Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Review: Lone Ranger #9

I hadn’t bought any comics in several months, as part of a self-imposed moratorium while I get my finances in orders. During that period, I’ve somehow become an eBay Power Seller; a pretty sad state of affairs. I stopped by an LCS to see what caught my eye. I walked out with a half dozen new books, and will share my thoughts on the over the next couple of weeks.

One of the books I picked up was Lone Ranger #9, from Dynamite. As a big, big fan of the original Dell series, I was sufficiently interested in this series to buy the first two issues. While they were good, I wasn’t really knocked out and was disappointed by the snail-like pacing. It wasn’t bad, but it takes a lot for me to buy floppies month to month. I thought I’d give the book a second chance, and although I am happy to report that it hasn’t gotten any worse, it also hasn’t gotten any better.

I find myself a bit confused immediately as we’ve got a slightly cryptic story here, with two separate plots that I imagine will come together at some point. I’ve either entered into the middle of a story arc, or the writer is just throwing me into the middle of the action and we’ll sort things out as we roll along. We are simultaneous watching LR and Tonto help someone seek revenge and observing a bad guy stirring up trouble elsewhere. I like that technique when it works well, I’m just not so sure Brett Matthews was able to pull it off here. I feel like the first 20 pages were just window dressing. The pacing is better than the first couple of issues and things move along briskly. The climax loses some of its punch because Sergio Cariello’s choice of facial expression on the Lone Ranger just before the shocking ending. His artwork was otherwise quite solid – good storytelling a he nails the Wild West quite well. I’m also not in love with the characterization of Tonto – he just comes across as a single-note Native version of Wolverine.

All in all, it was an ok read that left me feeling dissatisfied. It’s certainly not terrible, though and it was good enough to get me to check out another issue at some point in the no too distant future. Grade: B-

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