Well, you have to remember, these older characters were created long before the story telling conventions that exist today. In fact, their stories are the foundations of the genre conventions that we take for granted now. Since these stories were published, other writers have improved upon them, by keeping what was cool and what worked, but moving past the things that maybe didn't make sense, or were slow and boring. But I have to credit McCully (creator of Zorro and Black Star) as one of the most significant influences on the genre of masked hero adventures. I think he crafted some of the best early prototypes for the superhero, the supervillain and the anti-hero. I believe it is well known that Zorro influenced Batman. Black Star clearly had an influence on many of the early supervillains. And "The Mucker" is kinda like Wolverine, without the powers.
It's like watching the first Star Wars and saying, "well, this is kinda lame compared to [[latest summer blockbuster]]." Of course it isn't the same. Star Wars was revolutionary, but of course people are going to take what worked in it and then "improve" upon it. Same with the characters and stories written at the turn of the century. They were written for an audience with simpler or more humble expectations, by authors who had no precedent for the kind of story they were trying to tell. But even long running characters who are still under copyright suffer from this. Early Batman, Superman, Shadow and Doc Savage stories aren't THAT good compared to what came later.
I enjoy learning about the old characters, because I like seeing how the whole genre of heroic fiction evolved over time...and where that evolution took its big jumps. McCully represents a big jump. And as a creator, I find it very enticing to pay homage to the past by "updating" the early characters and their stories with more modern conventions...demonstrating that there is still a lot that is cool about them, if you can get past what didn't make sense or what was boring or whatever. If modern Lex Luthor or Dr. Doom was partially inspired by the oft-imitated legacy of Black Star, why not make the new Black Star partially inspired by them? Keep the parts that work.