It's always cool when we get a little bit of dialogue to accompany a preview of a comic book. Yesterday we posted comics writer Ande Parks' creator commentary for THE LONE RANGER #4, and today, Parks returns to give us a closer look at the series' fifth issue. Check out the nine page preview and accompanying creator commentary for the book before it hits store shelves later this year.
== TEASER ==
Tonto doesn't question the fact that his enemy's wife has aided him. He doesn't question her being unable to speak. He's only focused on one thing: getting to the Lone Ranger as quickly as possible. Claudia's request in the final panel of this page is a moment I'm really proud of. When this moment for Claudia hit me, I was surprised, but it made perfect sense. Again, bear with us. Claudia's motivations will become clear in our next issue.
The last of our time jumps in this arc, as we get back to our story's present for the duration. We get more hints at Dorsey's grand scheme. Frankly, I didn't think it was important to explain his whole plan. It involves the end times and a lot of killing. I had it figured out, but we're only going to mention it in passing. Our villain's scheme isn't as important as how it affects our heroes and the citizens of Utopia. This page also shows off what killer work the whole team is doing on this book. The compositions, setting and characters are just nailed by Esteve. The coloring by Marcelo is rich, realistic and full of texture, but never overwhelms the line art. The lettering by Simon is the same: full of character but never showy. This is the job: telling the story efficiently, cleanly, and with style.
I hope this dumb deputy in panel one isn't too much. His question hit me as I was writing, and it was too good to pass up. Dorsey, of course, knows exactly what's going on as soon as he sees the approaching herd. He probably can't see Tonto clearly from this distance, but he knows.
The Lone Ranger is so fun to write because he always does the right thing. I get to channel all of my own best instincts, and just shut out the poor ones. Even as he's about to be hung by Dorsey, and even as the townspeople were willing to just watch it happen, the Ranger is offering to help. He's not doing so because it saves his own neck (although living to help more people is a nice bonus). He's doing it because it's the right thing to do. Dorsey could care less, of course.
I love how this page turned out, largely because Esteve saved my ass. Here's how I wrote this page:
7.1 Tight on Dorsey as he pulls the lever hard. He's furious. DORSEY … go straight to hell.
SOUND EFFECT (lever)
7.2 Big panel. ¾ splash. From below the gallows platform as the trap door swings down and Lone Ranger drops. Big, dramatic shot as Lone Ranger falls through the square wooden hole, and from light to darkness. Lone Ranger's body should fill this panel as much as possible. We should think this drop is probably going to kill our hero, even if we know that's not really possible. SOUND EFFECT (trap door) THUNNK
I called for a two panel page, with the Lone Ranger's drop being a big, splashy image. It never occurred to me to split the page vertically, but that's really the only way to make it work. If you shorten the second panel to a ¾ shot, you diminish the effect of the Ranger's drop. Esteve probably knew as much right away, God bless him. As drawn, I think the page reads perfectly, and I get part of the credit. Unless I tell the world otherwise in a commentary track...
Pages Thirteen to Sixteen
The big fight. I felt right for Dorsey to go down swinging, fighting dirty and quoting scripture. I caught a little flak for the bible quotes here. To write Dorsey's rant here, I did some research on bible verses relevant to his twisted views of the end times, picked a few choice verses and then tweaked slightly to fit the needs of the character. I think that's entirely proper, since these words are coming from a character. If I had been using these bible verses as narrative, I would have stuck to the scripture (one version of it, anyway) and cited the quotes. As is, these are the words of a madman, and he may be skewing them to fit his needs. The fact that the Lone Ranger recognizes and can finish the final section doesn't mean our hero knew everything Dorsey was saying during their battle.
I loved the idea of these two characters fighting hand to hand, with no room for error as the herd storms by. To be honest, it also gave us a way to eliminate Dorsey for good, without the Lone Ranger breaking his code against killing in a direct way.
Pages Eighteen and Nineteen
More amazing coloring by Marcelo. This stampede and dust storm could have become so muddled. As is, it's perfectly believable and perfectly readable. The Lone Ranger would probably have not made the bargain Tonto has made. The Ranger would not have traded his own life for Tonto's or for any citizens of the town who may have been injured or killed in the stampede. Now, the Ranger is safe, but at what cost. We'll find out in the next issue.
What do you think of THE LONE RANGER? Are you looking forward to picking up issue's #4 and 5?Did you like what you saw in the preview?