Even better than the first collection. This 2nd volume picks right up following the events of the last book and doesn’t waste any time gettin’ to it. In my blue-collar opinion, this is one of the best series being put out by anybody right now. Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt, Tyler Crook, and Bill Crabtree’s particular blend of the western and horror genres continues to leave me fiending for more.
Bunn briefly brings us up to speed with what everyone’s been doing since the conclusion of the last book and jumps straightaway into a train robbery sequence that is SO sick. Bunn’s pacing in this part of the story is great. Not only does he manage to introduce a couple of pretty dope new characters, but he does it without tapping the brakes for even a second during the first two chapters.
Bunn slows thing down a little bit with the origin of Asher Cobb. What a cool take on an old trope. That’s him above. Loved it. Cullen follows this up with a peek into Gord Cantrell’s past. Bunn’s fleshing out of the characters he introduced in the last volume is probably why I enjoyed this one so much. And Gord’s return home was one of the highlights of the collection for me. Creepy.
Of course, Becky, Drake, and the six guns continue to center stage for the most part. Sorta tough to talk about it here without gettin’ all spoilery and such, so I’ll just let you see for yourself. The Order of the Sword of Abraham gets some attention as well. And a new sect known as the Knights of Solomon also emerge with their own ominous ambitions. But don’t you worry, Bunn weaves in just enough mystery to make you question everyone’s motives when it comes down to the guns.
Becky’s trip to the town of Penance was great. Loved the “Hills Have Eyes” vibe. So fuckin’ awesome. Great backdrop for that part of the story.
Bunn’s finale in chapter 11 was just perfect. A blood-bath worthy of the best spaghetti western. And, of course, I’m not sure Bunn could have pulled it off so well without the fantastic work of Brian Hurtt. It was Hurtt’s art that kept me from taking this book to seriously before actually pickin’ it up. Well, shit on me, cuz Hurtt shines in this one. Sure, there are more detail oriented and flashy artists out there, but something about his simple, yet consistent, style is ideal for this title. He really gets a chance to strut his stuff in chapter ten where Bunn lets Hurtt tell the story without a single caption or written word. And it’s one of my favorite parts of the book. Brian Hurtt is crazy good. Tyler Crook provided the illustrations for a couple of chapters and is definitely serviceable. Sadly for him, it’s hard to look good next to Hurtt’s stuff. Crabtree’s back to color this bad-boy wall to wall and it’s nice. This edition also sports a butt-ton of extras that were a nice addition to the oversized hardcover. If you haven’t read this series yet, the deluxe editions are the way to go.
Well, what in tarnation are you waitin’fer? Get your wiggle on and scare yourself up a copy of this book PRONTO.