“The Sixth Gun” has, over the course of two years, become one of the best ongoing comic series on the market. With “The Sixth Gun” #24, Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt kick off the new storyline “Winter Wolves” and it’s as creepy as ever.
The first ten pages of “The Sixth Gun” #24 don’t feature Becky and Drake, and it’s much to Bunn’s credit that these pages are just as compelling at the rest of the series. Instead we visit with both the Sword of Abraham and Gord Cantrell, as each try to adjust to the growing doom that surrounds the Six. The scene with the Sword of Abraham manages to not only set up a future story but also feels dangerous and gripping; the tension builds perfectly, shifting from exposition to menace in the blink of an eye. And while Gord’s segment is smaller, it’s nice to see what he’s up to as well and it feels like it’s very much part of the greater whole.
It’s when we finally see Becky and Drake again, though, that “The Sixth Gun” #24 kicks into high gear. The sudden shift of the seasons is drawn perfectly by Hurtt and colorist Bill Crabtree; small at first and then rapidly overwhelming. By the time the wind is blowing and the snow is coming down, the entire page feels cold thanks to both the way that Hurtt draws the movement of the air as well as the icy blue and pale purple tones used by Crabtree. And then, well, things get worse.
That’s part of what makes “The Sixth Gun” #24 (and the series in general) worth reading issue-by-issue. Each issue has a careful growth of tension and excitement for the reader; it may start off quiet but from there you can just see things rising to a peak. Even as characters make logical decisions (Becky’s and Drake’s reactions are perfect), things careen into dangerous territory and you know that things are just going to get worse from here. That’s how a serial story should work; not just strong when in collected form, but also on a piece by piece basis.
“The Sixth Gun” #24 is just another great example of how a comic series should be. Bunn and Hurtt do another great job with “The Sixth Gun” #24, and I’m somehow even more excited about the series than ever. I don’t know where it’s heading, but I’m eager to stay on the ride. Once again, if you aren’t reading, “The Sixth Gun,” you need to fix that right away. Great, great stuff.