Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Sixth Gun #18

Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Brian Hurtt

I was pleased to see the news that Sixth Gun writer Cullen Bunn will be writing Wolverine after Jason Aaron leaves the title in a few months.  Bunn has really proven himself on The Sixth Gun as a writer of long-form stories that are creative in their treatment of familiar story elements and genre tropes, and, if Marvel's editors let him do his work, I'm sure we'll be seeing some interesting things happening with everyone's favourite X-Men.

This issue of The Sixth Gun starts a new arc, 'A Town Called Penance', and it deals with the missing Drake Sinclair.  When last we saw Sinclair, he'd fallen off a train after fighting a gigantic mummy.  Now we know that he was abducted by a trio of men we don't know much about, and has been held prisoner ever since, being interrogated about the whereabouts of the four magic guns he'd had in his possession.

Becky Montcrief, the possessor of the sixth gun (the fifth one is somewhere else), knows that Drake is somewhere in or around a town called Penance, and she has journeyed there to start looking for her.  Penance seems like a strange place - more desolate and scabrous than any town Jonah Hex ends up in.  The town dogs have tumors growing all over their body, and the only person who seems even a little nice, a stableboy, has the worst case of acne seen in comics this side of a Robert Crumb character.

I like how Bunn is building up mystery in this issue by playing most everything close to the chest.  Brian Hurtt has done terrific work on this title throughout, but I love his shots of the town and of the underground cavern.  This is a great series.

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