icons. This is particularly important for acts such as The Three Stooges or Laurel and Hardy, as Gen Z may be less familiar with these groups’ short subject films. Here’s hoping that American Mythology Publishing continues to produce crossover events featuring the important properties of days gone by.
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