By Philip Schweier
Oct 3, 2018 - 16:11
The Lone Ranger was my first hero, way back in kindergarten when I would race home in time to catch his adventures. I hated Wednesdays, when my sister would detour through the local library and delay our arrival at home. By that time, the show was mostly over. Adding insult to injury was the following September when the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains was replaced by the Caped Crusader. I’m sure if we’d had a color TV at the time, Batman would have made a bigger impression on me. But as far as my 6-year-old self could determine, Batman and Robin were pale comparisons to the Lone Ranger and Tonto.
So Dynamite’s latest installment of the continuing saga is looked forward to eagerly, though it is not without problems. It is set in Texas, 1887; Barbed wire has come to Deaf Smith County (or is it Death Smith? The letterer can’t seem to decide), setting the stage for a coming range war. As for the local land barons, a range war may be just what the doctor ordered, to sweep away the smaller ranchers and sod busters.
Thankfully, the Lone Ranger is on the case, and his first move is to seek out Tonto’s help. Enlisting an old partner seems right enough, but here it reads more like a plea for help, and I must admit I’m not entirely comfortable with how it plays out. The Ranger seems to do okay for himself in his first skirmish with the bad guys.
The artwork is passable, rendered in a style I’m unsure of. It reminds me somewhat of Mark Badger’s work in the 1980s. Rather minimal in his rendering, but he still manages to convey a great deal. Minimal, simple, tomayto, tomahto. Either way, it works (for now).
It’s still the same old story – a fight for law and order, against people with too much power and not enough compassion. Not terribly different from today, but if Dynamite wants to portray the Lone Ranger as a 19th century SJW, I’d just as soon stop right now.