“The Sixth Gun” is one of the most inventive and attention-grabbing series out there, with each issue eagerly awaited by its fans. While no series is perfect all the time, it’s almost a relief that when an issue of “The Sixth Gun” isn’t quite up to its normal great heights, Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt still deliver an above-average comic.
“The Sixth Gun” #33 continues the “Ghost Dance” storyline, as Becky Montcrief journeys through the spirit world, dipping into different worlds and possible outcomes of the Six Guns remaking the universe. Strictly from a plotting sense, Bunn’s in good form; having plunged Becky in the previous issue into a possibility where General Hume and his Horsemen succeeded in rewriting the world, he runs with all the nastiness and evil that such a situation promises us. The original villains of “The Sixth Gun” are hard to equal, and while it’s General and Missy Hume who get most of the attention, the two of them are more than enough to carry the book forward. They’re wonderfully vile, taking something as simple as brushing one’s hair or pre-dinner prayers and having them full of menace and evil.
What I wasn’t as crazy about was the narration boxes that presented slightly too much exposition. I understand that every issue of a comic is someone’s first exposure, and I appreciate that Bunn doesn’t abandon new readers this far into the series. “The Sixth Gun” #33 feels a little clumsy in that regard, though; it’s so overly full of “here’s what happened and who these characters are” that it actually became a little distracting by the end. Bunn’s normally got a much lighter and defter touch; this slight stumble is a bit out of character for him.
Much more in character is Hurtt’s art, which is excellent as always. I love how he’s able to take something that seems very simple — a different hairstyle for Becky — and use it as a transformative moment. What Missy Hume does to Becky to make her “presentable” makes her outwardly seem much more innocent and trapped by the Humes, someone no longer in control of the situation. As a result, it’s that gentle look that gives Becky’s eventual actions that much stronger of a punch; Hurtt has lulled us (and the Humes) into a false sense of security. The fantastical elements are still strong, too; the, “She knows you, and she loathes you” moment is doubly creepy because of the character design of the unearthly creature who’s saying it.
“The Sixth Gun” is always a fun comic, and #33 is no exception. And while long-time readers might rankle a bit at the exposition, there’s no denying that it’ll help new readers. If you’re one of those new readers, now’s your chance to see what you’ve been missing out on.