Sixgun Samurai #1


Share this review

  • Button Delicious
  • Bttn Digg
  • Bttn Facebook
  • Bttn Ff
  • Bttn Myspace
  • Bttn Stumble
  • Bttn Twitter
  • Bttn Reddit

Sixgun Samurai #1


  • Words: Sean J. Jordan
  • Art: Harold Edge
  • Inks: Harold Edge
  • Colors: Harold Edge
  • Story Title: Frustration
  • Publisher: Alias Enterprises
  • Price: $0.75
  • Release Date: Aug 17, 2005

East meets West(ern) when a young boy comes to town with a revolver in one hand and a katana sword in the other. Who is the Sixgun Samurai?

St. Louis, 1896. A teenager walks into a bar and orders whiskey. The bartender refuses to serve him. Tempers flare, and it takes barely a second for the bartender to have his sawed-off whacked by the kid’s samurai sword, then shot from his hands by the kid’s revolver. Before the violence can escalate to the point of death, a priest, Father Stan, steps in and defuses the situation. He wants to know where the kid got his swords, as he’s seen them before. The boy, calling himself Sixgun Sam, refuses to tell where he got the swords, but does tell him that he’s killed thirty men. Then Sam begins his own story, one that links his mother, trick-shooting star Sharp-Eyed Sue, with the samurai from whom he got the swords.

Think of what makes a great first issue. Other than a catchy title, Sixgun Samurai #1 has none of it due to an extremely flawed script by Sean Jordan. The opening is solid enough, the reader getting an instant taste of Sixgun Sam’s sharp skills and hot temper. But it’s downhill from there—from page 4 on, it’s all backstory, every bit of it both verbose and boring. With no real conflict to propel the narrative forward, words tumble from Sam and Father Stan’s mouths, their text balloons sometimes fighting their own images for room within the panels though precious little of it holds the reader’s interest. Why the priest wants to know where Sam got the swords, how Sam came across them, how both became what they are, what either actually wants—none is interesting if the writer hasn’t grabbed our attention long enough to make us give a damn. More to the point—Jordan doesn’t show his characters in action; therefore, no amount of what he can tell us about them can engage the reader. And with no established conflict to speak of, there’s no story either, and thus no real ending. Consequently, Sixgun Samurai #1 can’t hope to end on a cliffhanger or even a discernible plot beat. Instead, Jordan closes the issue with the prospect of even more backstory—the connection between Sam’s mother and his swords. —as if there’s no easier way to ensure that readers won’t be back for issue #2.

But while one might finish Sixgun Samurai #1 (or not) suspicious of Jordan’s writing skills, Harold Edge’s artistic talent is clear. However, sometimes his execution isn’t. Several pages display an interesting mixture of realism and manga influences, but others are not as well realized. Despite solid linework, the power his images might otherwise have is lost amid too many panels for such a directionless story and too little space within panels sometimes dominated by text balloons. Also adding to the crowded feel is the dominance of browns and earth tones. In theory, producing a cowboy-era comic in which the art evokes 19th century daguerreotypes is a compelling idea. But in Sixgun Samurai the myriad shades of brown are watery and dull, and none of the vibrancy or depth of hue and tone of that photographic style comes through. The result of both these flaws in panel management and coloring scheme is that Edge’s images hardly have a chance to breath. In fact, they’re choking. For the artistic talent that’s evident in Edge’s pencils, potentially fresh and dynamic on a better comic, it’s a shame that it is so ill-served by such a poor story.

The story’s title, "Frustration," aptly describes reading Sixgun Samurai #1. Still, $0.75 isn’t so bad for even a mediocre comic, is it? In this case, yes. Anyone who wants Sixgun Samurai so badly should save the $.50 and wait until it shows up in the quarter bin.

Related content

Related Headlines

Related Lowdowns

Related Reviews

Related Columns


There are no comments yet.

In order to post a comment you have to be logged in. Don't have a profile yet? Register now!

Latest headlines


Latest comments
Comics Discussion
Broken Frontier on Facebook