[[quoteright:283:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zorro1_3543.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:283:"The Fox, so cunning and free ..."]]

''"Out of the night, when the full moon is bright..."''

'''Zorro''' is a mysterious black-clad rider who fights injustice in Spanish California.

The sleepy pueblo of Reina de Los Angeles could be Paradise. The weather is sunny, the señoritas are pretty, the caballeros are handsome, and the land is rich with promise. But alas! The new governor is a tyrant who oppresses the natives, overtaxes the peasants, and seeks to rob the hidalgos who object to bad government of their lands and wealth to give to himself and his cronies. He has the army firmly under his control, and has placed corrupt officers to enforce his will upon the people.

But there is one man who the governor cannot stop, one man who rises up to fight for justice, who inspires the people to resist and take control of their own destinies. That man is Señor Zorro, The Fox, whose cunning is legend, whose swordsmanship is unsurpassed, whose black-clad, masked form slips in and out of the night like a ghost. You may know him by the ragged letter "Z" he carves into the cheeks of wicked men who have lost duels to him, and leaves at the scene of his adventures. He discomforts the powerful and corrupt, and helps the poor and oppressed. Truly, this Zorro is a hero!

But who is this mysterious Zorro behind his mask? Well, it is certain that it cannot be [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass Don Diego (de la) Vega]], even though Don Diego is certainly the right age and of good family. For Don Diego is a useless fop who reads poetry, disdains violence and any form of sweat-inducing activity, and sniffs a perfumed handkerchief when in the presence of his lessers. No, it cannot be he.

Or can it?

Zorro was first created by Johnston [=McCulley=] for the novel ''The Curse of Capristrano'' serialized in All-Story Weekly Magazine in 1919. The [[{{Swashbuckler}} Swashbuckling]] story was complete in itself, closing off much room for sequels. Douglas Fairbanks Senior read the novel, loved it, and convinced his studio to buy the rights so he could star in a movie adaptation, ''The Mark of Zorro'' (1920). It was a huge success, inspiring [=McCulley=] to write a sequel, ''The Further Adventures of Zorro'', and a total of sixty Zorro stories altogether, ending with ''The Mask of Zorro'', printed posthumously in 1959.

There have been many Zorro movies (notably the 1920 Silent {{Swashbuckler}} ''The Mark of Zorro'' starring DouglasFairbanks and its 1940 TwentiethCenturyFox sound re-make with Tyrone Power), at least six television series (three of them [[AnimatedAdaptation animated]]), a couple live-action ones, some [[strike:professional FanFic]] novels by other authors reinterpreting the character, one Hispanic SoapOpera ("Zorro: La Espada y la Rosa") based on one of these novels (the one written by Creator/IsabelAllende, if you wonder), a few ComicBook adaptations, and even an Anime series (''Kaiketsu Zorro''). The most recent movies were two films in 1998 (TheMaskOfZorro) and 2005 (The Legend of Zorro) with Anthony Hopkins as the aging hero, Antonio Banderas as his protege [[LegacyCharacter and heir]] and Catherine Zeta Jones as Hopkins' daughter and Banderas' ActionGirlfriend.

In addition, Zorro has inspired many other heroes, such as Franchise/{{Batman}} (it's canon within Batman's own continuity!) and Roronoa Zoro of ''Manga/OnePiece''.

!!Works featuring Zorro:
[[index]]
* Film/TheMarkOfZorro
* Film/TheMaskOfZorro
* Series/{{Zorro}}
* WesternAnimation/ZorroGenerationZ
[[/index]]

----
!!''Zorro'', in his various incarnations, provides examples of the following tropes:

* {{Acrofatic}}: Sergeant Garcia is often portrayed as this, being surprisingly agile and an accomplished swordsman despite his build.
* AlternateCompanyEquivalent: Batman. In addition to the basic similarities, some stories have established that the movie the Waynes went to see on the night they were murdered was... ''The Mark of Zorro''.
* AnimatedAdaptation:
** ''The New Adventures of Zorro'', a 1981 series from Creator/{{Filmation}} and Tokyo Movie Shinsha (now known as Creator/TMSEntertainment), and ''The New Adventures of Zorro'', a 1997 series from WarnerBros.
** A 1996 Japanese anime complete with TransformationSequence and a theme song by Masaki Endo. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yc6RPXiftM&feature=related Observe]].
** Also worth mentioning is the TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture adaptation ''WesternAnimation/ZorroGenerationZ''.
* AnimalThemedSuperbeing: Zorro is Spanish for fox. He would be type II in that he has no animal-based powers, weapons, or even an animalistic costume but he does assume the name of an animal.
* {{Badass}}: Any character who inspires Franchise/{{Batman}}, both without ''and'' within the comic, has GOT to be an absolute badass.
* BadassMustache: Zorro usually is portrayed with one.
* BerserkButton: Hinting that Senorita Lolita (heroine and love interest in the original novel) has morals that are at all questionable is a good way to get your ass kicked by El Zorro.
* BigEater: Sergeant Garcia usually is portrayed as one. Y'know, [[DontExplainTheJoke because he's fat]].
* BilingualBonus: The DIC series was set in and around the town of El Pueblo. Yes, the town of "The Town".
* ButtMonkey:
** Poor Sergeant Garcia...
** Corporal Reyes takes this [[UpToEleven a step further]], being Garcia's personal butt monkey.
* CallingCard: Zorro's trademark "Z".
* CattlePunk: The 2005 movie.
* CanonDiscontinuity: At the end of "The Curse of Capistrano", the main villain is dead, and Zorro publicly unmasked, revealing his identity to everyone. By the third book, neither of those events had ever happened.
* CanonImmigrant: The Zorro we know with his small hat, cowl and preference for using a sword is from the Douglas Fairbanks 1920 film and the pulp series was changed to reflect it.
* ClothesMakeTheLegend: Even the parody ''Zorro: The Gay Blade'' just changed the color of the costume.
* ClothingDamage: A favorite trick of Zorro's, especially in the television series, where carving the flesh of his opponents would have violated broadcast standards. Or, in the case of the movie with Catherine Zeta-Jones, pure {{Fanservice}}.
* CoatHatMask: A classic example.
* CollectiveIdentity:
** In some of the novels, Bernardo also wears the Zorro costume in order to distract and mislead pursuers. Bernardo has also been known to play the part of Zorro to divert suspicion from Diego while he has an alibi (such as being imprisoned or questioned on suspicion of being Zorro). Zorro's friend and sometimes love interest/accomplice Lolita Pulido has also donned the mask.
** In Isabel Allende's novel Diego has a second Zorro outfit and sword made for Bernardo to throw villains for a loop, and Isabel de Romeu butts in with Bernardo's Zorro costume when the villain is DangerouslyGenreSavvy enough to have both Diego imprisoned and his men keep an eye on Bernardo in case he donned the Zorro outfit. The epilogue makes clear that in the end Diego is the main Zorro, but both Bernardo and Isabel would wear his costume if needed and can kick just as much ass as him.
** In ''Zorro the Gay Blade'', Don Diego and his brother Ramon both are Zorro. The brothers' father was too, although he's deceased at the time of the movie.
** In ''Film/TheMaskOfZorro'', Anthony Hopkins plays the original Zorro (Don Diego de la Vega) and Antonio Banderas is his trainee [[spoiler:and later son-in-law]], Alejandro.
** In the 1997 animated series Diego de la Vega was not the first Zorro, but the original was unknown and shrowded in legend.
** The brief TV Series ''Zorro and Son'' was actually ''about'' an older Don Diego training his son, Don Carlos, to take his place.
** In one of the animated series episodes a soldier is about to be executed upon suspicion of being Zorro, when Zorro himself intervenes and frees him. The soldier in gratitude ''also'' assumes the identity of Zorro in another part of old California, so in this continuity there ends up being ''two Zorros'' at work in different places, thus reinforcing the secret identity of both.
* CoolHorse: Tornado
* CoolMask: And how.
* CostumeCopycat: One of the hazards of having a SecretIdentity. Although Zorro himself has used it for his benefit...
* CrazySurvivalist: Buck Wylde from the Topps comic book series.
* CuteMute: Diego's servant, Bernardo.
* DancingIsSeriousBusiness: Both in ''The Mark of Zorro'' (1940) and ''TheMaskOfZorro''.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Very obviously.
* DashingHispanic: Zorro himself, and some of his enemies, especially {{the Dragon}} of any given story.
* DatingCatwoman: Zorro and LadyRawhide in the Topps comic series.
* {{Disney}}: Created the 1957 live-action series. Arguably one of the best known adaptations of the story.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: In his first appearance Zorro wore a sombrero and a poncho, his mask covered his whole face and he used a saber instead of a rapier but mainly threatened people with a pistol.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: In the comics written by Don [=McGregor=] (for Topps and Dynamite), Zorro has an elaborate underground base that rivals the Batcave.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: In the 1940 movie, Diego Vega comments on a sergeant's big bullwhip, saying that he commiserates his poor horse. The sergeant is shocked and reassures him: He would ''never'' whip his dear horse, the whip is just for peones who don't cough up their taxes quickly enough.
* ExpressiveMask: In the comic book versions.
* {{Expy}}: Eugene Palette's "Fray Felipe" in the Tyrone Power version is suspiciously similar to his Friar Tuck in ''Film/TheAdventuresOfRobinHood''.
* FatIdiot: More often than not, Sergeant Garcia is portrayed as this.
* FeudalOverlord: Even though the setting of the story is in colonial rather than medieval times, the villains often fit this trope.
* {{Filmation}}: Produced the 1980's animated series.
* {{Flynning}}: In (almost) every film, stage, and TV version. Averted in the 1940 remake ''The Mark of Zorro'' -- Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone were both highly skilled fencers and it shows.
* FolkHero: He's an iconic character for Latin America. Without a doubt, Zorro is ''the'' best-known fictional Hispanic hero in the World.
* ForHalloweenIAmGoingAsMyself: Used in ''The Gay Blade''.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: The final shot of the original 1920 ''The Mark Of Zorro'' has Don Diego and his LoveInterest smooching behind a kerchief. While their faces are concealed, the woman's hands flutter and contort in a way that suggests it's ''much'' more than a modest peck on the cheek...
* GratuitousSpanish: Any English-language adaptation is likely to be full of this.
* HeelFaceTurn: Used nigh-literally at the end of ''ZorroTheGayBlade:'' The entire town has revolted, and the bad guys are reduced to the governor, his wife, and a single squad of soldiers protecting them from the surrounding mob. The captain of the squad, seeing which way the wind is blowing, orders, "About FACE!"... and the soldiers are now pointing their guns at the governor. (They thus turned on their heels for an [[LamePun about-face turn]].)
* HookHand: Lucien Machete in the Topps comic.
* HorsebackHeroism
* HotterAndSexier: The recent Hispanic SoapOpera and the Creator/IsabelAllende book.
* HunterTrapper: Buck Wylde from the Topps comic book series.
* ImplausibleFencingPowers:
** Being able to carve a "Z" in an opponent's cheek with one fluid movement of his sword certainly counts.
** The 1940 version also includes the famous bit in which Don Diego slashes a candle -- with no apparent result -- until he lifts the candle to reveal he has ''sliced it in two.''
*** Itself hilariously parodied in ''Film/TheCourtJester'', in which "Giacomo" ''blows'' on the candles, and they fall apart.
*** ''Zorro the Gay Blade'' also parodied this by having Diego slash at a candle, apparently missing, but as soon as the Aldante turns his back Diego picks up the severed candle and uses it to light his cigarette before discreetly putting it back.
*** [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072448/?ref_=fn_tt_tt_15 In a Mexican Zorro film from 1975]], Zorro slashes at a candelabra horizontally and then again veritcally. All the candles fall off, and the one in the center splits in two.
* InkstainAdaptation: The first Zorro movie with Douglas Fairbanks is the source for the classic costume of Zorro and also influenced the author, who was still alive, [[RetCanon to revise his stories to fit.]]
* InstantKnots: Used in conjunction with WhipItGood.
* LampshadeHanging: At one point in the '50s live-action series, Don Diego tells the villain of the week that Zorro would be around his age, build, height and social class.
* TheLancer: Corporal Reyes to Sergeant Garcia. Bonus points because because he actually is one of the lancers (a type of soldier) who answer to Sergeant Garcia.
* LegacyCharacter: Several of the adaptations have featured Zorro's descendants or an unrelated person taking up the sword to fight for justice.
* MasqueradeBall: Always a great place to hide a masked man.
* MasterSwordsman: Obviously.
* MeaningfulEcho: In the 1940 movie: "to raise fat children and watch the vineyards grow" accompanied by the hurling of the sword so it sticks in a beam in the ceiling.
* MinionWithAnFInEvil: Sergeant Garcia, at his most sympathetic. On his defense, he never is truly evil, he just follows his superior's orders. When the evil governor isn't around and the town is under García's control, life is ''much'' easier for everyone. On one occasion he even [[DressingAsTheEnemy dresses as Zorro]] to try to free some unjust prisoners ''from his own jail!''
* MountainMan: Joe Crane from the Disney TV series.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Zorro meaning "fox".
* NonPoweredCostumedHero: One of the earliest "superheroes".
* NiceHat: Zorro's iconic black Cordobés.
* ObfuscatingDisability: Bernardo is mute, but often pretends to be deaf as well.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Except in the Disney version, where Don Diego is an open crusader for justice, but supposedly inept at combat instead.
* PirateGirl:
** Scarlet Fever from the second ''LadyRawhide'' miniseries from Topps Comics.
** As well as Lucia the Pirate from the Filmation cartoon.
* PopculturalOsmosis
* PowderTrail
* PresidentEvil: The evil governor of California.
* PublicExecution: Two of these are attempted in ''Zorro's Fighting Legion'', one by firing squad, and the other by hanging. The Legion manages to save both potential victims.
* RearingHorse: The classic victory pose for Zorro is his black horse rearing up while Zorro thrusts his sword in the air.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Sergeant Garcia, full stop. Once the horrible Captain Monasterio is defeated, Garcia takes his place and things immediately become ''way'' nicer than before. [[spoiler:It's too good to last, as [[ArcVillain The Eagle]] soon arrives...]]
* TheRemnant: Colonel Augustus Barton and his renegede Confederate bushwhackers in ''Franchise/TheLoneRanger and Zorro: The Death of Zorro'' from Dynamite Comics.
* RichIdiotWithNoDayJob: Most people that know Don Diego think he's this.
* RoyalRapier: His signature weapon, along with a whip.
* SceneryPorn: While every set of Spanish California in every incarnation may qualify, the one for the Disney TV series is arguably the most prominent.
* SecretKeeper: Many, depending on the story. Most often, Don Diego's mute manservant Bernardo.
* StabTheSky: When his horse rears.
* StopOrIShootMyself: Dona Lolita, the heroine of the original Zorro novel, does this with a dagger forcing the Alcalde's guards to let her escape.
* StoryArc: Disney's ''Zorro'' is especially notable for being a show that used arcs in the 1950s, when most other television was strictly episodic.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: LadyRawhide from the Topps Comics series.
* SwallowTheKey: The television series with Duncan Regehr twisted this -- at the end of one episode, he chained up the alcade in the town square and forced the alcade to swallow the key.
* {{Swashbuckler}}
* SwissArmyWeapon: Lucien Machete's HookHand in the Topps comic.
* SwordFight: Every Zorro story has at least one.
* TallDarkAndHandsome: Zorro himself.
* TransformationSequence:
** The ''Kaiketsu Zorro'' anime had one. Technically, it was just Diego putting on his costume really fast, kind of like [[Anime/SailorMoon Tuxedo Mask]].
** The Filmation version also had one.
* UtilityBelt: Albeit an example that doesn't involve an actual belt. On most occasions, Zorro is armed -- at minimum -- with a sword, a knife, a pistol, a bolo, a lariat, and a set of lock-picking equipment. He often also carries a rope and graple-hook. Sometimes he'll have even more weapons and equipment than that. In the pulp stories, Zorro has a pistol as a backup weapon, but with the technology limitations of the time, seldom relies on it.
* WhipItGood:
** In addition to his sword, Zorro usually also carries a bullwhip which he's nearly as good with. He can even use it for a short BuildingSwing.
** This is also the character's main weapon in ''Zorro: The Gay Blade'', he uses it [[OverlyLongGag even while engraving the "Z" mark]].
* YouFightLikeACow: Usually against lesser opponents. You can tell when an opponent is actually challenging Zorro, because he is too busy to quip.
* ZorroMark. [[TropeNamer Well, duh]].

----