Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Sixth Gun

Just look at this cover! LOOK AT IT!
What do you want from your Weird West stories? Zombie Confederates? Check. Native American legends come to life? Check. Supernatural six-shooters? Check, check, check, check, check, and check! Werewolves? Okay, for werewolves, you should check out High Moon instead. But for those other elements, you can't go wrong with The Sixth Gun. My wife bought me a copy of the first volume for my birthday, and all I can say is, that woman knows what I like.

The Sixth Gun, by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt and published by Oni Press, is a great example of the Weird West genre. It tells the story of six cursed revolvers, which were once the property of a ruthless Confederate general, Oliander Bedford Hume.The general's gun is currently being held by a preacher, while the other guns belong to the general's surviving henchmen and his wife. But the dead general doesn't plan on staying in the ground any longer, and he's going to want his gun back.

The general wife's hires some Pinkertons and assorted goons go after the preacher to get his gun, but things get complicated when the gun ends up with the preacher's daughter, Becky. Nobody can wield one of the cursed weapons without killing the previous owner. The Pinkertons know that the gun is destined for the general's possession, and they are not in a hurry to be killed by the general over it, so they let the girl keep the gun and take her to meet the general.

Things get even more complicated when a gunslinging ne'er-do-well named Drake Sinclair gets mixed up in things. He has some sort of connection to the guns and the general, and one thing is for sure: he doesn't want to see the general reunited with his old weapon. Along the way, Drake bumps into his old friend, a bearded gambler named Billjohn O'Henry. He'll need all the help he can get, because the general has rounded up his old gang, each of who has been twisted in some way by the supernatural revolver he carries. Worst of all is the general's wife, the Widow Hume. It's going to take more than a bullet to make sure this Southern belle doesn't rise again.

The art is amazing, the pacing is fast, and the supernatural twists keep coming throughout the book. I may already have said too much, so I'll stop now, except to say that if you like supernatural stories and/or the Wild West, you owe it to yourself to track down The Sixth Gun.

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