Review: The Sixth Gun Vol. 2 Deluxe Edition

The Sixth Gun Volume 2 Deluxe EditionThe Sixth Gun Volume 2 Deluxe Edition by Cullen Bunn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Well, what in tarnation are you waitin’fer?  Get your wiggle on and scare yourself up a copy of this book PRONTO.

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Review: The Sixth Gun Volume 1 Deluxe Edition

The Sixth Gun Volume 1 Deluxe EditionThe Sixth Gun Volume 1 Deluxe Edition by Cullen Bunn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Believe the hype. The Sixth Gun is even better than I hoped it’d be. I devoured this collection in one sitting and immediately regretted not having the 2nd one on hand to dig into.

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Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt have partner’d up for a tall tale that’s part western, part horror, and all together one helluva good time. The first half of this edition collects Vol. 1: Cold Dead Fingers. A terrific introduction to Bunn’s warped vision of the Wild West. General Hume, one of the most notorious General’s from the Confederate Army, is back from the dead and is lookin’ to take back that which he sees as rightfully his. The last of the Six Guns. Supernatural side-arms capable of much more than just spittin’ lead. And he hasn’t come alone. Really dug Bunn’s spin on the 4 Horsemen as Hume’s men.

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Of course, it’s not gonna to be that easy. The Sixth Gun has come into the possession of a preacher’s daughter by the name Becky Montcrief and she’s not giving up her father’s side arm without a fight. Becky’s taken up with a cagey gun-fighter by the name of Drake Sinclair who brings his own set of shady motives to the table. Cullen’s characters really took root for me in this book. He did a fantastic job giving them just enough depth to leave me hankerin’ for more.

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This all culminates in a showdown at Hume’s old P.O.W. camp, The Maw. Perfect back drop for the climax of the story. I promise you there’s much more to this one than the little bit I’ve highlighted. Bunn is clearly laying the groundwork for what is going to be a much longer epic.

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The second half of this book picks right up and collects the next arc, Vol. 2: Crossroads. This one’s set in the city of New Orleans and certainly nails that voodoo feel. Bunn continues to flesh out the characters that survived the first arc and adds a few new ones to the bunch. Kirby Hale being my favorite. There’s certainly more to this straight-edge cowboy than meets the eye. And that shit in the bayou was killer.

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Hurtt’s artwork was probably the main reason I waited so long to pick this one up. Not a lot of detail to be found and it isn’t incredibly unique. Sorta simple really. That said, much like my misguided initial impressions of the artwork of several other series I’ve ultimately grown to love, he made quick work of winning me over with this one. Brian proved by the end of this book that he has the chops to pull off both the western and horror vibe Bunn’s story requires.

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Loved this oversized hardcover by the way. A buncha cool little extras crammed into the back including sketches, promotional artwork, and a pretty killer short story. Fans of westerns, Hellboy, BPRD or other horror hybrids will likely find themselves enjoying Bunn and Hurtt’s The Sixth Gun as much as I did.

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