THE LAST RANGER #7 THE VILE VILLAGE BY CRAIG SARGENT

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Copyright 1988.

Martin Stone and his dog Excalibur are riding in search of April. They get caught in a radioactive thunderstorm that almost kills them. Fortunately they are found by the Undertaker and his many kids. The Undertaker manages to nurse Stone and the dog back to health. Even more helpful is the young eighteen year old daughter Luann. After a while applying all this ointment to Stone’s naked body just drives her crazy and she jumps in bed. So Stone must once again have endless sex with a beautiful young woman instead of proper rest from his injuries.

So after a while he finds out the Undertaker has a thriving business in coffins since the town of Cotopaxi was taken over by two opposing factions. On one side is the biker gang The Head Stompers. The other are the Strather Brothers a bunch of mountain men psychos who worship Al Capone. They are bleeding the locals dry with taxes and Stone comes up with a plan. Posing as The Preacher Boy he kills the second in command of the Head Stompers and ingratiates himself into the Strater Brothers. He comes with a plan to turn the two factions against each other. It doesn’t work and he’s captured and subjected to torture which he manages to escape. It looks grim but the two factions do start fighting and he is saved by an uprising of the local farmers. The Undertaker has plenty of business at the end.

So this is basically Yojimbo or A Fistful of Dollars adapted to the world of Martin Stone. A small town being exploited by two factions. A mysterious stranger comes in and manipulates the two sides into wiping each other out. This was actually a well done book that kept my interest. Some more goofy stuff are the various cat dishes the locals eat. His pit bull defeats a lion. And basically the whole area has stereotypical Mexican peasants or somewhat inbred mountain-men. Not really the people who live out in the country as someone from the East Coast probably believes inhabit the vast center. Still one of the better ones as he was suffering from the AIDS virus. As we will see the series will start to go downhill fast.

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