The Ranger is back with a standalone story. Despite annuals having an infamous reputation nowadays, does this comic end up being a good read? If it’s one standalone comic you should pick up this week, it’s this one.
Here’s the official description:
A young man take up a mask in pursuit of his father’s killers as the feared Devil-Gun. Now Lone Ranger must confront his own ideals as he pursues this dark mirror-image of himself. Can the Ranger show his opposite coin the difference between justice and vengeance before innocent blood is spilled?
As you can see, the description itself is pretty awesome. Everyone enjoys seeing a rival to a character, a Joker to Batman, Venom to Spider-Man, and so forth. The Lone Ranger I have very high regard for, every issue is packed with heart. Heart is something that is lacking today in comics, nowadays it’s all about explosions and cliffhangers. Not with The Lone Ranger. Annuals have a bittersweet reputation. Thankfully, unlike most annuals, this tells one story instead of several. While the ending may have been a little rushed and disappointing in one regard, it’s a great read.
Shannon Eric Denton writes. He nicely opens up to 1858, with the death of Sheriff Fitzner. It’s here that we learn where the ‘Devil-Gun’ comes from. The Devil-Gun doesn’t disappoint, the writing successfully makes him a darker version of the Ranger. People will be disappointed that there is no confrontation between the two. What happens to the Devil-Gun I thought was unfortunate, perhaps if this had been a two-part story there would have been more room for other things regarding him.
The Ranger himself doesn’t disappoint. If one were to pick up this comic without having any prior knowledge of the character, they would get a perfect picture of who he is. Tonto doesn’t appear, but I can’t imagine what his role would have been other than being in the background. This time, he wasn’t really needed. Matt Triano’s art is pretty good. There are some great shots of Devil-Gun, and the Ranger while riding on Silver. (Though in a couple of scenes I think he made the Ranger perhaps too thin and young looking.) I really like Colton Worley’s cover, it sets the tone for the issue.
Overall, while I was disappointed that the Ranger and Devil-Gun didn’t have a real confrontation, the 2013 annual is still a fantastic read. The writing is very good, especially all of the Ranger’s fantastic dialogue. And the really cool part? This is a perfect one-shot for any newcomer or someone whom is looking for a ‘different’ comic book story amongst the explosions the cliffhangers.
Daniel is a big fan of the Lone Ranger, he even likes him more than Green Hornet. You can follow him on Twitter: @Destroyer_199