Say what you will about Westerns — they’re always good for a bit of lawlessness and chaos. Makes one wonder why Westerns only do well in America, but maybe that’s a history thing. Either way, why go for the same old same old Zombie chaos when you can get the same flavor and fun from a science fiction Western? I adored the first issue in this series, but how about #2, is it good?
Six Gun Gorilla #2 (of 6) (Boom! Studios)
If you missed our 10 out of 10 review of Six Gun Gorilla #1 why don’t you read it here.
The first issue blew me away with its pacing, surprises and balance between character and story. It was a perfect first issue.
By utilizing the Western genre it set up expectations of the reader, but then consistently blew them away with interesting developments. We learned we weren’t in the old west but the future, where people watch programs of folks going on suicide missions to be killed. These missions are for those who are crazy or just suicidal and they take place on a barren landscape. Our hero just broke up with his girlfriend and decided to off himself in the most dramatic way possible. Once on the battlefield however, he received a watch from a dying man and agreed to deliver it, all before a gorilla saved his life. This issue opens with our protagonist as he’s being led by said gorilla.
Love the way they talk.
In a lot of ways this issue suffers from the typically exposition heavy second issue that befalls all comic book series. The protagonist has already been introduced in issue #1, and the big hook delivered too. What’s left for issue #2 is to setup the bigger story and supporting characters. This typically leads to either a laborious read or a boring one. There’s some sense of that here, but this issue still has plenty of entertainment to be had.
In light of all this the plotting is still strong enough to keep you interested even if its weighted down with exposition. Writer Simon Spurrier delivers impeccable dialogue with enough twang to kill a tumbleweed. The book delivers information with well rendered action in the opening pages to keep things moving along. Its not until our protagonist reaches a town that things slow down. But that’s still okay, because a new female character is just sassy enough to keep our interest.
Prostitute or not she’s damn fine.
To keep all these spinning plates from getting confusing Spurrier utilizes our protagonists goggles as a way to tie into the greater world. This works nicely to remind us this isn’t only a Western and its roots are far more palatable to our own.
My eyes are up here!
Tumblesquids are the worst!
Artist Jeff Stokely continues to impress through every type of moment in this issue. From action scenes to quiet sentimental moments, it’s all heartfelt and strong stuff. One thing he’s exceptionally good at is capturing the reaction shots from characters. The 180-degree rule is used nicely throughout as well particularly when our protagonist is attacked by the tumblesquids and in his scene with our new female supporting character. If this guy doesn’t at least get nominated for an Eisner somebody on that board isn’t doing their homework.
180 degrees of pretty.
- Looks amazing
- Art tells the moral side of the dilemmas
- Fascinating moral ambiguity at play
- Exposition slows things down too much
Ultimately this issue is setting up a probable 9 or 10 issue #3. There are two surprises in this issue, one of which is interesting and the twist ending is intriguing, but both don’t shock the reader into bliss like they did in the first issue. The exposition heavy middle of the issue does slog things down a bit too much, however important it is to the narrative, and this issue can’t quite hit the perfect mark the first issue reached. That said, damn fine comics if I do say so myself.
Is It Good?
Yes. Enjoyable science fiction western NOT called Cowboys and Aliens? Giddyup!
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