“You will not all survive this. Some of you will die. That is the hard truth. We must all choose the way that ends in the fewest deaths.” ~Tonto
Snake of Iron has reached its conclusion. It’s been a very good ride, the writing has been great and it’s just fun to see the Ranger and Tonto in the comic book world. I’ve seen quite a few episodes of the original black and white show, so it’s cool for Dynamite to be using these guys in whole new situations. This mini-series has been divided between what’s happening with Tonto in the train and the Ranger trying to put a stop to all the madness. It’s a rather simple story, it doesn’t rely on explosions or big fancy splash pages, rather it relies on the heart of the story. Issue #4 is a fine conclusion, even if the Ranger appears far too little.
Here’s the official description from Dynamite:
The Masked Man comes to Tonto’s aide. But have the faithful companions found one another only to die together? Dozens of innocents may died in a bloody massacre unless the legend of the Spirit Horse can come to life to bring peace to the prairies. Basically, the Lone Ranger will fight his way through the blizzard along with a troop of cavalry to rescue Tonto and the trainload of folks.
This one starts out with the Ranger and deputies riding out in the cold snow. Meanwhile on the train Tonto devises a plan to try to get everyone away safely from the Comanche. Chuck Dixon’s writing’s really nails Tonto in this one. The above quote is my personal favorite from the issue. We see him despite his Native American heritage is eager to get the people on board the train eager to safety. The dialogue between him and the Kiowa Chief was very intense and greatly written. It’s at this moment where we actually feel for the chief in that he just wants his son back. The Ranger sadly doesn’t get to do much, I expected to see him more involved in the conclusion. Nothing major of course, it just makes you want to read a more Ranger-centered story in the future.
Esteve Polls is at his finest with the art. It’s better than the Ongoing’s art, case in point the incredible first page with the snowy mountain. The cover is quite intriguing. A large snowy mountain takes center stage, with the Ranger and Tonto colored in all black on the bottom. It’s quite a different piece, but succeeds in adding a dramatic effect, so props to cover artist Dennis Calero.
Overall, a fine conclusion to Snake of Iron. This one has more action than the previous three, but still retains the excellent writing. While I do think the Ranger should have appeared more, it’s still a great comic from the beginning to the final shot of the two main characters riding away.