REVIEW: The Lone Ranger – The Death of Zorro #1

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Tales of the old west have always been a fascination and for those who grew up in the Good Ole Days, the adventures of Zorro and the Lone Ranger thrilled audiences – even though the two never existed in the same time period. Official and semi-official timelines of the characters make it hard to believe their paths would have ever crossed, but what if The Lone Ranger was around during Don Diego’s last adventure?

THE LONE RANGER – THE DEATH OF ZORRO #1
Writer: Ande Parks
Artist: Esteve Polls
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Colorist: NAME HERE – no, really that is what the credits say…
Covers: Alex Ross, Francesco Francavilla, Jerry Lawler, Tom Yeates
Editor: Joseph Rybrandt
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously: In the early days of the western United States, a masked man and an Indian rode the plains, searching for truth and justice. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when from out of the past come the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse Silver!

Zorro, Zorro, the fox so cunning and free,
Zorro, Zorro, who makes the sign of the Z.

NOT QUITE WOLD NEWTON, BUT CLOSE

The various timelines of the two title characters seem to make it impossible for the two heroes to have ever been a live at the same time, but Dynamite Entertainment attempts to bridge the two worlds, but having a gang of ruffians take over a Spanish Mission six miles from the aged and long retired Don Diego. There, they torture, rape and abuse the Indian tribe who have taken up residence there. Even though his wife pleads for him not to get involved, Zorro is off to right wrongs and do what he can to stop these villains from bringing harm to the tribe. It works for a while, but a bullet from behind brings the legend down.

This part of the tale makes perfect sense as a last hurrah for a character who has been taking care of Southern California for years. It’s sad that he goes out with a gunshot from a coward, but these are bad men in a time of reconstruction following the Civil War. Fortunately, the Lone Ranger is working undercover in a nearby town, and loose lips gives him reason to find those that brought the legend down.

It’s a good first issue, though Dynamite and writer Ande Parks really ask readers to stretch timelines and lifespans to get the two characters connected. If you buy into that, then it make sense that the Lone Ranger would be in California, and hearing the death of a great crime fighter would indeed cause him to take action.

ART OF THE OLD WEST

The dusty southwest comes alive in the hand of Esteve Polls this issue. The artist does an good job of creating scenes that look like they came from the time period in the way characters are dressed, all the way down to facial hair and hair styles. The colorist does a good job of creating the dusty dry atmosphere, and the night scenes are colored to capture the moonlight, with glints and highlights hitting all the right places. I’m still concerned about the heavy use of blacks, but I think going forward I’m just going to remind myself, this is a Dynamite Entertainment book.

BOTTOM LINE: WORTH A REID

Regardless of the timeline or exact location issues that gnaw at the back of your mind when reading this, an adventure mystery is still an adventure mystery. Throw in some revenge and two awesome characters from America’s past, and you have the makings of a great tale. I’m sure the Lone Ranger can bring the ne’er-do-wells to justice, but part of the fun of wanting to continue to read this series is how it will be done. The Lone Ranger – The Death of Zorro #1 is a solid read, earning 4 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆