Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Sixth Gun

I just read the 6th issue of this awesome ongoing comic series the other day, and it is easily one of the best single comic issues I've read all year. The sixth issue wraps up the first story arc and will be collected in trade/graphic novel format soon enough. I thought I'd give folks the early heads up and do a review of the first arc before the graphic novel version hits shelves.

My love affair with The Sixth Gun started waaay back in May on Free Comic Book Day. If you click the link, you can tell, I didn't have any idea how awesome this comic would be. The first issue opens with a group of Pinkerton detectives reporting to the mysterious and evil looking Mrs. Hume. The Pinkertons had been looking for some mysterious artifacs, namely "The Sixth Gun" which once belonged to Mrs. Hume's husband. Working alone, Drake Sinclair is also searching for the sixth gun, and his search which culminates at a ghostly gallows tree reveals the name Montcrief and a location.

The Pinkertons have had their eye on The Montcrief farm too, and after a deathly ambush, young Becky Montcrief comes to be bonded to the elusive sixth gun, yet is captured and taken away by the Pinkertons. In the meantime, the Mysterious General Hume, original owner of the Sixth Gun, has been released from his grave/prison by a group of four fearsome men, who all possess an enchanted six-shooter of their own.

Becky is eventually rescued from the clutches of Mrs. Hume and her Pinkerton lackeys by Sinclair and his dual-shotgun wielding friend Billjohn O'Henry. The trio narrowly escape after a brutal gun fight which brings them barrel to barrel with General Hume and his four henchmen. Reunited with his wife, General Hume and his company set out in search of Becky, Sinclair and Billjohn, setting in motion a deadly game of cat and mouse that culminates in an epically amazing showdown at The Maw.

The creators behind The Sixth Gun are Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt. These two consistently deliver awesome material in this comic. It is the perfect mash up of western, horror, fantasy, and a bit, but not too much, zombie killin'. What struck me about this comic from the get-go was how it easily managed to suck me into its world. When I read that first issue I instantly wanted to know more about the characters, more about what the hell was going on, and of course, I wanted to know more about the guns. That sense of mystery and intrigue still flavors the series, as more characters are introduced, and more is revealed about the principle characters.

Art is an important aspect of any comic, but Hurtt's art is especially important to this series as it deals with multiple genre's all rolled into one. Hurtt draws ghastly beasts, dusty western towns, zombies, and explosive gun fights with equal skill. Where he really shines though is his ability to draw atmosphere. I know that sounds like a load of shit, but I mean that, he draws scenes which depict creepy graveyards, raucous saloons, lightning filled magical incantations and brings them to life, and makes you feel like you are there. Basically, Hurtt is a great artist working on top of his game.

The Sixth Gun is one of those rare comics that has something for everyone. While a lot of the stuff on the shelves only appeals to certain audiences, this one delivers on multiple levels. Guns? Check. Not into guns? Ok, Swords? Check. Magic? Check. Fantastical Beasts? Check. Explosions? Check. Mystery? Mayhem? Check, check. Ok, so no sex, and no love story...yet.

The 6th issue wraps up the first story arc, so those of you who wait for trades can pick up the first trade soon enough. Which I strongly urge you to do. According to Comixology, it'll be out on January 12th. Hopefully it'll come sooner though. Simply put, The Sixth Gun kicks ass.

If you still are in need of further convincing, check out the cool video trailer:

Grade: A

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