The Lone Ranger and his Native American partner Tonto find themselves confronted by the long arm of the law.Â But does the sheriff want to arrest them, or does he want their help?
Turns out the sheriff is a better judge of character than any amount of evidence will let on, and heâ€™s quite a detective in his own right. He was smart enough to track John and Tonto to the home of Linda and her son, which is a bit surprising, since John and Tonto are experts at covering their tracks. The sheriff wants to place them under arrest, but believes they are innocent of murder.Â The only clue that points to the ranger as the killer is the silver bullet embedded in the chest of a dead man.
It looks like a really good mystery that needs to be solved, but the appearance of an evil politician wanting to buy all manner of illegal arms left over from the Civil War seem to telegraph the whodunit revelation further down the road.Â Iâ€™ve only been reading The Lone Ranger series for three issues now, so those who are more familiar with the story so far are going to have to forgive me for not know the role the politician has in the overall story.Â Still, understanding the good/bad relationships being built with only a few issues under my belt is a good indicator that writer Brett Matthews is able to tell a story that isn’tâ€™ too steeped in backstory that it makes it impossible for new readers to jump on board.
I really like the love story building between Linda and John, it is very much in line with the lone cowboy tales told by Zane Gray and the romanticized old west stories by Larry McMurtry.Â Thereâ€™s not much of it in this issue, but the fleeting moments and tear filled good-bye are a nice touch.
The overall story moves at a good pace, though the buildup to why the sheriff needs to ranger and Tonto to follow him all the way into town before giving any answers seemed really odd to me, but then again, John is a lot more trusting of the law than most of the rest of us.Â Other than a few silent panels that are there to show the vastness of the land, there isnâ€™t a lot to complain about.Â I know people arenâ€™t found of the Editorâ€™s Notes, but a quick â€œAs seen in issue #Xâ€ would help those that are jumping on to the series late in the game.
Sergio Carielloâ€™s art is really good in this issue as well.Â I like the panel layout that builds plenty of mystery of what is going to happen, and his continued use of the wide horizontal panel mirrors the landscape of Texas. From the color standpoint, the work of Marcelo Pinto works well as the night scenes are full of muted Earth tones and dark blues, which is countered by the events that carry over into the daylight when the action begins to heat up.
Back in the day of cassette tape, and AM radio, one could head down to the local Alco and pick up recordings of radio shows from days gone by.Â My favorite were always the Shadow and The Lone Ranger broadcasts, and a few years later I became even more interested in the masked man thanks to rebroadcasts of the Clayton Moore television series.Â Then came Doc Savage, Batman, and girls, and my interest waned for a time, but having rediscovered the adventures from Dynamite Entertainment has been a real treat.Â I think most people would be best served by going back into the trade paperbacks to catch up on the series, but these last couple of issues have worked as a good jumping on point for those familiar with the characters and settings. For me the story is moving along nicely, earning The Lone Ranger #18, a strong 4 out of 5 Stars.