Though I've sampled most of Dynamite's offerings over the past couple of years, I've completely skipped "The Lone Ranger." It wasn't out of any malice, certainly, since the character has been a favorite of mine since childhood, when I would watch black and white reruns at my grandfather's house. But I did skip the series intentionally, fully planning to pick up the collected editions at some point.
That point never arrived, even when the handsome hardcover of the first six issues hit the shelves.
But with issue #20, I figured it was time to take a look at what Brett Matthews and Sergio Cariello were up to. See if this comic was something worth delving in to. See if it made me want to rush out and get caught up on the first nineteen.
And, after reading the comic, I wouldn't say it made me go that far, but it's certainly an entertaining issue. And it's a finely crafted series, by the looks of it.
The most striking thing about issue #20 is how classical it seems. It's like Sergio Cariello draws "The Lone Ranger" like Russ Heath inked by Joe Kubert. It feels like it stands solidly on the ground. It doesn't seem forced. It's all very cinematic, in the best possible way. One of the reasons for that is the placement of the camera -- or the reader's eye -- throughout. There are a few exceptions, but the camera is mostly at eye level. The ground occupying the bottom third of the frame in wide shots. The action revolving around a fixed point in space. Even the close-ups, which are used effectively, seem to recall the classic television westerns in their formality. No quick-cut Sergio Leone action scenes here.
It's certainly a handsome comic, one that has the reserved elegance of a classic hero, but the ruggedness of the mythical wild west.
Not a whole lot happens here, but, even as a new reader, I can tell that something big is brewing. The final confrontation seems imminent. The Lone Ranger and Tonto are gathering their wits, bracing themselves for battle, while the wicked Butch Cavendish tries to atone for his sins the only way a murderous bully knows how.
I don't know how this issue fits into the larger scheme, or, at least, how it compares in pace to all the others. But I liked the feel of this one. And even if it didn't make me want to rush out and get caught up right this minute, it certainly made me interested in reading more. Matthews and Cariello are doing some nice work here.