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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lone Ranger #1 -- I don't know that anyone is crying out for a new comic about The Lone Ranger, but Dynamite Entertainment has released a first issue that entertained beyond my expectations. The gorgeous John Cassaday cover created an expectation of quality that was not destroyed by the interiors. Interior art is by Sergio Carriello with colours by Dean White, and if the art isn't quite at the level cover artist Cassaday operates at, it still is far beyond most comics of this sort, with an obvious love for the material and a great deal of effort in making it look as good as possible (here's a good sample interior page).

Beginning with the second issue Cassaday is even credited with "art direction," and if it seems like I am putting a lot of emphasis on Cassaday's involvement, well, the first thing I thought of when I saw the cover was, "Cassaday's drawn some damn neat western-style scenes in Planetary." And the second was, "If this series looks as good as that work, I could actually see myself being a regular reader of The Lone Ranger," which I found a strange thing to be thinking, and yet: I could actually see myself being a regular reader of The Lone Ranger.

The story hits the beats needed to explain how a Texas Ranger lost his family and became The Lone Ranger, with nice opening sequence that, while it recalls Frank Miller's scene of Matt Murdock's childhood, still manages to explain the characters with economy and maybe even a little grace. Writer Brett Matthews deserves a good deal of credit for making this first issue so readable, even if the only reason I cracked it open was the Cassaday cover. Come for the Cassaday, stay for the comics: Not a bad way to kick off the first issue of any new series. I'll be checking out future issues, in hopes they are as entertaining and attractive as this one.



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