Publisher: Oni Press
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Brian Hurtt
Review by: Bill Jones
Upon first hearing the idea for The Sixth Gun at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, I just had to ask its creative team of Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt one question…
“So, it’s kind of like Lord of the Rings then, but with an all-powerful gun instead of one ring to rule them all?”
They couldn’t deny the comparison, but said once people read through the first issue, they would understand that it’s also something entirely different. The Sixth Gun’s description does sound a hell of a lot like an Old Western version of Lord of the Rings, though. The idea is that there was once a series of revolvers created with magical powers. One of those guns, the sixth to be exact, was more powerful than the rest. Now, that gun has resurfaced, and all of the evil forces of the world are uniting in an attempt to acquire it for their devious ends. And the gun itself holds some power over those who wield it.
The series’ potential protagonist, Drake Sinclair, makes things interesting, though, on account of his motivations not being entirely clear in the first issue. He is apparently trying to recover the gun, and first visits the Gallows Tree, makes a deal with the dead for information, then essentially stabs them in the back. He even comments at one point that on occasion he does business for the Devil. Before he can find his prize however, a Mr. Mercer, who is in the employ of a mysterious woman, forcibly finds and takes it first.
The last act of the first issue of The Sixth Gun unfolds with even more questions. We see a group of religious folk preparing for an attack of some kind. An evil force descends upon them, though they try to defend themselves with Gatling guns. In the end, the forces lift a casket from a well to the find the man inside not entirely dead and declaring his intention to find his gun.
Again, the parallels to Lord of the Rings are hard to avoid, but Bunn and Hurtt find a way to tell an interesting story no less. It has a Western meets Sherlock Holmes meets the supernatural vibe to it, and it’s cadre of characters are intriguing enough to grab hold in the first issue, with a nice cliffhanger ending. The art plays a large role in all of this, with the coloring going a long way to set vastly different scenes such as the Gallows Tree, a country cabin and a religious monastery, as well as add much to characterization. Where it goes from here is anyone’s guest, but based on the suspicious motivations of the characters and mystery alone, I’m interested to read more when the series continues in July.
For more info, www.onipress.com
Pads & Panels got a copy of the book during Free Comic Book Day.