Issue by Issue – The Lone Ranger and Tonto #1

Writer – Joe R. Lansdale
Artist – Timothy W. Truman
Inker – Rick Magyar
Colours – Sam Parsons
Letters – Brad K. Joyce

Joe R. Lansdale and Timothy W. Truman begin the first issue of this limited series off with the unthinkable, that being the dissolution of friendship between Tonto and the Lone Ranger. What is surprising is that it even lasted this long, what with the two men being from vastly different worlds that always end up colliding in the most tragic of ways. The fact that they were even friends in the first place was a miracle and to have it go for so long is yet another wonder still. As it is though, Tonto has had enough and the Lone Ranger, as he tells it, could see it coming a mile away and yet he was too powerless or more to the point, too cowardly to stop it. As the Lone Ranger writes of this in his journal, readers are then taken to a train heist being committed by one Captain Barrett, a man who commands his pirate ship across the plains of Texas as if it were the ocean itself. This is done by no mean feat, it all being accomplished by both wind and wheels and a large group of men who have to get out and push should nature and technology fail. The train is carrying an Aztec exhibit, a rolling museum that is being shown across the state as a gesture of goodwill between Mexico and the United States, Texas in particular. Barrett, of course, decides to rob it which then, unbeknownst to him, sets the Lone Ranger and Tonto on their paths. Lansdale then cuts to the stars of this book, doing their thing and stopping the bad guys like they always do with Tonto getting physical while the Lone Ranger does it all with a bit of flair. This all leads to a conversation between the two men and it is a warranted one as Tonto is tired of the racism that is thrown his way, tired of being in the Lone Ranger’s shadow and tired of the Lone Ranger not standing up for him. While the Lone Ranger cannot deny any of it both at the moment and as he looks back on this time in his journal entry, he wishes he had done something as he realizes this was the turning point in the relationship between the two, that had he just said something, maybe he could still count on Tonto as a friend. Lansdale writes a compelling tale and Truman illustrates it beautifully, the two men always making for a perfect team no matter the book they find themselves working on with this one being no different. It is nice to see Tonto get so much of the spotlight in this story and to address something that plagues society to this day. There is a lot to love here and from characterization to the artwork and more and one has to wonder if this is it for the two or if they can patch things up before the series ends.

4 out of 5

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