Writer: Brett Matthews
Artists: Sergio Cariello, Marcelo Pinto(c)
The Lone Ranger advances his duel against Butch Cavendish, now installed into a position of political power. The Ranger along the way picks up a pair of admirers introduced in past issues that readers may be surprised to see again, and we get to visit the Ranger's hideout.
Brett Matthews continues to scribe impressive character for the Ranger that suits modern sensibilities without betraying Clayton Moore's memory. Some may argue that men other than Clayton Moore portrayed the Ranger, but I will argue that Clayton Moore was in spirit the actual hero. In any case, while Matthews' Ranger can get downright mean and destroys Cavendish's property like many an outlaw did to a period tycoon, he still shoots guns out of the villains' hands and leaves behind the calling card of silver bullets.
Matthews deepens the relationships between the Ranger and Tonto, through a simple acknowledgement of Tonto's humanity, which was not a given in the west. Native Americans have until I'd say about the nineteen fifties been looked upon as ignorant savages, but the Ranger treats Tonto as an equal, and the scene in this issue best represents that ideal.
Matthews reveals the Ranger's headquarters, and Sergio Cariello pulls out all the stops for a panoramic mythical blue print that takes the reader aback. Matthews looks to the past to build the Ranger a home, but then he does something so smart that the reader will be dumbfounded that Matthews' twist on tradition hadn't been incorporated into the myths until now. Of course, until now, The Ranger hasn't had a renaissance. A flop movie and an equally pitiful television pilot do not a rebirth make.
Sergio Cariello and Marcelo Pinto combine forces for more than just architecture. With a depiction of the weather-changed atmosphere and the drably colored settings, they capture the flavor and texture of the filthy, literally mucked up west. It's as if they transplanted a vivid, larger than life Masked Rider of the Plains to the nastiness of a dank spaghetti western. The contrast works beautifully and makes the Ranger unique in the environment. Even Tonto fits into the nature of the bloodier west, but the Ranger in his blue shirt, red kerchief, black velvet mask and firing silver bullets stands out with a hearty "Hi-Yo, Silver!"
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