William Thomas's Reviews > The Sixth Gun, Vol. 1: Cold Dead Fingers

The Sixth Gun, Vol. 1 by Cullen Bunn
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Feb 14, 11

Read in January, 2011

Ever since Garth Ennis wrote "The Saint of Killers" 4 part story, I have wondered when the next western-horror story was going to come along and why it hadn't taken off as some other trends have (steampunk, vampires, zombies, etc.) One of the original horror-westerns, Jonah Hex, hasn't lived up to my expectations in its most recent incarnation, although American Vampire has become an absolute favorite. So I guess I may be rating this slightly higher than it deserves because I love the genre hybrid.

The largest problem with this book is that it practically does without character development. It abandons it altogether in favor of the pace. And what it sacrifices is the heart of any western. Even the Man With No Name has a fully developed character, although we know very little about his background. I don't need long origin stories, I just need strong characterization because that is how westerns come alive. And this book is very short on it.

The other thing that bothered me was the lack of dialogue. Or I should say, dialogue that was worth reading. Not eveything that a character says should be in regard to the situation at hand, not everything has to be an explanation of something that has happened or is happening or will happen. It felt as if the entirety of the book had stuck itself in full throttle and wanted to race itself to the ending. Which really wasn't worth all the rushing and forward momentum. And what this book sacrifices is exactly what would have made it amazing.

The story isn't short on anything- a resurrected magician/Civil War general trying to track down an accursed gun. A preacher is murdered, a young girl in need of help. A gang empowered by 5 other cursed guns that needs the 6th for the general. An anti-hero who saves the day and the girl. Everythign we really need for an exciting and fun book, although I have already expressed my displeasure with the general lack of meaningful dialogue and characterization.

The artwork is lacking in detail and looks more like a Saturday morning cartoon than anything we could call artistic or stylish. Another mark against the book.

All in all, it was a fun read with no other value and nothing worth remembering except that it is entertaining while you read it. Which is the point of most writing, anyway.
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