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Lone Ranger
Lone Ranger King Features Syndicate

"Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" it is one of the most famous cries that could be mentioned in the 40s by the American people; so famous that it became the battle cry of the Marines during several battles during the Second World War. This scream was launched by a character who had become little known in Italy, but who in the United States, in various forms, became a true icon representing the hero who fights all forms of injustice.
Although over the years and representations his real name has always been shrouded in mystery, the character in question is known as Lone Ranger, was created by Francis H. Striker and was originally born as the protagonist of a series of radio broadcasts that went to aired from 1934 to 1941, for a total of 2.956 episodes.
The character of Lone Ranger immediately had an incredible success also thanks to the embodied qualities, which made him lovable and which identified him as a masked hero who dedicates his life to fight injustice. Mask on the face, star depicting Texas on the chest and backed by the faithful horse Silver and Tonto, the inseparable Native American friend, Lone Ranger, who escaped an ambush set by the Butch Cavendish gang, begins to tour the old West in search of outlaw to fight with his silver bullet gun. The series stormed into listeners' homes, quickly transforming the character of Lone Ranger into an icon of American culture of that era. Phrases like "Who was that masked man anyway?" and Tonto's way of referring to his friend, calling him "Ke-mo sah-bee", translatable as "trusted friend", entered the collective imagination, together with the music of "Guglielmo Tell Overture", by Gioachino Rossini, who it was the soundtrack for the broadcast.

Lone Ranger comics
The character was so successful that he became, in 1939, a cartoon character thanks to the pencil of Ed Kressy, first, and Charles Flanders, then. It is thanks to this noble art that the character of Lone Ranger obtains its consecration, also thanks to qualities, such as courage and sense of justice, which became particularly fashionable during the Second World War. The cartoon character, for the iconography of the character, the vicissitudes lived and the faithful traveling companions, was undoubtedly the precursor and the inspiration of other heroes of the Old West who populated our post-war comics, such as "Il Giustiziere del West ","Zagar","Ken Parker" is "Tex", but for the mask on the face and the faithful companion there is no doubt that its representation was heavily influenced by the character of"Fox".
The strips a Lone Ranger comics they were published from September 1938 to December 1971, distributed by the King Features Syndicate, and also started the publication of 145 comic books that collected these strips, with the occasional addition of some unpublished content, and a spin- off dedicated to Tonto, consisting of 31 issues. The success of the character prompted the New York Times Syndicate to launch a second series of strips dedicated to the Lone Ranger, which were published between 1981 and 1984, thanks to the texts of Cary Bates and the drawings of Russ Heath.
The comic also made its landing in Italy, published by Editrice Nerbini, even if only for short periods of time and more precisely between 1939 and 1940 and between 1948 and 1949. The stories appeared in the newspapers "Adventurous", " Jungle "and" Pisellino "and, in 1940, in a series of 11 books dedicated to the character. Renamed in various ways, including "the Lonely of the Forest" and "the King of the Prairie", the Lone Ranger in Italy is mainly remembered as "the Lonely Knight". The comic appeared sporadically in Italy also due to the prohibition on importing publications from the United States during the Second World War, but in 1949 the printing finally ceased also due to the advent of homegrown heroes, such as "Tex", which concentrated the attention of Italian readers. However, even in our country" Il Cavaliere Solitario "had some success among enthusiasts and his publications, also due to the difficulty of finding, are now considered rare material for collectors. from having already achieved considerable ratings.
In the following years, attempts were made to bring the character of Lone Ranger back to life with other comic projects, but not all of them had the hoped-for success. However, in 2006 Dynamite Entertainment released a six-issue miniseries dedicated to the lone hero, with lyrics by Brett Matthews, collaborator of Joss Whedon on the television series "Angel" and "Serenity", and drawings by Sergio Cariello. The publishing initiative had a remarkable success, enough to convince the publisher to extend the publication and the Eisner Awards to confer a nomination for the best new series of 2007.

Lone Ranger
Lone Ranger Disney / Bruckheimer Films

I Lone Ranger movie
The figure of Lone Ranger has had, over the years, numerous television and film transpositions, which have made the actors who interpret the characters famous. On a television level, the most successful series was the one that aired between 1947 and 1957 and consisted of eight seasons, for a total of 221 episodes. The show gave fame to Jay Silverheels, who played Tonto, and, above all, to Clayton Moore, interpreter of Lone Ranger, who even for years to come was often identified as the most representative face of the lone ranger.
The best known film adaptation is probably the one that saw the light in 1981, entitled "The Legend of the Lone Ranger". The film tried to give a more modern vision of the lonely knight, going so far as to modify the peculiarities of reluctance and little talkativeness of Tonto, to transform him into a character almost equal to Lone Ranger. However the film is probably remembered more for the insurrection of fans at the news that the main part was not assigned to the now well-known Clayton Moore, supplanted by Klinton Spilsbury, who was also prevented, via an injunction, from still appearing in public in the robes of the lonely knight. It is recent news that shooting has begun, after several postponements, of a new film adaptation of the character, which will give rise to a film produced by Walt Disney and directed by Gore Verbinski. To impersonate the Ranger will be Armie Hammer, while in the role of Tonto we will see the multifaceted Johnny Depp.

Lone Ranger
Lone Ranger George W. Trendle, Fran Striker, Filmation

Lone Ranger cartoons

However, the most significant transposition of Lone Ranger, if only for a greater affinity to the technique of the comic, is that which appeared in the animated series. From September 1966 to September 1969, for two seasons of 13 and 14 episodes respectively, the animated series dedicated to the lonely knight was broadcast on the CBS television station. Shot with the classic two-dimensional animation technique, the quality is compatible with the years in which it was produced, but the series was characterized by a choice of colors and a stroke tending to a greater search for realism, especially as regards humans and animals.
The peculiarity of this series is linked to the fact that the plot, while following the classic canvas of radio broadcasts and comics, introduces elements of science fiction and anachronistic technology, inspired by a TV series, also by CBS, entitled "The Wild Wild West ", clearly of a science fiction style and which then stimulated the 1999 film of the same name, starring Kevin Kline and Will Smith. Similar to this series, the ultimate cartoon villain of Lone Ranger is also a dwarf, inspired by Dr. Loveless, mad scientist played by Michael Dunn in "The Wild Wild West". The voice of Lone Ranger was lent by Michael Rye, that of Tonto by Shepard Menken, while the narrator on the opening credits belonged to Marvin Miller. Similarly to the radio series, the soundtrack is also inspired by the William Tell Overture, appropriately arranged for the occasion by Vic Schoen.
In the animated series version Lone Ranger returned to television also in the early 80s, thanks to short episodes made for the broadcast "The Tarzan / Lone Ranger adventure Hour", in which episodes of Tarzan were also broadcast and, in the second season, Zorro . In this circumstance an attempt was made to give the stories a greater historical and educational content, while not neglecting elements of pure science fiction.

The Lone Ranger character, names, images and trademarks are copyright King Features Syndicate and those entitled. Vthey are used here for cognitive and informative purposes.

Other resources

Film The Lone Ranger


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