The Lone Ranger Vol 3 (2018-) #4
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Bob Quinn
I’d like to preface this review by saying when I typed “The Lone Ranger” for this article’s title I somehow typed out “The Longer”, so something’s clearly going wrong in my brain. With that being said I’m now going to offer my opinions on this book and some of you are still going to listen despite that fact. The Lone Ranger by Mark Russell sees the titular Ranger, along with his traditional Native American companion Tonto, take on corrupt cattle ranchers and their insidious new toy: barbed wire.
As has been proven the case already with his fantastic run on both the Flinstones and Snagglepuss: Stage Left, Mark Russell is a sure-fire bet if you want to get someone to write a clever reinterpretation and deconstruction of a classic franchise. Compared to those two books, The Lone Ranger is lighter on these elements, but it still comes through in moments such as when Tonto talks about his Native American background, given the earlier portrayals of Tonto were very much rooted in stereotype. The character work is the best aspect of this issue, especially in regards to Tonto and original character Connor, a Southern dandy gun-for-hire, who also happens to be a cannibal. The plot in this issue straightforward, but keeps the thrill going. It’s split between Connor and his efforts to track down and kill the Lone Ranger and Tonto, and an explanation of Connor’s backstory. It’s a relatively short but macabre origin that provides context for Connor as a character and helps elevate him from just being a fun, crazed villain to a slightly more sympathetic figure. Though only slightly since he’s still cannibalising people on a regular basis. Connor’s eternally affable manner makes him an enjoyable villain to read, and Russell creates a good contrast between the more straight-faced Tonto and campy Connor.
Bob Q’s art is simplistic, but highly effective, perfectly capturing the Wild West atmosphere of the book and giving characters clear, emotive facial expressions. Every page is packed with them, and each emotion is incredibly well defined on the character’s faces. There’s one panel especially of Connor, midway through telling his story, where the pain and sadness in his eyes comes across as very real. Bob Q also renders the action well, giving gunshots and physical blows a tangible impact that the reader can really feel on the page. It’s a crisp, clean art style that foregoes high detail for fantastic expressiveness and solid composition. The colours, also provided by Bob Q, are well utilised. Each page has a great choice of pallette being used, with cold grays and blues accompanying a funeral scene, or the lighter, more yellow-centric colouring that helps convey the old West desert setting, making everything look bleached and washed out by the light of the sun.
The Lone Ranger #4 is another solid issue in a great Wild West story, with crisp art and great writing. If you want more interesting cowboy content, you should be looking at this series
The Lone Ranger Vol 3 (2018-) #4
Another solid issue in a great Wild West story, with crisp art and great writing. If you want more interesting cowboy content, you should be looking at this series