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Thursday, June 26, 2014

LAST RANGERS #01 - THE LAST RANGERS

This is NOT to be confused with another post-apocalyptic series called "Last Ranger". This is an entirely different series, publisher and author. "The Last Rangers", by Jake Davis, was released in 1992 via Berkley and is the first of a trilogy. I was intrigued by the cover and these statements on the front and back of the book:

"High-Tech Lawmen In The Texas Of 2035 A.D.!"

"Devastated by cataclysms of nature. Ravaged by scavengers. Crushed by high-tech crime lords. Welcome to Texas, 2035 A.D."

"The Texas Rangers Are Back - With A Vengeance"

All of those things combined with the book cover of a lawman holding an enormous futuristic weapon in the desert sort of leads you to believe this could be "Judge Dredd" meets "Walker, Texas Ranger".

No. A profound NO on that concept. As fun as that would have been...NO. 

This one weighs in at 180 pages and unfortunately has at least a half dozen storylines that are sporadic and amorphous in their presentation. By page 150 I still had no idea what the book was about. There aren't any Texas Rangers at this point, no clear villains or crimes and absolutely no setup. This is a big 'ole pile of poo-poo. 

The first 50 pages were extremely frustrating because it presented a cage full of prisoners being deposited on the door step of an underground fortress. Is this Stone M.I.A Hunter in on this nonsense? The author painstakingly provides page after page on each criminal in the cage and what they did leading up to the capture. Who the frig cares? One would think this is important going forward...but it's not! This whole concept is quickly abandoned along with the fortress setting and prisoners. Why was this even included? Why, Doris, why!?! 

The next 100 pages jumps around to a group of criminals meeting about some sort of plan they have to destroy something somewhere. I never could decipher what was going on and why they were attempting to create destruction. By page 150 we are introduced to a machine called Bird Dog as its travels through the desert doing something unknown with a prostitute named Rita. I have no Earthly idea why Bird Dog is important and why he is battling a gang in rural areas of Texas. Rita serves no purpose. The book ends with Bird Dog, a lawman named Amos Smith and Rita blowing up the original group of criminals that had their purposeless meeting around page 100. 

I seriously think Jake Davis threw together six or seven ideas he had about machines and locale and just used "The Last Rangers" as a sketch book to present the ideas to paper. It encroaches on "Transformers" but fails to deliver anything that is remotely sane or even uniform. "The Last Rangers" is absolutely abysmal and there will be no future reviews of the next two entries in the series. I could barely get through this one. Oh wait, I think I see book 2 over there...I gotta have that shit.