Ande Parks and Esteve Polls tie an admirable bow on the latest adventures of the Lone Ranger and Tonto, a task they perform admirably in “The Lone Ranger” #25. Sporting an iconic Francesco Francavilla cover, the duo’s “Legend” story offers readers a compact sample of the man, myth and legend of the Lone Ranger.
Unfortunately, “The Lone Ranger” #25 doesn’t afford much more exploration beyond sampling, as there are neither the pages available or any issues to follow. Instead of packing too much about any one person or circumstance into “The Lone Ranger” #25, writer Ande Parks tells readers just what they need to know about the Ranger, Tonto, their apparent adversary Colonel Masters and the circumstances Masters has imposed upon the local Arapaho Indians. Parks gives both Tonto and the Ranger their own individual spotlights throughout the issue, offering readers plenty of reason to support both characters. The writer chooses to close out the tale with a string of captions as opposed to action, shifting the story from an active adventure to a history lesson, but it works in this case as Parks closes out his tenure with the Lone Ranger.
Esteve Polls art is filled with good and very good work, as well as serviceable panels. As Colonel Masters “upchucks” outside his tent, his composure is no worse than it was following his execution of a trick shot. Otherwise, the artist’s storytelling choices are straightforward and solid, giving readers exactly what they need to know for the story to progress. Polls uses a lot of heavy shadows, which in tandem with Marc Rueda’s colors flattens a fairly large amount of “The Lone Ranger” #25. Most of the artwork is passable, but several panels throughout the comic book appear to be miniature portraits, shrunk down and repurposed as part of this sequential narrative. These images have greater depth of field and more distinct characters, but they also emphasize what the rest of the book could be. For his part, letterer Simon Bowland adds bits of soundtrack to the tale, to punctuate the story, including the plump “PLURRK” of a hangover puke and the piercing “KRAKKOW” echo of a bullet piercing a buffalo skull as part of Colonel Masters’ trick shot exhibition.
“The Lone Ranger” #25 is a nice gateway comic and would have been a great Free Comic Book Day offering. As it is, this package makes me wish we had a Francesco Francavilla-drawn Lone Ranger series to look forward to. Unfortunately, for now, it appears that this is the Lone Ranger’s ride into the comic publishing sunset.