EW Staff
October 24, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

THE LONE RANGER
Brett Matthews and Sergio Cariello
(Monthly)
There’s a rumor going around these Hollywood parts that the mucky mucks want to rassle themselves up a new Lone Ranger movie. Should that happen, they’d be wise to use this crackerjack comic-book series as their blueprint. Think Batman relocated to the Old West, right down to a silver mine that serves as a Batcave-ish HQ. But writer Brett Matthews uses this vigilante to tell a deeper and maybe more hopeful tale of vengeance-fueled heroism than the Dark Knight’s restrictive, corporate-preserved legend can ever allow. All the iconic bits are neatly, intriguingly reimagined — from the significance of the mask to the risky but effective characterization of sidekick Tonto, presented here as a recovering savage mysteriously alienated from his Indian heritage. Issue 7 kicks off a new storyline that’s new-reader friendly and finds the Ranger hustling to build up his myth, connecting with his dead brother’s widow and son, and intensifying his personal war with Cavendish, a creepy, talks-to-himself tycoon. FOR FANS OF… The nearly defunct genre of Western comics — and better, for those who aren’t fans of Western comics. DOES IT DELIVER? Epic and emotional, spare yet rich, Lone Ranger is worth its weight in (hi-yo) silver. And man, dem John Cassaday covers sure are purdy. A- — Jeff Jensen

TOWN BOY
Lat
(Paperback)
This sequel to Kampung Boy, from celebrated Malaysian author-illustrator Lat, is as much about a defining friendship as it is a coming-of-age tale — and covers the tween/teen years in the life of Mat, the returning protagonist. Here, we find Mat living in the bustling multicultural city of Ipoh, geeking out to rock & roll with Frankie (his Chinese buddy from school), pursuing his first big crush with modest success, and indulging his burgeoning love of drawing. FOR FANS OF… Kampung Boy; writer-artist Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis). DOES IT DELIVER? Lat’s distinctive black-and-white style and humorously populated backdrops — there’s always something going on in a crowd scene — provide astute insight into the surprisingly Westernized 1960s Malaysian culture. B+ — Abby West

SENTENCES: THE LIFE OF M.F. GRIMM
Percy Carey and Ronald Wimberly
(Hardcover)
Percy Carey (a.k.a. M.F. Grimm) coulda been a gangsta-rap contender. Certainly, he had the appropriately ”colorful” résumé. A tough young New Yorker with street smarts — and just plain smarts — Carey was a thief and a drug dealer who, in 1986, was shot three times during a fracas at Harlem party. He subsequently embarked on a career as a hip-hop MC, which found him hanging with Dr. Dre and sharing a stage with Tupac. But in January 1994 his dreams turned to bitterness-infused ash when another shooting incident left him wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. In this unflinching autobiography, he offers a roundup of his life’s highs and, at times, utterly desperate lows. FOR FANS OF… Born on the Fourth of July. DOES IT DELIVER? Carey and sometime Swamp Thing artist Wimberly expertly show both the assorted thrills of the thug lifestyle — and, for Carey, its dire consequences. In particular, the sequence in which our crippled protagonist is forced to throw his own wheelchair up the stairs of an elevator-less building — and then crawls after it — is not one easily forgotten. B — Clark Collis

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