“The Lone Ranger” #13 from Ande Parks and Esteve Polls is a standalone tale as our intrepid lead takes down a disgusting man who peddles in female Chinese slaves. The problem with the issue is that I have nearly completely summarized the events in that one sentence. The story of one man’s courage and sense of duty against another man’s depravity and sense of entitlement has the bones of something fine, but little is done with it to make it pop on the page or in my mind.
Esteve Polls shows some flair in his art but there aren’t many opportunities for it to shine in this issue. His page of the Lone Ranger suiting up is really quite stirring as he grabs his gear and we culminate in a heroic pose. Later, a showdown between hero and villain yields some fine layout work as Polls pits the eyes of each man against each other through the main conflict of the scene. Character’s faces work well and the storytelling is clean.
The structure of the story breaks roughly in half with the first nine pages showing the Lone Ranger gathering his information on the man who sells women like property. The next ten pages covers the battle amidst a burning building for the honor of these ladies. There is an awkward prologue that’s wrapped up in the coda about the Lone Ranger giving one of these girls a token. It doesn’t work in the narrative and isn’t really paid off in the end for any meaning. It’s something that’s presented but actually holds little value in the issue.
“The Lone Ranger” is a deflating experience because the book is saddled with a great writing and art team and yet this offering is just flat in a serviceable and competent manner. There is no extra layer to this issue, though it does try, and as such this tale is as predictable as a one-sentence summary.