So I was enjoying The Daily Create for today, tdc1453, which said to make a Lone Ranger meme, and I couldn’t help but noticing how the comic book industry has been remixing characters for years and years.
These thinkings came about because of some of the confusions that might have come up in making a meme when it looks like The Lone Ranger up on his horse on two legs, but the meme generator gives you a picture of Zorro instead. Because if you don’t notice the black Zorro cape, you might think they were the same guy. They both ride a white horse in southwestern desert places and have cowboy hats and gloves. They get the bad guys. Even if Zorro had a black hat, it was kind of like they were the same guy, just incarnated into a different costume.
But then I thought deeper, and then I saw a Lucky Luke one (he’s a cartoon), and a Boromir one (or is it from the Boondocks Saints? But I’m still pretty sure it’s Darryl). They didn’t look as much like The Lone Ranger, but they were still either cultivating the Cowboy or The Good Guy Masquerading as a Villain, which seems to be common for heroes.
Then I saw one that looked like a drawn Lone Ranger but the blue was darker and the red bandana and mask made him look more like Walter Gibson’s The Shadow (image at the top of this post). Or perhaps more like Will Eiser’s The Spirit.
Of course, like me, a lot of the Lone Ranger was originally in black and white, but when he did come out in colour, his blue was a fadey-blue colour (like a desert sky) and not so much that rich blue these Spirit/Shadow guys seem to have.
So it can’t be that folks are confusing all these different ones with The Lone Ranger, but maybe thinking more deeply about (cowboy-type) heroes in general. We can slap a new skin on the same old attributes, but we still recognize the basic hero and what he stands for underneath.
It was interesting reading today to find out that the original Lone Ranger actually had a whole hero philosophy detailed by writer Fran Striker. The actors Clayton Moore (Ranger) and Jay Silverheels (Tonto) extended that thinking beyond their acting and into their real lives, trying to model good stuff for kids, both on the screen and off.
But then @JanWeb3 threw a little wrinkle at us. Not only is this Ranger not a man, but he ain’t carrying no shooting’ guns.
And then I saw this post circulating on Twitter — and my brain started to go all expanding about how our types of heroes are being challenged these days.
What To Do When You’re Not the Hero Anymore: From Mad Max to Finn, This Year’s Heroes Looked More Like Us by Laurie Penny @pennyred
You should read THAT post and then ponder some.
Did You Know?
Did you know that the Lone Ranger’s true Ranger name was John Reid, and in some shows he had a nephew called Dan Reid, Jr, and that when Dan Reid, Jr. had kids, one of them became Britt Reid, who turned out to be The Green Hornet (‘truth!) but with Kato instead of Tonto and a Black Beauty instead of a white Silver? If that isn’t remixing, by the comic book industry, then I don’t know what is.
And let’s not even get started on how the most favourite and most famous superhero of these days times called Batman was coming home from watching a movie of Zorro when his parents were killed which made him into the Batman when he grew up. Plus, it was funny when The Green Hornet and Kato were in Gotham and talked to Batman and Robin when they were doing a Bat-Climb.
Make some Art, bub! Giddy-up!