I’m not really sure when the “fantasy western” genre appeared on the scene, but with titles like Pretty Deadly and Sixth Gun on the comic landscape, I’m really happy it did.
Sixth Gun is one of the best comics nobody is reading. It debuted on Free Comic Book Day 2010 and it’s still ongoing, so it has some momentum behind it now. I’ll confess that I’ve only read volume 1 of this particular wonder, but I look forward to getting caught up on it soon.
The concept might seem a little “trope-y” to regular fantasy or western readers (maybe, I don’t actually read that many westerns). There are 6 cursed, magical guns, created by some sort of pact with the devil. The first gun belonged to wicked Confederate General Oleander Hume, who gave the other five to his trusted inner-circle. Each gun holds a different special power. One can summon the ghosts of those that the gun has killed, another immolates anyone hit by its bullets, another fires with the force of a cannon.
At the beginning of the story, Hume’s personal firearm is in the hands of someone else, and his inner circle is on the hunt for it. When the current owner is killed in a hail of gunfire, his daughter picks up the Sixth Gun to enact vengeance on his killers – only to find that the gun is now bound to her until her death.
Writer Cullen Bunn is now on my list of creators to look out for. He’s writing two upcoming villain books that I’m pretty excited about: Sinestro over at DC, and Magneto for Marvel. If you’re a fan of either of those characters, be sure and keep an eye out for their upcoming solo titles, written by Cullen Bunn.