Photo Credit: io9What makes the Lone Ranger finally embrace the need for his mask, and hence the whole “secret identity” thing? In a nutshell, he realizes his fellow white men are corrupt, and complicit in the mass murder of Tonto’s fellow Native Americans. If he takes the mask off, then he too will wind up becoming complicit. Yes, that’s right — in this film, the Lone Ranger’s mask is made of White Guilt.
And in fact, the only function the Native Americans in this film have, other than Tonto, is to die horribly so that the Lone Ranger will have a catalyst to make him Man Up.
But it’s more than that. We tend to think of superhero movies as power fantasies, in which the use of America’s status as a superpower is reflected by the hero struggling to use his or her power responsibly. But Lone Ranger seems to be making the case that the real seductive fantasy of these stories is absolution from blame — the Lone Ranger gets the Native American seal of approval from Tonto, as long as he’s wearing the mask. He gets surcease from America’s original sin.
That’s the secret of superheroes, according to this film: Peter Parker is a Tool of the Man, but Spider-Man is a free agent. Bruce Wayne is a capitalist running dog, but Batman fights for the little guy.
And that’s why you deserve to suffer. Because a lot of innocent people had to die to make your costume fantasy possible, you bastards.
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