Overview

The Cisco Kid: Gunfire and Brimstone #2

Review

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The Cisco Kid: Gunfire and Brimstone #2

Credits

  • Words: Len Kody
  • Art: Dennis Calero
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: N/A
  • Story Title: One Kid in Town
  • Price: $2.95
  • Release Date: Oct 12, 2005

The Cisco Kid escapes Texas and runs into all sorts of trouble including Apache warriors, masked rangers, card sharps and someone else who wants the name "Kid."

This comic has the look and feel of a serious Western-genre adventure but has more than a few touches of the surreal and the supernatural. This issue begins with a gun to the head of the eponymous anti-hero. It isn’t long before we realise that the gun is in his own hand and he has to decide whether to live or die. If he is live, what life shall he lead? If he is to die, what is he leaving behind and what will be waiting for him on the other side?

I love a good western, which is surprising because I don’t admire the concept of the ‘rugged individual’ with his ‘own brand’ of ‘right and wrong’ which is the centrepiece of the genre. What I love is the atmosphere, the landscape, the tension and the action. This comic revels in what I love about the Western and doesn’t seem too concerned with the sacred ‘outlaw hero’ as played be Eastwood, Costner and others.

Events are spurred on by an unpredictable randomness and chaos. The Kid is on an internal quest, not a worldly one, and so the places he goes are not dictated by the traditional requirements of a ‘journey’ narrative. This unpredictable narrative structure is at times a little annoying but it certainly keeps one interested. Writer Len Kody presents the Kid with an interesting spiritual challenge at the beginning of the comic but does not dwell on it. Rather, he allows the Kid’s overconfident and cruel character to come out in his spare moments of dialogue. His encounters with the other ‘Kid’, Billy the Kid, are an amusing clash of skill against ambition; killer versus filler.

The artwork both affected and disappointed me. Calero really brings out the right atmosphere for the setting of the book and the tone of many of the scenes. He has a dark, inky style which emphasises the starkness of both the landscape and the characters. Some of his scenes are quite haunting in their arid mystery. However, I found it hard to keep track of his characters as some panels were so dark, I simply couldn’t discern who was speaking which line.

The Cisco Kid, as with a lot of Moonstone books, has a confident hold on the tone and atmosphere of the story it wants to tell. This comic is holding its cards close to its chest and I can’t wait to get another peek!

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