A weekend review of a fun read as a break from heavy theological reading. I appreciate the publishers providing this review copy from before its publication!
Michael Uslan. Lone Ranger / Green Hornet: Champions of Justice. Runnemede, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment, April 25th 2017. 148 pp.
5 out of 5
A few months ago I read for the first time two comic books on the character “Green Hornet” that left me hooked so when I saw this story of Green Hornet and the Lone Ranger I felt compelled to read it right away. I did not regret it. Actually that is an understatement. I enjoyed this work immensely.
The story is situated largely in Cleveland, Ohio during the late 1930s. In this story the author reveals that the Green Hornet and the Lone Ranger are related: the Lone Ranger is the brother of the Green Hornet’s grandfather! Known also as “Uncle Joe,” this story tells the role the Lone Ranger played on the Green Hornet. It is a beautiful story of legacy, inter-generational challenges and also duty to what is right. We see that every generation has its villains which means every generation needs its heroes to stand up against evil. I love that dimension in this volume. I also enjoyed how the author pointed out how much both the Green Hornet and his sidekick Kato parallel with the Lone Ranger and his loyal friend Tonto. Both Kato and Tonto were minorities, with Kato being Japanese and Tonto being native Americans. Both were skilled warriors in their ethnicity’s martial arts. I also loved how both Kato and Tonto interacted with each other and also the author’s exploration and redemption of both characters as more than just “side-kicks” to the leading heroes. We see a theme of equality in this book and also the exploration of the problem of racism in a way that is believable and not over the top cliché or pushy with an agenda.
What I love the most about this book is the many references to actual history throughout the entire work. You see historical figures in this story. I won’t reveal all their names but they are famous individuals that readers will recognize such as President Teddy Roosevelt and a young Franklin Roosevelt. Even with characters that some readers might miss I thought it was neat to see the end of the book have notes on the refernces throughout the book of real historical figures in the story, real events and organizations. I wished there would be more graphic novels like this one and also more graphic novels of the same genre that had historical notes for the readers since after all history sometimes can be stranger than fiction!
I don’t want to give the impression that this is a history book (after all, the Lone Ranger and Green Hornet are just characters!) but at the same time I think it is neat story-telling to weave in a story that situates in the times and history of what did happen. I love the illustrations too with the colors and clothing that beautifully gives readers the feel of the 1930s pre-World War Two tension in the United States and also the noir gangster era. I recommend this book.
NOTE: This book was provided to me free by Diamond Book Distributors and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.