Riding Off Into The Sunset With The Lone Ranger #5

by Olly MacNamee

Last week’s The Lone Ranger #5 saw the conclusion to Mark Russell, Bob Q and Hassan Ostmane-Elhaou’s socially aware Western from Dynamite and it went out with a bang.
Having left a seemingly dead Lone Ranger and Tonto at the end of last issue, no-one would have been surprised to see them alive and well and coming to collect on ranch-owner and cabal kingpin Calvin Pringle. A man who has made so many enemies that they have eventually come home to roost in this finale, with the coordinated efforts of The Lone Ranger.

It’s another cleverly plotted issue that sees Pringle’s fortunes drain through his fingers as one plot after another is revealed to fit into place, bringing the whole jigsaw into view. It’s a satisfying issue and one that doesn’t rely on showdowns or, for that matter, much bloody revenge either. Just another way in which Russell has played with the conventions of the genre.
Bob Q’s artwork continues to impress with historical details and a cast of varied, expressive and diverse characters that all have their roles to play in this comic. I’ll miss the coiffed cannibal, Connor, the most who again doesn’t disappoint this issue when sending a polite reminder to Pringle about the money he’s owed. He’s not the only one owed money either. Something The Lone Ranger takes full advantage of in his plotting to outdo Pringle and his cabal.

Even the classic Western ending comes with a slight pang of foreshadowing. The West is changing and soon there will be no room for the likes of the Lone Ranger and Tonto. They’re time is almost up, and with the ever changing horizon of America in the late 19th century, even riding off into the sunset is given a very different, more modern vista. Satisfying, but with a moment of quiet contemplation too. But, the beauty of a mythologised Wild West and a character who can never die, like all fictional characters really who live on in story after story, it can be revised and reinterpreted. Who knows when we’ll meet up with these two frontier heroes again, but I’ve enjoyed this particular rodeo immensely.
Lone Ranger #5 is available now from Dynamite.

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