Despite the title, this collection of a recent comic book mini-series isn't a Western. Instead it's a clever little action movie in comic book form that utilizes some names from Marvel's past and puts them on contemporary characters.
Texas Ranger Tex Dawson is transporting a prisoner, a beautiful female mercenary known as Tarantula, when he's attacked by a gang of bikers who free the prisoner. But then the bikers are double-crossed by the people who employed them and wiped out except for their leader, who calls himself The Black Rider. Dawson wants to recapture Tarantula, The Black Rider is out for revenge, and their paths cross again as they follow the trail to a war-torn Central American nation where they encounter a mysterious young sharpshooter who comes to be known as The Two-Gun Kid. Oh, yeah, there's a bounty hunter named Matt Slade involved in all this, too.
Yes, it's a little gimmicky. Maybe more than a little. But if you can get past that, SIX GUNS is an entertaining yarn featuring a lot of intrigue and double-crossing as well as plenty of action. Andy Diggle does a good job on the scripts, and Davide Gianfelice's art works okay most of the time, although there are a lot of places where it looks rough and unfinished, too. I realize that's his style, but I'm not real fond of it. Still, I couldn't draw a recognizable dog, so who am I to criticize art?
Another good thing about SIX GUNS is that other than the names, it has only minor connections to the Marvel Universe, so it can almost be read as a stand-alone graphic novel. I enjoyed it, and if you're a comics fan who likes hardboiled action yarns, there's a good chance you will, too.