July 18, 2008

Standalone Ranger comic

A new standalone comic features Dynamite Entertainment's version of the Lone Ranger and Tonto against a psychopathic killer:

The Lone Ranger and Tonto #1In previous reviews here, I’ve professed my love for Dynamite’s reboot of The Lone Ranger. It’s been wonderful because it’s the treatment that an American icon has always deserved. The comic has been grittier, more realistic and filled with a great supporting cast. In fact, one of my single favorite issues of last year was Lone Ranger #10, in which John Reid had to deal with the moral dilemma, being someone who refuses to kill, having to bring someone to justice where the criminal will inevitably end up dead as a result of that justice. Series writer Brett Matthews handled that issue with force, gravitas, and tremendous insight. He’s also set up The Lone Ranger as something of an Old-West version of Batman; a young man seeking revenge, who has the ability to kill, shifts his beliefs to justice by the letter of the law and not his own desires for vengeance. He also has a very Commisioner Gordon-like friend in the local sheriff, and he has a cave as his headquarters!

And it’s those lines of logic that bring us to the one-shot The Lone Ranger and Tonto #1. After Reid and Tonto deal with a kindly older couple in a small town yet to be named, they come across a murdered husband and wife and their young son who appears to be in complete shock. They take the boy back to town to the kindly couple to care for and go back to bury the bodies, and while there, they make a horrific discovery as to the identity of the murderer.
Lone Ranger & Tonto #1What’s interesting is the fact that the Ranger tries to remain the moral compass, he wants to only imprison the boy, while Tonto seems to be more logical. “Some evils can only be stopped by their destruction.” There’s a basic point in what Tonto says. Whether you are for the death penalty or not, whatever brand of justice you support, sometimes the only way to stop evil is to snuff it out entirely.Comment:  The first reviewer has professed his love for Dynamite’s reboot of the Lone Ranger and I've professed my disdain of it.

I skimmed this standalone issue in my local shop. It looks better than the average LONE RANGER comic--more like a real story than a series of pretty paintings. I didn't get it because it cost a whopping $4.99. Hello? I'm not paying two-thirds the price of a paperback book for a comic I can read in 10 minutes.

What's interesting to me is how the comic portrays Tonto. As you can see from the cover, he's dressed in typical Tonto fashion. But something about his windblown hair, or maybe his grim visage, distinguishes him from the traditional sidekick.

This Tonto seems like a full partner to the Lone Ranger. In fact, he's at least as imposing as the man beside him. If I had to pick one of them to face in a dark alley, it wouldn't be the tough-looking Tonto.

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Comics.

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