Monday, September 23, 2013

Review - The Lone Ranger Annual 2013


"He needs to be stopped before his gunplay gets someone killed...someone who doesn't deserve it."

Lone Ranger wasn't exactly the most successful of the summer movies, but fortunately for the franchise, it's got a lot more history to draw upon. The character has been around for decades and has seen himself in countless forms of media, including comic books. Now, Dynamite Entertainment is bringing him to The Lone Ranger Annual 2013 for another adventure.

The issue is written by Shannon Eric Denton, illustrated by Matt Triano, colored by Dinei Ribeiro and lettered by Rob Steen.

Devil-Gun is one of the most feared individuals roaming the west, doling out justice where necessary. He's taken the mask in pursuit of his father's killers, offering a traditional revenge tale. The thing is, the Lone Ranger is on the scene and is confronting the anti-hero, fighting in parallel with him yet for different ideals. Whether or not the Lone Ranger can show his morality when looking in the mirror so to speak remains to be seen.

Denton's tale is evenly paced and does a good job unfolding in front of the reader. The Lone Ranger is a character who everyone is likely familiar with, so he doesn't need to spend too much time introducing him. Having said that, it really helps because most of the issue is carried by the crime and Devil-Gun, which is refreshing. Lone Ranger is the main character, but you know what he's all about, which affords Denton the chance to really explore some of the themes that the Lone Ranger stands for. Devil-Gun is a very efficient foil for Lone Ranger, testing his resolve in fighting crime.

Triano's art is weathered. He pays particular attention to facial details, offering characters who primarily look sinister. Considering Lone Ranger thrives on the mask, that facial details can stand out is pretty impressive. There are parts of the art though where the illustrations seem a little too dark, which makes it difficult to really ingest what's happening. There are also a few panels that seem a little strange; for instance, one page has a floating head speaking dialogue. It's easy enough to follow, but it's never settling to see a disembodied head talking.

The Lone Ranger Annual 2013 does the property justice, presenting the character in a story that tests him. It's pretty predictable on that front though, which means readers aren't really going to get a lot of new material. That's not saying that it's bad, just a little tried and true. The story moves along very well and has solid art to support it, giving fans both new and old something that might merit interest.

The Lone Ranger Annual 2013 is in stores September 25.

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