The Lone Ranger: Vindicated from Dynamite Comics
Writer: Justin Gray
Artist: Rey Villegas
Vindicated is listed as a standalone Lone Ranger adventure, or at least it lacks the number on the side of the trade paperback to indicate where it should fall in the reading order. I’ve read about all of the Dynamite line of this series, and I’d just recommend reading it after Vol. 8: The Long Road Home, which I believe is where it came out chronologically.
The story of Vindicated is that a small town bank has been robbed, and then the insurance money sent to the town is also robbed, and it’s possible that some of the higher ups in the town are all in on it. As far as originality, it’s fairly run of the mill and I have a feeling I’ll forget about it before I get around to reading the next Lone Ranger trade. The most memorable aspect of this volume is the attractive woman that takes an interest in our title character. The rest of the plot being go generic, the only place this book develops the characters in a meaningful way is showing how juvenile John is in his interactions with women. Even Tonto has to point out to him both when a woman is interested in him, and when he should beware of one.
Beyond those few scenes (which while funny, also have the negative result of making the hero seem less convincing as a credible threat to evil… maybe James Bond’s polyamory is on to something), the only parts of this book that really stood out were the fantastic art by Rey Villegas. Dynamite has always done a great job with the art on this book, and several pages reminded me of the great Cassaday covers from earlier in this series. There are some great pages in issue four involving a shooting display any a dramatic entry through a window that were as exciting visually as anything I’ve read this year. Unfortunately in the service of only a so-so story, it’s an overall forgettable installment.