Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Lone Ranger Definitive Edition (Volume One)

It's all here: the lone survivor of a massacre, a white horse, the faithful Native American companion, a silver mine to forge bullets, and a mask. Writer Brett Matthews' take on the western icon The Lone Ranger may not be for everyone, but it suits me just fine.

At the heart of the tale is John Reid, a man deeply conflicted with the death of his brother Dan, weighing his need for justice and revenge, and still searching for his place in the world. Our hero is still the man we know, he just doesn't know it quite yet. The comic is harsher (mirroring the landscape and time period) than most depictions, and the stories often involve tough choices and a fair bit of violence with each issue.

The first 11 issues of Dynamite Entertainment's ongoing Lone Ranger are collected here in the oversized hardcover volume complete with slipcover, an introduction from Matthews, a gallery of some pretty cool covers by John Cassaday, early sketches and character designs from artist Sergio Cariello, and the 2007 Free Comic Book Day story. The volume retails for $75, but with a little effort you should be able to find it online for less than $50.

The first two story arcs of the series include the birth of the Lone Ranger, his tumultuous relationship to Tonto (who is far more mysterious here than most depictions), his relationship to his brother's wife and young son, and his quest for the man responsible for his brother's death. The comic also takes several opportunities to show stories from other perspectives including that of its main villain, Butch Cavendish.

It's a well-made volume and a steal at a discounted price. Fans of the hero should grab one up while they can, yell out a hearty Hi-Yo Silver, and enjoy the ride. The Lone Ranger rides again.

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