Jul 15th 2010 By: Chris Murphy
A NEW LEGEND OF THE OLD WEST - The Sixth Gun 2
The era of the American West provides rich ground for creators in search of stories to tell. It offers a vast landscape of open skies above lawless towns filled with desperate men and women. It can be a path to explore concepts like freedom, individualism, survival, honor and justice. It has thrilled the imaginations of audiences not only in the United States but across the world. You wouldn't think you could ask for anything more.Or you could add magic and raising people from the dead to your epic western adventure, which is exactly as awesome as it sounds in Cullen Brunn and Brian Hurt's "The Sixth Gun." The new series from Oni released its first issue back on Free Comic Book Day, but in case you missed it that issue is on sale this week along with the brand new issue 2. "The Sixth Gun" tells the story of a mystical firearm that was once the possession of General Oliander Bedford Hume, a very bad man who ended up a very dead man. He's recently become slightly more alive with the aide of his no less villainous and only somewhat less supernatural former gang and has set out to reclaim the gun. Which means killing its current owner, the daughter of the preacher who took the gun from Hume and who now finds herself captured by Hume's former widow and current semi-necrophilic reunited wife. The girl's rescued by Drake Sinclair, a dashing gunman whose motives are only slightly less suspect.
Issue 2 also saw the introduction of my new favorite character in the book, Billjohn O'Henry. As impressive as it is that his two names contain three names, four if you count "O," as in "O. Henry" (the writer, not the third-rate Snickers bar), that's not what most endeared him to me. O'Henry's shining moment in "The Sixth Gun" #2 is when the jovial bounty hunter and card sharp, chomping a cigar from inside his bushy blonde beard, double-wields a pair of sawed-off shotguns in the middle of one of the most fantastic saloon brawls I've ever seen.
What makes writer Bunn and artist Hurtt's book so good is that the reader is given the sensation of witnessing a fully realized setting whose groups and characters have a life beyond the panels and pages of the book while not overloading the audience with a deluge of exposition. We're given just enough information to know who these characters are and to be drawn into the narrative, but significant plot points and character details are revealed through the natural flow of the story. If the buildup is this exciting in the first two issues, I can't wait to see how good this book might be as the confrontations escalate and Sinclair's loyalty to anyone other than himself is put to the test.