Review by C.J. Bunce
Heroes of the past unite for a third time under Dynamite Entertainment management, as the trade paperback edition of The Lone Ranger: The Devil’s Rope hits the stands this week. It’s 1887 in rural Texas, and wealthy landowners who have pressed Indian interests off their native lands are now doing the same for the farmer and rancher. Their method? Illegally taking lands and establishing boundaries with barbed wire, while influencing political interests to allow the illegitimate squatters to shoot to kill if anyone cuts the wire on “their” lands. Sounds like a good time for a hero.
Enter The Lone Ranger, disturbed at lunch by a stampede caused by the first shots in the conflict. The first murder is an excuse to enlist another hero from his past, Tonto, to help him confront the heavy tide of “progress.” Writer Mark Russell (The Snagglepuss Chronicles, The Flintstones) incorporates an innovative technological marvel to build a simple, classic Western tale of frontier America. Equal to the writing is the artwork by the artist known as Bob Q, whose simplicity echoes the barren landscapes his characters are fighting to protect. The artist’s best feat is the expressions of his characters. Black hat villains are easy to hate, and provide fodder for some sporting Texas Ranger justice by the original dynamic duo. Lettering is provided by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.
You won’t find a lot of bold vision or layered storytelling here compared to past stories of The Lone Ranger, but you will find a good, easy read, reflecting plenty of truths of the robber baron era, the struggle of Americans to build a nation, and pulp and cinema heroes who never grow old. Readers of recent Jonah Hex and Zorro stories will likely enjoy the style and story in this book. It also has bits of action and villains like you’ve met before in 3:10 to Yuma, The Magnificent Seven, and Django Unchained.
Here is a 12-page preview of the 138-page trade edition of The Lone Ranger: The Devil’s Rope, courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment:
Bonus content includes variant cover artwork, and four pages of concept-to-final process artwork by Bob Q.
Look for The Lone Ranger: The Devil’s Rope at Elite Comics or your local comic book store this Wednesday.