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The Lone Ranger Volume 1: Now & Forever
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 21, 2007
When I was a child back in the early 1960s, I wanted to grow up to be a hero. I tied a towel around my neck and was sometimes Superman or Batman. I ululated in the back yard like Tarzan and shamed the cats in the neighborhood. I ran as fast as Jonny Quest in my PF Flyers.

But the hero I loved most of all at that time was the Lone Ranger. His adventures came on every afternoon, and I'd get home from school in time to watch him shoot the guns out of the bad men's hands, give lectures on the evils of, well...evil, and leave that cool silver bullet behind so people could ask, "Who was that masked man?"

The Lone Ranger was the brainchild of George W. Trendle, a radio producer, but he was given life by Fran Striker in radio script and novel form, and brought to iconic life on television by Clayton Moore.

But in the beginning, he was a young Texas Ranger named John Reid who was with his father and brother the day they were gunned down by Butch Cavendish's men. Reid clawed his way out of the grave, donned his signature mask, and started cleaning up the West.

The last couple of years, Dynamite Entertainment Comics brought the Lone Ranger back to comics, which had to have been one of the coolest and riskiest things ever done. I mean, in an age of FaceBook and MySpace, who'd buy a cowboy hero?

More people should, because the graphic story rendered by Brent Matthews (a Hollywood scriptwriter) and Sergio Cariello (an award-winning graphic artist) is one of the best stories that came out in novel form this summer. The story is familiar to everyone, but Matthews's way of telling it in cinematic presentation, and Cariello's beautiful drawings, give the tale a life that hasn't been seen before.

There's enough new twists and turns, between the principal characters as well as the legend itself, that even old-time fans like me will find something to celebrate and enjoy.

I loved the pacing of the book. The story came to life and moved toward an emotional peak that will leave you breathless at the end. I enjoyed the way the friendship that developed between the Lone Ranger and Tonto was the same, yet different, from everything I'd known. That relationship was re-imagined in a way that works perfectly.

Matthews stays off the page as an author. Some comics authors give in to the temptation to clutter the pages up with narrative boxes and dialogue. Matthews is only there when he needs to be. He stays out of the way and lets Cariello work his magic.

The art is astounding. Vivid and raw, I could taste the dust and feel the heat of the day as I zipped through the panels. At first glance, Cariello's art looks a lot like Joe Kubert's pencils. Kubert was another favorite of mine for his tenure on SGT. ROCK and THE HAUNTED TANK as well as several other war strips.

The graphic novel has drawn some flak from Lone Ranger purists, but I believe it's one of the best stories that's ever been done that brings in all the elements of the character. I loved the story enough that, after finishing it the first time, I opened the cover again and read it once more.

If you like the Lone Ranger, you'll probably enjoy this book. Unless you're one of those purists. If you want a good read or a fine example of everything the graphic novel can be, you'll want this book. So saddle up, pardner, because it's time to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I guess I'll start with a silly:

- Where does the Lone Ranger take his garbage?
- To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump...

Sometimes you gotta sample the new stuff. Sometimes you gotta get off Marvel and DC's jocks long enough to give the independents a chance. And Dynamite Entertainment, the little engine that could, is doing big things in the comic book medium. Dynamite Entertainment's main thing seems to be the taking of established characters and then continuing or reinterpreting their adventures. Under its bailiwick, we see new life breathed into iconic figures like Sherlock Holmes, Zorro, Buck Rogers, Red Sonja, Sergio Leone's the Man with No Name, and even to Robert E. Howard's great villain Thulsa Doom. On the superhero front, we get PROJECT SUPERPOWERS and the controversial THE BOYS. All this, as a way of long-windedly getting on topic, which is the Lone Ranger.

"Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear..." Yeah, you'd have to be really oblivious to 75+ years' worth of pop culture to not have heard of the Lone Ranger. There's a certain wholesome image cultivated by this most famous of masked lawmen. The Lone Ranger never shoots to kill, has those silver bullets, fights the good fight with his faithful friend Tonto, and rides his magnificent steed Silver. The impression given is that the Lone Ranger subsists on milk and cookies, is in bed by nine, and is probably saving himself for marriage. Then Dynamite Entertainment comes along and dirties up the image. And, I think, in a good way. He becomes more relatable, less vanilla.

That's not to say that the approach isn't reverent. This interpretation smacks of deep respect and love of the legend, but there's a gritty updating, as well. The action is more brutal, more intense. This man, before he became a legend, is bitterly driven and a bit lost and lacking in that calm resolve. We see how it all went down, and it's both familiar and new. The ambush of the six Texas Rangers, and young John Reid, the newest Ranger and one year removed from a posh education back east, emerging as the sole survivor, and that only because he was saved by an enigmatic savage. We follow John Reid as he gropes his way towards what he'd become. And the way the story unfolds, it feels more visceral and gritty and more believable. It turns out, even the Lone Ranger has a dark side, and, understandably, that's where the uproar from diehard fans is coming from. Me, I dig that the Lone Ranger steps down a bit from his pedestal. I like seeing the smudges and the sweat stains, the flaws, on the man.

Brett Matthews writes, Sergio Cariello illustrates, Dean White provides the colors, John Cassaday oversees the whole thing and churns out the issues' covers. Dynamite Entertainment's THE LONE RANGER Vol. 1 collects the inaugural six issues and it's well worth collecting. Matthews' spare prose allows Cariello to tell much of the story and to evoke mood and atmosphere. The Old West serves as a supporting character, with Cariello's artwork doing justice to the desolate, untamed vistas of the frontier, and in this vivid setting the Lone Ranger cuts a memorable, iconic figure. Worth mentioning is that Cariello's pencils and inks are perfectly complemented by Dean White's color palette. The visuals cannot be better.

The first arc is the origin story, and it pulsates with power and that driving sense of fate and circumstance coming together. The creative team lays the groundwork and hits on all the classic beats, giving us moments which instantly resonate. The mask, the silver bullets, the cry of "Hiyo, Silver!" - they're all here, and we learn how they came about. My favorite moment, though, may have been John Reid's reaction to hearing "Kemosabe" for the first time. And, too, there's a bit more depth to John Reid now, more grist to shore up the tall tales. These first six issues also remake Tonto into an intriguing character, someone with a shady past and someone who definitely is more of a contributing comrade-in-arms than a mere sidekick. And, lest people think this iteration goes too far in tarnishing the Lone Ranger mythos, I point out this one defining moment: John Reid is siting there, head down, wallowing in self-doubt, when Tonto tosses him a silver bullet and approaches with that black eye mask in hand. He tells John Reid, "There is much darkness, Kemosabe. Light it up." That's a pretty good moment.
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on January 1, 2008
The art within these first 6 issues makes the purchase worth it. The dialogue is quite sparse, but this makes the Lone Ranger a superb example of the potential within this visual medium, "Show don't tell". This TPB also has some fascinating sketches in the back with notes from the artist and you can see the characters come to life. There are times when the sparsity of dialogue leave me a bit confused as to what is going on, but the story always brings the reader back, and sometimes just getting lost in the visuals is just as good as reading any comic. This comic is good old fashioned gun slingin', vengeance seekin', Wild Western fun. Highly reccommended, well worth the price tag too.
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As a longtime fan of the Lone Ranger (Clayton Moore ruled!), I like just about anything with the Ranger in it. The Filmation cartoon, the less than stellar old comic books (Gold Key, maybe?), heck, even the Clinton Spilsbury (sp?) movie from the 80s. But this is probably the best Lone Ranger I've seen, in any medium. The updates of the characters, made more gritty and "real" feeling, all work. And there's nods to other versions of the characters, even to Tonto's famous "How!" phrase. I'm already looking forward to the next graphic novel installment of this series.

Cue the William Tell Overture....
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on August 22, 2010
Then again, if you expect it to be the old school western on your television...then you might not like it!

They made it for today! It is great! I couldn't put it down, such a great read. The art is gorgeous, maybe because it's from a well know and award winning artist named Cassaday. He brought a lot of moods to this story, and so did the writing. The only downfall.....well....they had a pause in between issues around 17 or 18...but they are back! It's great!!! :)
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on January 15, 2013
It's awesome how they can produce amazing books like this now. Great artwork with today's modern style of vibrant coloring on each page. Well drawn and so far well written too. Have not been disappointed yet and I'm only on Book #3. I grew up watching the TV show and reading old comics and books on The Lone Ranger and Tonto if you are a fan you have to indulge yourself into this series!
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on August 27, 2008
This is a really nice addition to any Lone Ranger collection. For most of us the Lone Ranger IS Clayton Moore, but this graphic novel has beautiful artwork and tells the origin story with emotion and grittiness.

I'd recommend to any Lone Ranger fan.
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on June 9, 2012
I would highly recommend this product to any fan of the western genre. You don't have to be a Lone Ranger fan to enjoy this trade. Order all 3 though because they all tie in and complete the story!
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2010
As a child, I had Lone Ranger board game, figures, picture books, movie, and radio shows (!). I was not the biggest fan, but it featured in my life. When the string of comic-book remakes started with Tim Burton's Batman, I immediately expected a new, grittier Lone Ranger re-make to appear. It never happened. Then I found this series, and I thought maybe this was it. But it's not. Although not a big comic consumer, I do like art and literature and have read comics in the past. This one falls short in conception and in execution.

What is this re-make trying to do? Trying to show us? There is nothing new in the writing that adds to or changes the Lone Ranger plot in an interesting way. The work shows the influence of Watchmen (even with an alternative cover of a round ranger star/shield with a blood smear across it), including a new pathological killer (a hitman) and scenes of inhuman gore. So what?

A good Lone Ranger story would flesh out the Tonto character (here, a muscle-bound superhero side-kick), expand on the backstory of Silver, the guns, the uniform, feature the western landscape and closer relationship with plants animals experienced in the 19th century, introduce self-doubt, complexity, and psychological development, maybe introduce a sexual or romantic element. I can't say I found any of these things satisfactorily in this comic.

I found the artwork uninspired. A "painted dessert" color palate was used, but it became repetitive and boring when spread everywhere.

I remember comics from my youth having depth of backstory and believable characters. Not so much with this series.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fans of the 1950's-60's Lone Ranger television show will probably want to avoid this book. Some of it you will probably find near sacrilege. The Lone Ranger and Tonto both have more depth in their character here than in the television series, but both are departures from the traditional characters, especially Tonto. The Tonto in this series is not a nice guy. Don't misunderstand me, he is heroic figure and his interaction with the Lone Ranger is great, but these aren't the black and white good guys/bad guys of yesteryear.

I almost closed the book when the Lone Ranger cursed. Call me shallow, but there are a few icons I would rather not hear obscenity from and the Lone Ranger is one of them.

The book is also rather thin compared to most graphic novels, I assume it's because it's from an independent company instead of Marvel or DC.

So why give it four stars? Even though these characters are different they are still very, very good. There is a lot of depth to this book and it's a fantastic read.
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