With the recent release of Quentin Tarantino‘s modern-day splatter-punk Spaghetti Western Django Unchained and the upcoming Lone Ranger film it is clear that there is still some interest in the Old West kinds of story (even if Hollywood’s bad boy of cinema thinks that it is necessary to goose them up with modern music, or its most over-the-top producer think it needs to have a White Tonto or “Blockbuster” whizz-bang production values). Needless to say, it s always good to know that there is still room for the type of Old School approach to storytelling and Old West mythos that we recall from our (ill-spent) youth.
To this end, we like to turn to Dynamite Entertainment, a very energetic comic book publisher that has done quite a bit over the past few years to keep the spirit and flavor of the old west alive in their comics staring The Lone Ranger and Zorro. Not only does the company publish comics, trade paperbacks, collections, and graphic novels of these two characters they publish multiple on-going storylines about them but the company issued comics that not only tied these two western heroes together, but in the initial Dynamite, Lone Ranger series, writer Brett Matthews made a point to note the relationship between the masked western lawman (whose name is John Reid) and his ‘40s pulp crime fighting great grand nephew, Britt Reid, A.K.A. The Green Hornet (a line of comics Dynamite also publishes). According to Matthews “We knew there was a blood relation and a historical relationship between these two great characters, and I thought the respectful thing and the logical thing to do was to show where this comes from.
Still, while most comics these days seem to be about spandex-wearing, over-muscled heroes and villains wanting to bend I-Beams around each other’s heads or conquer the world and such, it is still fun to pick up and read comics that hearken back to a simpler era when villainy was all about robbing banks and trains. The books are each written in a straight-forward fashion with clear, crisp art that makes them easy to read. The current Lone Ranger series is written by Andre Parks and illustrated by Esteve Pools. The series focus on the relationship between these two men and is a fine continuation of the long legacy of these legendary heroes of the Old West. Hopefully, when Bruckheimer’s film hits the theaters the weekend of July third, that too will hold up as well as does this Dynamite Comicbook.