Howdy wayfarers, welcome back to that dusty trail. Its been a while ain’t it, since we rode the wide open prairies and desert?
Well its been many a glimmerin’ moon since I told you tales of the wild, wild west – this I know – but after a good long while I’ve come across one worth tellin’ and aim to share it right here and now. So gather all around the campfire, listen to the gentle and melancholy twang of the guitar in the background and the crickets while I spin the yarn of The Sixth Gun for all a’y’all.
Written by the rising talent that is Cullen Bunn, this is a story of action, adventure and a touch of mystical horror told in suitable gritty old-west style.
Truly one of the most stand-out series in the last year or so, this one takes much of the familiar and makes it feel so fresh, adding in aspects and details that are in ways most unique to itself and the blending of western and horror is so seamless at times that even when its in your face, its hard to separate them.
The story is set in the American west sometime after the end of the Civil War but does not get drawn into the familiar pit-falls and cliches, instead forging a whole new direction and world all its own. At its core it’s what I would call a “Supernatural/Horror Western” but with nicely developed characters and plot threads it’s very hard to stick it just into that pigeon-hole.
Recently we saw the release of issue #17 set in its third major story-arc and it shows no sign of slowing down at all. So with this in mind I’d like to tell you about whats already done and available not just in single issues, but in Trade Paperbacks as well.
Volume 1: Cold Dead Fingers
The chapter that kicks-off the series, this Trade collects issues #1-6 and lays all the groundwork while constantly building to a deadly climax before moving to the next volume.
The base of the tale is that sometime during the Civil War there were six pistols found – weapons of tremendous supernatural power! Each one is deadly by itself, but there is a connection they all share that is a mystery not yet for us mere mortals to know, with the Sixth one being undeniably the most powerful of them all.
At the start of our tale we meet Becky Montcrief – daughter of a simple preacher, she lives a peaceful and quite life. Then one day evil is afoot once more and her world gets turned upside and before she knows it she is on the run from evil men, her father is dead and the only person who appears to be on her side is a somewhat dubious and mysterious man she does not entirely trust. This mysterious stranger is gun-slinging treasure hunter Drake Sinclair, a man with a few dark secrets in his past and a vested interest in his seemingly self-less aiding of the young Becky. In the process of staying alive Becky finds herself bonded to The Sixth and so caught in the middle of a very old conflict whether she wants it or not.
The master of the bad-guys is a truly evil and ornery man, the late General Oliander Bedford Hume. Yes I said late, he was once a Confederate Army General and was in fact dead, but he was also a terribly powerful man and the former owner of The Sixth – and now he wants his gun back and the world in his hands.
Volume 2: Crossroads.
Collecting issues #7-11, this volume follows the second story arc after the defeat of General Hume – temporarily of course – as the survivors try to recuperate from their wounds, both physical and otherwise.
Their last conflict did not come without considerable cost and devastation and now with a little breathing room left, our heroes try to find a way to be rid of the weapons that exact a terrible price for the power they bestow.
But of course, monsters like General Hume cannot be killed and while he is not an immediate threat, other evil shadows continue to dog the steps of our struggling fighters as they seek ways to be rid of the burdens they carry in the bayous around New Orleans.
Volume 3: Bound
The latest and currently ongoing volume of the series, this Trade is due out April 25th2012. After all the action and adventure of the previous arc, Becky and Drake are travelling by a secret railroad, accompanied by a secret and mysterious order of monks who are on a quest to bury the still not-quite-dead remains of General Hume on holy ground so that he might be kept from returning.
Unknown to all, however, evil forces yet stalk them and before they know it, the train is under siege by enemies and Drake vanishes without a trace!
So there you have it folks, hope that gave you a few chills and provided some excitement and a few tingles – if you want more, I would most highly recommend readin’ this here series for any and all fans of just plain-old good story-telling.
Accompanied by great art by Brian Hurtt in every single issue, this is truly a gritty, grim and galvanizing romp through a whole new incarnation of the old Wild West!
(Originally posted HERE)