Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Lone Ranger #16
Matthews, Cariello & Cassaday
This issue is a case study of the main villain for the Lone Ranger, Butch Cavendish. It seems like it’s a long time coming, but the issue tries to add in an origin that doesn’t quite fit with the villain we’ve seen in the opening arcs. It’s a good story, but for those following the series all along may find some of these bumps in this issue’s profile of Cavendish to be bothersome. On the other hand, newer readers won’t have a clue what this issue is trying to do as the Lone Ranger appears on only one page and the story never provides Cavendish’s name or his connection to the Ranger.
The issue is simple enough. Cavendish kills a man in the beginning of the story and then heads to confession to try to figure out why the man he killed was so at ease at the end of his life when he made his peace with God. During his confession, Cavendish reveals some of his history.
Cavendish had a boozing, abusing father. He made his son become a man by shaming him into being a bully like he was. The graduation moment was when Cavendish finally stood up to his old man. There is a huge problem with this depiction of Cavendish as it pertains to the core of this comic.
In this comic, so far, Cavendish has always been in the shadows. He’s been seedy and never confronting the problems head-on himself. He always hired others to do the dirty work. He only bullied the weak bankers and politicians and not the frontline men. His origin suggests he meets the bully straight up, himself, man to man. It suggests he would have killed the Rangers instead of hiring a Black Bart to do it. The origin doesn’t line up with his character in the present.
Sure there might be other pieces to his story to get him from being a hands on bully to being a man who hires others to do it, but this story, in itself doesn’t line up.
The art has some solid highlights. The use of color is noticeable in both the flashbacks and in the present to get across the irony and the emotion. It’s effective and this is the most prominent usage of color I can recall in this series. Another highlight in the artwork is the smallness that Cavendish seems to have at the end of the issue. It’s a great way to pull the man down just a little bit.
I liked this issue, but as I mentioned a new reader is going to be a little lost as there is little to get them up to speed. Also, the loyal readers may find the origin miss the mark in setting a foundation for the main villain in the entire series. I liked it, but didn’t love it.
3 out of 5 geek goggles