|Written by Lily Fierro|
I really love westerns.
They seem to always have a paradoxical moral simplicity and complexity. They almost always have a protagonist with questionable motivations. And yet, the good almost always triumphs the evil, leading to an overwhelming catharsis for the reader or watcher (depending on the medium). Consequently, the simplicity of the fundamental structure of the basic western lends itself to transformation and evolution without losing its core.
After spending some time looking around for the next series to read, I found this list from IGN. Yes, I was a little weary of the source, but I figured I’d at least try to read something that other people are talking about.
After scrolling through, I settled on The Sixth Gun, a western set in Reconstruction era America.
The Sixth Gun is an excellent example of a successful transformation of a western. It has the archetypal characters and themes of a western with new layers of horror and the supernatural that could only occur in the comic book, rather than film, form. Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt, the creators of the series, realized that despite their inability to mimic the epic film landscapes and the tense duels in the comic book form, they had the ability to add fantasy elements that could not be captured in any old western films.
While The Sixth Gun adds innovative ideas and characters to the basic structure of the western, it also pays homage and reverence to a genre that the creators clearly love.