To say I enjoyed this issue is like saying that rain is wet. There have been two books written by Warren Ellis where he could do no wrong for me: Planetary and Transmetropolitan. Add the blisteringly gorgeous pencils of John Cassaday and you have yourselves a bona fide modern classic.
In this issue, Warren and John give us their take on The Lone Ranger who, in the Wildstorm universe, is reimagined as The Dead Ranger. The Ranger's story ties into that of William Leather who is one of The Four who have been captured by Snow and Planetary, and is being tortured by Snow while he relates the tale you're reading to his captor.
Confusing? Only if you haven't read the last 21 issues.
This story doesn't really further the overarching plot much but it's a fun read nonetheless. Ellis and Cassaday have said that the series will be extended a couple of issues, and I think it is to allow stories like this one to be told without disrupting the pacing they've established through previous arcs.
This issue is also kind of cool because I believe it is partially the brainchild of Cassaday who told me in a recent interview I did with him:
CASSADAY: That particular issue came from a conversation Warren and I had about what genres we hadn't tackled and I threw out the idea of the Western story. A specific Western story. That's all you get, I'm afraid. It's one I'm tremendously looking forward to.
Because of the nature of the story, this issue could probably even be read as a standalone, to get a flavour of what the series has to offer. There are no real big bangs or 'You must see this ending' type hooks, but if you dig what you see between these covers, you'll definitely want to go back and hunt down the stories you've missed up 'til this point.
Hmmm...that's all I got in me for today. I'll post some more tomorrow, I think.