Writer: Stuart Moore
Artists: Jerome Opena, Michelle Madsen(c)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Lone moseys dandily in the footsteps of the hybrid genre of horror/western begun back in the forties by the seldom seen Curse of the Undead which featured a real midnight cowboy. Set against a backdrop resembling the Australian outback exploited by thousands of direct-to-video features, Lone relates the story of a village besieged by zombies who happen to be under the thrall of somebody far more unusual than Bela Lugosi's Murder LeGrande.
The sharp shooting green-haired Luke is none too shy in the brain department and the female hero of our campfire tale. With her brother, they trek the wasteland to find the legendary gunslinger Lone to rid their time of the onery monsters.
As rangy and laconic as Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name, Lone also bears the likeness of the comic strip character Lucky Luke raised to a few higher artistic dimensions. The alliteration cannot be a coincidence and also likely alludes to a certain "masked rider of the plains."
More staples of the western genre--especially the Sergio Leone spaghetti western--will bring a grin to fans of the cinematic art form. Lone is for instance an intelligent man among idiots; zombies aren't rightly known for their wit. The zombies are a threat by their number not their skill or intellect. Lone does not just depend upon his guns. He employs weaponry that seems anachronistic. A parallel can be found in Django's wild coffin surprise.
Mr. Opena and Michelle Madsen bring a refreshing look to Lone. All of the characters while proportionate bear a gaunt look that suits all the elements of the story. The sun-drenched setting does not best fit wrenching terror. So the creators instead opt for the daylight nightmares of Mr. Leone--and without the e it spells? They succeed in creating a dream-like dark fantasy world hot from radioactivity, twisted by mutations and darkened even further by ambling zombies.
If you're looking for something different but cleverly written and full of conventions viewed from a different angle, Stuart Moore's and Jerome Opena's Lone may be the tall drink of water for which you seek.
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