THE SIXTH GUN, VOL. 1
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Illustrator: Brian Hurtt
Publisher: Oni Press
WHAT IS IT?
A supernatural, post-Civil War western.
It's like Westworld. But instead of technology, it's dark magic. And it actually takes place around 200 years ago. And there are magical, collectible guns.
OK, it might not be like Westworld.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
A mysterious woman searching for a missing, mystical weapon and her lost, probably evil husband. She’s called The Widow Hume, so her husband we can presume is dead. Why she's looking for him or the weapon is unknown. Her four horsemen find the old, undead, aforementioned husband, and he wants his gun back. The same gun our protagonist, Drake Sinclair, is pursuing. The Widow Hume already possesses one gun. The four horsemen each possess one, as well. And General Oliandar Hume is dead set on getting his cold hands on the sixth gun. With it, he plans to get his revenge on Drake Sinclair and the daughter of the preacher who put him in the ground. But what motivates Mister Sinclair? He seems to be after the guns for himself. But what does one man need with all that supernatural firepower? And how can he hope to fight such a powerful band of baddies?
The world of The Sixth Gun feels rich and lived-in
There seems to be so much history between these characters, like Game of Thrones, where it feels like an entire epic passed before the first book’s story even began.
Cullen Bunn writes these characters so well, each feels real and distinct
Drake Sinclair is very enjoyable as a protagonist
He makes a pretty big deal about not being a good guy, but compared to all the other evil characters, he seems like an angel (albeit, a roguish one)
The General is wicked as hell and a true delight seeing all that evil manifest on the page
Brian Hurtt's moody art and immersive lettering take every last detail into consideration in building the world, and it makes The Sixth Gun feel like a high-quality experience
The character fashions and designs are intricate and dramatic
There's so much theatre in Hurtt's art, you can easily imagine it coming to life...it's truly phenomenal
Panel effects, like when visions are sketched in red, feel portentous and terror-filled
Sound effects are a little spaghetti western, they really do work with the art
Even the page numbers have little flourishes to either side, like the address of a fine western establishment of the era
The 6th and final issue of the volume is entirely spreads, and creates such an epic, atmospheric battle
Often, a trade paperback or volume will end after 4 or 5 issues, but I like that they stuck with 6 issues, since the book is called The Sixth Gun
After the end of this final issue, it feels mostly like the whole story could’ve ended right there if not for the epilogue
Personally, I'm glad it didn't end there – this title is too much fun
The Widow Hume's "Four Horsemen" was a nice touch that was played subtly
Major reveals are well spaced throughout and create even more mystery, building on the overall enjoyment
The power of the 6th gun is a handy narrative device
Becky is a strong, central female character
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Becky can feel a little two-dimensional, but it's just the start of her character arc, so I don't expect that to be forever
Violence and subject matter may not be for kids
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
The Sixth Gun is wildly entertaining, fantastic for fans of westerns and dark, supernatural stories, alike. Filled with moments that swallow you up and feel larger than life, Bunn, Hurtt & Crabtree have created the perfect comic. A true western epic.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Shadow Roads by Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt
East of West by Jonathan Hickman & Nick Dragotta
Redneck, Vol. 1 by Donny Cates & Lisandro Estherren
If you like the art:
The Sixth Gun, Vol. 2 by Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt
Queen & Country: Declassified by Greg Rucka & Brian Hurtt
Ghosted by Joshua Williamson, Goran Sudzuka & Miroslav Mrva
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Cullen Bunn – Writer
Test of Time: Has written horror comics for creator-owned titles and superhero comics for Marvel for years
Also writes novels and short stories
He recently launched a YouTube channel with fellow comics writer, Dennis Hopeless (which mentioned yours truly in episode 3!)
Brian Hurtt – Artist & Letterer
Dream Team: Has worked with Cullen Bunn on spin-offs from The Sixth Gun, as well as the Prohibition-era monster noir comic, The Damned
Multitalented: Writes & illustrates Whispers of Dragons and Road to Embers
Lives in St. Louis, MO, home of your favorite comic-book-reviewing Yeti!
Bill Crabtree – Colorist (issue #6 only)
Dream Team: Often works with writer, Cullen Bunn
Test of Time: Has been a comics colorist since 2003, when he started on the superhero Image Comics hit, Invincible
Stayed on The Sixth Gun series as colorist in future volumes
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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