Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Comic Quickies: All Guns Blazin'

The Sixth Gun #'s 10 and 11:  Hoo boy, I sure am far behind on my comic reviews.  So far behind that I had the tenth issue of The Sixth Gun sitting in my review pile for a whole month before I got around to it.

Don't let my terrible reviewing habits deter you from reading this series.  It is absolutely flipping awesome.  If I had to pick my next favorite ongoing comics series after Chew and Sweet Tooth, I just might pick The Sixth Gun.  This comic is a fantastic blend of western, fantasy, and horror, and I absolutely love it.

While this second story arc has featured less of the six magical guns, and less shootin'  it has delivered some epic and exciting moments.  I will say that I enjoyed the first story arc a bit more than this second.  I guess I never felt that Sinclair, Becky, and Gord were in as much danger during this arc as they were in the first when running from General Hume and his death squad.

What looks to be the important aspects of this arc are the introduction of Kirby Hale, and some cool world building.  Some new supernatural elements are introduced, and the world of The Sixth Gun seems to be full of evil spirits, ghosts, ghouls and demons that are just itching to get their hands on the guns of power.  That means that pretty much where ever Sinclair, Becky and the guns go, trouble is likely close behind.

It should also be noted that this second story arc was just five issues long where the first arc was six issues.  Those of you looking to buy trades and jump on with the third arc, need to get yourselves prepared for some sweet six shootin' action sooner rather than later.  Awesome, and inventive writing, along with some fantastic art, make The Sixth Gun one of the finest reads on the shelves.  This is a comic you don't want to miss.

Rotten #'s 7-9:  Never in my life has anything made me say "Oh, fuck yeah!" out loud more often then Rotten.  In fact, it happens almost as much as I say, "Oh, shit, that's nasty!"  Yes, I can truly count on Rotten to always deliver the awesome, the sickening, and the balls-out action.

The seventh issue kicks off a new story arc that has our two heroes, Agent Flynn and Agent Wade split up.  While Flynn travels to Chicago to meet and debate with other intellectuals in the field of medicine, Wade Travels to a logging town in the Pacific Northwest to investigate the latest zombie outbreak.

The seventh issue stands out for what is maybe the most epic/hilarious/cathartic moment in all of comics.   I don't want to spoil too much, but I'll say that Wade dispatches a Sarah Palin zombie in a very epic way.  "Shut. The Fuck. Up. You brain-dead bitch." Is quite possibly the greatest set of speech bubbles ever.

While Wade is fucking up zombies, Flynn is living it up, socializing with other great minds, eating some tasty sausage, and courting a lovely lady.  However, he also finds himself stuck in the middle of a large, ongoing debate between the scientific minds of Chicago, and a large group of ignorant citizens who don't believe in the theory of evolution.  Flynn also crosses paths with the mysterious Aubrey, the strange albino who almost killed Wade in an earlier issue.

Though only nine issues in, Rotten, when it comes out, is proving to be one of the more entertaining reads on the shelf.  The publication rate is pretty sporadic though.  I believe this is more due to the publishing company, Moonstone, than it is the fault of the creative team.  Since there has been a fairly lengthy gap between issues, I just save 'em up till I have a full story arc, then read the whole thing.

The writing of Rotten will definitely keep you on your toes.  Not only does writer, Mark Rahner add in lots of little historical tid-bits that tie into modern day media, but he also demands your attention as the zombies evolve, and little clues are peppered in.

What sets Rotten apart from other zombie tales is the zombies themselves.  While most zombies we see all too often these days are brainless, shuffling cannon fodder, the zombies of Rotten are an ever changing beast.  In this arc Wade found himself battling hordes of untiring undead with the ability to run, and swim.  In past issues the zombies have possessed different abilities.  Though it might seem like a small thing, the fact that the zombies are different each time makes them a far more interesting adversary.  I also like the fact that Wade and Flynn pretty much have no idea what they are up against, and what the zombies will be like the next time they cross paths.

Rotten is an underrated and under appreciated comic.  It flies a bit under the radar due to that fact that it's not published by one of the bigger publishing names, but in my mind it blows away much of the competition.  This is way better than almost all other zombie stuff out there, and it truly is getting better with each issue.  When I reviewed the first Rotten graphic novel  I wasn't in love with the art, but it improves with each issue.  If you are looking for some balls to the walls action, and glorious zombie killin' that is as smart as it is entertaining, give Rotten a try.


Ryan said...

Nice review again, too many comics so little time! Have you read any The Walking Dead? I was a little put off because of the hype around the TV show (which I haven't seen) but it is a really good read, just wondering how does it stack up with Rotten?

Ryan said...

Hey Ryan-

Sometimes I think I'm the only comics reader who doesn't read The Walking Dead.

I read the first trade a couple years ago. It was pretty good, but not totally my cup of tea. That being said, Ive head lots of comic readers say plenty of good things about TWD. Mostly they say that is is character driven, with a plot that keeps you guessing, and has a strong psychological impact, because it presents lots of situations where you don't know who to trust, or what is going to happen.

I don't feel like I'm familiar enough with TWD to properly compare it to Rotten. I will say that the zombies in Rotten are unique in the fact that they seem to evolve, and possess a wide variety of abilities. Also, the western setting with it's bad transportation, medicine, technology, and communication makes for some interesting and exciting reading.

I hope that helps!