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Thread: What Happens to the Lone Ranger

  1. #1
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    Default What Happens to the Lone Ranger

    Characters like Batman and Superman were created in the 30's but their setting as always contemporary so as time went on, those characters were always in the present.
    Characters like Lone Ranger and Zorro are set during a very distinct 'time'. Since that is the case, we know that at some point between 'then' and 'now' the character retires or is killed or lives happily ever after.

    So, what happened to the Lone Ranger? Did he die in a shoot out at the dawn of the 1900's? Did he simply retire and live as a hermit somewhere? Did he fall and love and settle down? I would love to see how the Lone Ranger's story ends. That doesn't mean I want the series to end. Just a mini telling his final days as the Masked Man. Like Marvel does with Daredevil: End of Days, or The End series they did for a bunch of their characters or DC did with What ever happened to the man of tomorrow.

    This brings up a question. Did Lone Ranger ever have a love interest? If not, why not?

  2. #2
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    I remember back in the early 1980s there was a backup series in DC Comics called "Whatever Happened To...?" that would deal with the endings to the stories of various nearly forgotten old DC characters. I'd still like to see a reprint collection of those (fat chance). Alan Moore co-opted the title for his farewell to the Silver and Bronze Age Superman story, "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?"

    We've already seen what happened to Zorro in DE's version of the story. Then again, it may not be the only version (there is The Mask of Zorro version...). I remember there was more than one ending for DC's Sergeant Rock. Jonah Hex came to a bad end -- his corpse was taxidermied and put on display in a sideshow carnival.

    This is not a bad idea, but sometimes the license owner feels differently. You could do the same with The Shadow. Mark Waid's Green Hornet might even turn out to be that "whatever happened to" story for the golden age Green Hornet.

    These things turn out to be a nice placeholder to put at the back of the box until such time as you may decide to give up reading the character's ongoing adventures.
    Last edited by positronic; 03-14-2013 at 11:55 PM.
    DE pull list: Bionic Man, Bionic Man vs. Bionic Woman, Bionic Woman, Dark Shadows, Dark Shadows Year One, Lone Ranger, Lord of the Jungle, Mark Waid's Green Hornet, Masks, Miss Fury, Peter Cannon Thunderbolt, Red Team, Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow, The Shadow Year One, The Shadow & Green Hornet: Dark Nights, The Spider, Uncanny, Vampirella Archives, Warlord of Mars, Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by positronic View Post
    I remember back in the early 1980s there was a backup series in DC Comics called "Whatever Happened To...?" that would deal with the endings to the stories of various nearly forgotten old DC characters. I'd still like to see a reprint collection of those (fat chance). Alan Moore co-opted the title for his farewell to the Silver and Bronze Age Superman story, "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?"
    I think "Whatever Happened to the Crimson Avenger" is still one of my all-time favourite DC Comics stories.
    We've already seen what happened to Zorro in DE's version of the story. Then again, it may not be the only version (there is The Mask of Zorro version...). I remember there was more than one ending for DC's Sergeant Rock. Jonah Hex came to a bad end -- his corpse was taxidermied and put on display in a sideshow carnival.
    I think the best ending for Sgt. Rock's story is still the one his creator gave him but never got a chance to write: Rock was supposed to have been killed by the last bullet fired on the last day of World War II.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tony ingram View Post
    I think "Whatever Happened to the Crimson Avenger" is still one of my all-time favourite DC Comics stories.
    I think the best ending for Sgt. Rock's story is still the one his creator gave him but never got a chance to write: Rock was supposed to have been killed by the last bullet fired on the last day of World War II.
    I was reminded of this again in the most recent issue of Joe Kubert Presents. Other versions of Rock's story had him teaming up with Batman, or organizing a new Suicide Squad under President Luthor's administration. The only problem with Kanigher's idea is that "the last bullet" of WWII wasn't fired in the ETO, which is where nearly all of Rock's missions took place. Of course, after Germany surrendered, the war went on for months in the Pacific Theater. Just seems weird that after years of fighting Nazis, a Japanese soldier would be the one whose bullet took Rock out. I'd have gone with Rock getting killed on a desperate mission to liberate one of the death camps, only to be gunned down just as a messenger arrived with the news of Germany's surrender. Hell, maybe he even gets killed after the surrender, but the messenger got there too late.
    DE pull list: Bionic Man, Bionic Man vs. Bionic Woman, Bionic Woman, Dark Shadows, Dark Shadows Year One, Lone Ranger, Lord of the Jungle, Mark Waid's Green Hornet, Masks, Miss Fury, Peter Cannon Thunderbolt, Red Team, Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow, The Shadow Year One, The Shadow & Green Hornet: Dark Nights, The Spider, Uncanny, Vampirella Archives, Warlord of Mars, Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by positronic View Post
    I was reminded of this again in the most recent issue of Joe Kubert Presents. Other versions of Rock's story had him teaming up with Batman, or organizing a new Suicide Squad under President Luthor's administration. The only problem with Kanigher's idea is that "the last bullet" of WWII wasn't fired in the ETO, which is where nearly all of Rock's missions took place. Of course, after Germany surrendered, the war went on for months in the Pacific Theater. Just seems weird that after years of fighting Nazis, a Japanese soldier would be the one whose bullet took Rock out. I'd have gone with Rock getting killed on a desperate mission to liberate one of the death camps, only to be gunned down just as a messenger arrived with the news of Germany's surrender. Hell, maybe he even gets killed after the surrender, but the messenger got there too late.
    I'm sure I read once, somewhere, that Kanigher intended the bullet that killed Rock to have been fired after the ceasefire, by accident.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tony ingram View Post
    I'm sure I read once, somewhere, that Kanigher intended the bullet that killed Rock to have been fired after the ceasefire, by accident.
    Still, if taken literally, I don't think I'd find "the last bullet of WWII, fired by accident" story satisfying. To do that, they'd have to transfer Rock to the Pacific Theater, and separate him from Easy Co. (since I don't think the army worked that way, transferring entire combat units from one theater to another, when the European conflict ended). Maybe the "last bullet fired on V-E Day", and in all probability, fired by some vengeful Nazi soldier (with Rock in the act of saving someone else), rather than by accident. I prefer to think Rock went out the way he lived for the last few years, fighting the Nazi menace to his last breath. I guess since it was never actually written, I get to write my own.

    Oh yeah, and before I forget about the Lone Ranger, I'd like to think he had a somewhat kinder fate, and that he survived "the taming of the Wild West" and retired to life as a simple rancher or businessman, or maybe started a law practice, or maybe... a newspaper? Not particularly fraught with dramatic story possibilities, I'll grant you, but I do like to see an occasional "happily ever after" once in a while.
    Last edited by positronic; 03-16-2013 at 05:00 AM.
    DE pull list: Bionic Man, Bionic Man vs. Bionic Woman, Bionic Woman, Dark Shadows, Dark Shadows Year One, Lone Ranger, Lord of the Jungle, Mark Waid's Green Hornet, Masks, Miss Fury, Peter Cannon Thunderbolt, Red Team, Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow, The Shadow Year One, The Shadow & Green Hornet: Dark Nights, The Spider, Uncanny, Vampirella Archives, Warlord of Mars, Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris.

  7. #7

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    From the Journal of John Reid: January 30, 1901
    Ekalaka, Montana – About Twenty miles West of Mill Iron


    Years ago this place, and the area surrounding it, were the Lakota Territories. Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Nebraska. One hundred fifty some square miles of land inhabited by the Lakota, the Sioux, and the Crow. It was “donated” to the local natives by the U.S. Government as part of the Fort Laramie Treaty in ’68 (never mind the fact that we went in and took it from them in the first place but I won’t get into all that. That’s what history books are for) but, as of ’76, Congress, as they often do, went back on their word and opened a few million acres to homesteaders and mining companies.

    The last time I was up this way was about twelve years back. We were on the trail to Minneapolis after getting word that key members of The Black Arrow syndicate had been hiding out there. As we passed through South Dakota, we found ourselves in the middle of a blizzard so thick we couldn’t see the trail in front of us. We blanketed the horses and made camp under a rock outcropping to wait out the snow.

    It was early morning when we saw the first of the survivors struggling to make their way through the still-falling snow. A young girl who was carrying a baby nearly collapsed in my arms as the others began speaking to us frantically in their native Lakota language, repeating over and over again: “Wikate! Tona wikate!”

    My companion, though Apache, had an understanding of the Lakota language and translated to the best of his ability. “They are saying ‘death’,” he said, “’so much death’”. He turned back to them and questioned, “Tokheskhe? Wowayazanj?”

    The eldest survivor shook his head sadly; his eyes red from tears, and said, “Akicita. Ska akicita. Tonakca ska akicita. Wa sa kici we un wicasa, wiya, wakayaja.”

    My friend’s face grew angry as he translated, “I asked how this happened. Asked if it was disease. Plague. But it wasn’t,” he lowered his hand, as if instinctually, and gripped the handle of his Bowie knife, “it was soldiers. White soldiers. He said the snow is red with the blood of men, women…”
    I looked down at the young girl cradled in my arms. The baby boy she was holding had turned pale. Dead. Frozen, his face solemn and angelic.

    “…And children,” I said, quietly before standing and retrieving my gun belt from where it was stowed by the fire. “Where did this happen?” I asked.

    “In their language it is called Cankpe opi wakpala. Wounded Knee creek.”

    “Take your guns,” I said to my brave Apache friend, “leave everything else for them.”

    We rode for nearly ten miles, following the tracks the survivors had left in the snow. From time-to-time we would pass a body, frozen in a state of agony. The closer and closer we got to our destination, the more and more the signs of violence began to appear. The snow turned from white to pink to deep red by the time we came across the site of the massacre. And a massacre it was. There were Lakota bodies everywhere, nearly two hundred at my best estimate. Members of the 7th Cavalry Regiment had set up camp and were huddled in their tents from the cold while the bodies of the dead were slowly being lost under a blanket of white.

    It was always the same with us. We’d ride into a town or encampment and a few would recognize us and the word would spread like wildfire until the entire town was either out in the street or hanging out of windows and doors to catch a glance of us. We had the dime novels to blame for this. The legend built around us was mostly fantastical, oftentimes comical, and, occasionally, detrimental. People looked at us as unstoppable and immortal agents of justice instead of simply two men who had chosen to take up arms and right some wrongs. Once-in-a-while someone, usually a drunk or a young man with a fire in his britches, would step forward and challenge us, spitting out a chorus of “You ain’t so big” and “I bet I could take ya”. We’d teach him a quick lesson and go on our way, trying to live up to the dime-novel legend that “the Masked Man doesn’t shoot to kill”.

    This simply wasn’t true.

    Not all the time, anyway.

    As we entered the camp, we drew the attention of the few Cavalrymen who were not in their tents and the afore-mentioned wildfire of whispers began. A young man of about twenty-or-so, still fresh-faced and freckled came up to us with a broad smile.

    “Well, don’t this beat all?” he said, removing his hat and slapping it on his thigh, “I cain’t believe what I’m lookin’ at! I read about ya’ll all the time! The Masked Man and his faithful Injun…”

    His words trailed off as he looked up at the Apache on the painted horse next to me. My friend simply glared at the young Cavalryman, his eyes as black as the Devil’s himself.

    “Who’s in charge here?” I said, loud enough to be heard by those around us.

    “That’s be Colonel Forsyth, sir,” the young man said, pointing to a large tent nearby.

    “Let’s pay us a visit to this Colonel Forsyth,” I said as I dismounted.

    “If it’s all the same to you,” the Indian said, “I’ll stay out here. I have no desire to enter that rat’s nest.”

    Forsyth met me at the tent’s entranceway. He was a short man in his mid-fifties with a large, dark mustache and tired eyes. He wore a large, toothy grin.

    “You’ll have to forgive my state of dress, sir,” he said as he ushered me into the tent. His voice was cheerful. Seemingly oblivious to the carnage outside, “it’s not every day that I get to meet a living legend but I had no time to don my dress uniform.”

    “Not interested in what you’re wearing, Colonel,” I said, “I’m interested it what went on here.”

    He sat down at his writing desk and nodded. “Yes,” he said, feigning sadness, “you can see we had a bit of a squabble with the local Indian tribe yesterday morning.”

    “I’d say that was more than a ‘squabble’, Colonel. You massacred them.”

    “We were defending ourselves,” he said, his eyes narrowing.

    “Defending yourselves?” I repeated, “Against what? The U.S. Cavalry against old men and women and children? Hotchkiss guns against carbine rifles? Doesn’t seem like a fair fight, you ask me. I’m not one for legal or political mumbo-jumbo but I know what’s right and what’s wrong as far as a man goes and what happened here was wrong. This is their land.”

    “I have my orders, masked man, and I carry them out as any good soldier would,” Forsythe said, his anger becoming apparent, “I get those orders from President Harrison. If you have issues then I suggest you take them up with him. Those savages -”

    “They are not savages,” I shouted, cutting him off before he could finish, “they are good people who just want to reclaim their land. Land that the United States Government promised them!”

    “Well, now we’re taking it back,” he said, smiling a satisfied smile, “They were armed and posed as a danger to my men and we took whatever action we needed -”

    Now, I’m not one to lose my temper, and I’m not proud of it when I do, but that man’s smug tone wore me so thin that I snapped like a twig. I turned over his drawing desk and grabbed him by his shirt collars, dragging him out and into the snow. A few of the nearby Cavalrymen shouted and pulled weapons but were suddenly silenced once they realized that my “faithful Indian companion” had drawn his pistols and was ready to fire if he had to.

    I dragged Forsythe across the snow and threw him facedown next to the body of a Lakota mother who was still clutching a child of about four years old. She had been shot in the back, the bullet passing through her and the child killing them both.

    “Is this your threat, Colonel?” I bellowed, “Which one held the weapon? Was it the child? No? Maybe it was the mother? How could you tell if they were running away from you?”

    Forsythe struggled as I held him down, “I’ll have you brought up on charges for this!”

    “I don’t work for your Army, Colonel,” I said, releasing my grip on him and standing, “and I sure-as-Hell don’t work for your Government. Not anymore.”

    I mounted my horse and my companion put away his weapons as the Cavalrymen looked on.

    “And you can tell that to President Harrison,” I said before urging my steed forward.
    Last edited by LetsRollKato; 03-17-2013 at 12:43 AM.

  8. #8

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    We left that horrible place and rode on as the snow fell for another two days. We stopped nightly to sleep and eat, if we were able to find food. What we had packed for the journey to Minneapolis we had given to the massacre survivors. We were able to find the occasional rabbit and other small game but the journey was difficult and we had barely spoken to each other since our experience at Wounded Knee. My friend wasn’t much of a talker to begin with, but this was different. I knew, of course, that the sights we had seen had angered him. I knew that it brought to mind memories of his tribe’s massacre at the hands of outlaws led by a corrupt sheriff named Bartlett. He had lost his wife and child in that massacre and barely escaped with his own life. It was a loss he has never permitted himself to get over. He fought alongside me, but he fought for them.

    We were outside the town of Winner, South Dakota when he finally spoke up.

    “I’m not sure how long I can continue this,” He said, solemnly, “I’m not even sure if I believe in what we’re doing anymore.”

    “We’re bringing law to the lawless,” I answered, “same as we have been for the last sixteen years.”

    “But when the law becomes the lawless, where do we fit in?”

    I thought for a few seconds and began to speak, “I understand how it must feel and –“

    “How?” he asked, “How could you possibly understand? Those aren’t your people being slaughtered.”

    “No,” I replied, nodding my head, “no they’re not. But I understand loss. I lost my family. My mother, my father. My brother. I know how it feels to see loved ones die.”

    “This is about more than just loved ones, John,” he said, calling me by my Christian name for what may be the first time in our history, “this is about an entire race of people being eliminated over land that was theirs from the beginning. I just feel as if I could do more. I could serve my people in some other way. I want a family. I want children. And you should want that, too. We’re getting older. Time is moving on. The trail we ride has to end, at some point, and I’d rather it end because we ended it then end because one or both of us is gunned down.”

    He looks out over the horizon, taking in a deep breath.

    “I’ll stay for as long as it takes to bring an end to the Black Arrow,” he said, “but, after that, I’m finished. You can continue this if you’d like, but I feel it’s time to settle down and start living a normal life.”

    It would take us another three years to smoke out the Black Arrow syndicate and see them brought to justice. And, like he had promised, my long-time friend and Apache blood brother went his way, and I went mine. I continued on for another year until I managed to finally track down the man who had orchestrated the murder of five lawmen on that fateful New Year’s Day in 1874. The day I was truly born. Revealing my face to him as he died, I realized I had come full-circle and decided then to retire from the business of justice and seek out that elusive “normal life”. I returned to Texas, married, fathered a beautiful daughter and found that a normal life was a good life.

    And now I’ve returned to the Lakota Territories to retrieve the body of a great warrior and a great friend from a town called Mill Iron. I will give him the proper Apache burial he deserves and then I will put on my mask one last time to hunt down his killer and deliver him into damnation.
    Last edited by LetsRollKato; 03-17-2013 at 12:44 AM.

  9. #9
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    Its an itneresting take, LetsRollKato, but I can't help that feel no "permanent" end would really do justice to the Masked Man. I'm not talking about some whacky immortality/ressurrection thing. That's just not in the Lone Ranger - except, ofcourse, the Topps comics take. But something more like the legend goes on... Indeed, from what I recall of the Death of Zorro, its really more the end of Don Diego de la Vega with the last few pages opening up the possibility for Zorro to go on, inspired by the legend of the previous.

    Then again, would any end at all really do the masked man justice? There's a certain archetypical and elemental quality to the character taht's just too fluid to really fix down start to finish.
    Nicholas William Moll - The Lone Ranger Historian (http://ballarat.academia.edu/nicholasmoll) and RPG small presser (http://www.rpgnow.com/index.php?&manufacturers_id=3722).

  10. #10

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    Well, he DOES go on, in a way. His nephew Daniel's son Britt carries on "the family tradition" as The Green Hornet.

    (I have more of that story, if you want )
    Last edited by LetsRollKato; 03-18-2013 at 04:22 PM.

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