Rating: 4 stars
The Sixth Gun is a series of comics written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt. My husband has the first three trade paperbacks, The Sixth Gun Volume 1: Cold Dead Fingers, The Sixth Gun Volume 2: Crossroads, and The Sixth Gun Volume 3: Bound, which bring together issues 1-17. There are currently 8 trades available, with the final three issues due to be compiled into Volume 9 this summer.
I decided to start reading them because I left The Red Queen on my desk at work one night this week. I was hooked immediately. I made myself finish The Red Queen, but I jumped straight into the second Volume rather than start another novel, and then devoured the third straight after that. I love this series!
What do I like about it? It’s a Western for a start. I love Westerns. Brooding men on the run from some awful mistake in their past. Feisty women who know their way around a gun. Wide open spaces. Frontier pioneers. A barely civilised civilisation. It’s more than a Western, though. It’s a horror story filled with demons, the undead, and a set of devilish guns.
The art is outstanding. The colour pallet suits the setting. Murky, muddy, desert shades of brown and green with flashes of jewel bright colour in the women’s clothes and the blood that is regularly shed.
The plot is a corker. Six ancient weapons that have taken many forms over the centuries, and that have the potential to unleash Armageddon. Six books that hold the key to each weapon’s power. A secret religious society tasked with fighting those who hunt the guns in order to bring about the end times. Our three heroes – Drake Sinclair, Becky Montcrief, and Gord Cantrell – who each have their own links to the guns, not always positive. A vast array of enemies to the trio who seek possession of the guns with the obsessiveness of Sméagol. In every trade there have been moments where I was on the edge of my seat, heart in my mouth, anxious about the outcome of an attack on our heroes.
Becky is my favourite character. She’s spirited, practical, brave, bold and sensual. She knows you can be fierce in a glam frock, and that the power her gun gives her needs to be exercised responsibly. I like her best when she’s bristling against Drake and Gord’s attempts to treat her like a child. She is awesome.
Gord, too, is an excellent character. He’s a man with a brutal past and a desperately tragic link to the guns. He is trying to stay on the side of good while seeking a just revenge. He becomes very interesting in the third volume.
The bad guys are, to the last, evil. They’ve either traded their souls for ownership of one of the Six or they are actual evil spirits, desperate for Armageddon to arrive.
I’ve read all the Volumes my husband owns and I’m itching to read more. I have a feeling I’ll be visiting the comic shop over the weekend…