11.13.2008

11.12.08 Reviews

The Lone Ranger #15 (Dynamite Entertainment): This issue marks the conclusion of the Scorched Earth arc, with some satisfying forensic analysis employed by our hero. There’s a nice standoff with the killer that ultimately gives way to a surprisingly atypical resolution for a book about a masked vigilante. Brett Matthews and Sergio Cariello hit the note about true justice sometimes not being found in the legal system, but more importantly we see that The Lone Ranger is actually not the “hardest” persona in this cast of characters. Some of the local inhabitants, including the Sheriff and his crew, actually prove to be the colder, more decisive participants in the drama, while John seems to struggle a bit more with what’s happening all around him, confounded by the moral flexibility inherent to his relatively newfound role. The Lone Ranger continues to be a sleeper hit, relying on simple and effective dialogue without any fancy bells or whistles (aside from those killer Cassaday covers). This title is sort of like MTV Unplugged used to be, stripped down to its core essentials, letting the basic components shine, and the result is pure entertainment. The only complaints I have with this title really have nothing to do with this issue, this series, or even the creative team, but are more likely directed at the Dynamite management team. Where in the heck are the new hardcovers?! The second hardcover collecting issues 7-11 has been advertised for at least 5 months and is nowhere to be found. The web-site offers only the same stale information about the publishing date being “April 08” and that it will be “Available Soon!” The site never gets updated. The first Definitive Edition, collecting issues 1-11, also appears to be MIA with no explanation. As early as issue 12 there’s an advert announcing this book, the site now offering only “October 08” and the same taunting “Available Soon!” I say this as a fan of the series, but it’s very annoying to want to purchase something, be teased with it endlessly, and have no known end in sight. I have the first hardcover (collecting issues 1-6), but gave away the second arc of single issues (7-11, issue 11 having the damn Paul Pope story no less!), wanting to get other people hooked on the series, and ridiculously assumed the second hardcover would ship when announced, as the first had. More importantly, I’d really like to forego purchasing the second hardcover and just wait for the Definitive Edition (which is no bargain at $75) collecting the contents of both, including the long out of print FCBD special, which I also gave away. Ugh. This is not the way to treat a loyal fan base. However, for this issue… Grade A.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Quirk Books): Adapted by Nunzio DeFillippis and Christina Weir from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1922 story, this amazed me in the casual flip test with brilliant watercolors and a very attractive package.

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