The Sixth Gun continues its awesome mix of horror, magic, science fiction and Western genres in its exciting fourth issue.
Credits & Solicit Info:
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Brian Hurtt
Format: Standard, Full Color
Page Count: 32
Genre: Western / Fantasy
Age Rating: T – Teen
Release date: Sept 8th 2010
Drake Sinclair springs a trap on General Hume and his minions. But when dealing with something as temperamental as a wild Thunderbird spirit, nothing goes according to plan. Drake, Becky, and Billjohn are caught between their enemies and a primal force of super-nature. Plus, what exactly is Drake's connection to the undead General and the Six?
Look out, Jonah Hex, there's a new Western comic in town! The Sixth Gun, Oni Press's supernatural Western book, continues to shine in its fourth issue. Writer Cullen Bunn and illustrator Brian Hurtt continue to make The Sixth Gun one of the most unique comics on the stand today.
The Sixth Gun is the story of the Confederate General General Oliander Bedford Hume's mystical pistol, one of a collection of six. After Hume's death, the pistol eventually falls into the hands of Becky Montcrief, an innocent preacher's daughter. Hume's vicious lieutenants begin to hunt down the girl along with the undead general himself, hoping to reclaim his gun and his life. Montcrief's only protector is the mysterious gunman Drake Sinclair, who shares a mysterious past with Hume and his henchmen.
One of the strongest aspects of The Sixth Gun is Bunn's ability to deftly merge the occult and Western elements of his book together into one enjoyable experience. For instance, the fourth issue contains a climatic faceoff between Hume's forces and a mystical Thunderbird in a canyon. As the mystical bird ambushes Hume's small army, the general calls out to get to open ground as his men fire wildly into the air, harkening back to the Western movies of old. Two issues earlier, clay homunculi invade a saloon, resulting in an old-fashioned saloon brawl. While the book has all the trappings of a standard Western, the paranormal infusion that Bunn brings to the book keeps in fresh and new.
In four short issues, Bunn has created an exciting world with fleshed out characters. His protagonist, Drake Sinclair, is neither hero nor villain, but gun for hire. Becky Montcrief is a feisty strong woman in the spirit of characters such as Janet Leigh's Lina Patch in The Naked Spur. Even the antagonists receive ample characterization. Hume is a hell bent Southerner that death can't even contain, while his wife oozes with a sinister creepiness in addition to her devotion towards her husband. These are great characters that stand out from the stock Western archetypes they were derived.
It would be amiss to discuss The Sixth Gun without discussing Hurtt's superlative art. Hurtt fantastically brings the supernatural world of The Sixth Gun to life without losing its Western roots. Creatures such as the thunderbird are appropriately mysterious and grandiose while Hume's henchmen look as if they've walked right off the set of a Western developed by the likes of Quentin Taratino. Hurtt deserves commendation for designing such a broad range of characters that successfully portray both the Western and supernatural sides of the book. While his more cartoonish style is unlike the typical Western illustrator, it doesn't take away from the feel of the book at all.
All in all, The Sixth Gun is a rip roaring good time. To all those who complain that the comic industry is dominated by too many books about superheroes set in shared universes, I challenge them to read The Sixth Gun and get drawn into the matchless blend of horror, magic and classic Western styles that the book perfectly blends.
Review by: Christian Hoffer