Writer: Brian Hurtt
Illustrator: A.C. Zamudio
Colorist: Ryan Hill
Oni Press delivers the latest in The Sixth Gun Saga-Valley of Death. The new tale is a prequel set many years before the adventures of Drake Sinclair. Before he was the leader of the Four Tribes, White Wolf was a great warrior whose might was only matched by his ego. When we first see him, he has come across a terrible scene of his fellow tribesmen that were mutilated by what appears to be the white man. Hearing a voice call out to him, White Wolf lets his arrow fly and hits his target true. But the voice belongs to no man. He is confronted by Kalfu, an ancient spirit who is the Keeper of the Crossroads. The dead here were actually sacrificed in order to lure a god that can shut an open door between realms. A secret organization called the Sword of Abraham was responsible for the carnage against the Native Americans but Kalfu calls attention to the fact that most of the white men are dead along with the tribesmen.
In a flashback we meet the Buzzard Wife, a mystic that can see between realms. She has spoken with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and she knows that death itself is pouring through a broken door and the tribes must do whatever they can to close the evil stream into our world. Through much discussion amongst the tribes it is decided that three warriors from each of the Four Tribes will be assigned to follow the Buzzard Wife into the wilderness to attempt to close the rift between the spirit world and ours. The action moves back and forth through the past and present as White Wolf comes to a shaky agreement with the Keeper of the Crossroads in the present and the warriors are confronted with a deadly enemy but find assistance from a surprising source in the past.
The Sixth Gun series has always been a fascinating contrast of historical settings coupled with the supernatural. Brian Hurtt’s story in this first issue starts off perfectly, building a gripping drama and leaving us with a breathtaking cliffhanger. The one only critique I would garner is that I was confused at first with the flashbacks but everything clicked on my second viewing. A.C. Zamudio’s art is top notch as usual and the muted style of color used by Ryan Hill invokes the feeling of what a prequel should be. The Sixth Gun: Valley of Death will take you on a wild ride of ghosts, gods and the world of Native Americans and Oni Press has another hit on their hands.
4 of 5 Totems
Reviewer: Paul A DiNello