The Sixth Gun #21


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The Sixth Gun #21


  • Words: Cullen Bunn
  • Art: Brian Hurtt
  • Colors: Bill Crabtree
  • Publisher: Oni Press
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Apr 18, 2012

Stripping away all sound, Bunn and Hurtt leave us with a western as harrowing as it is action-paneled.

Part four of The Sixth Gun’s story arc “A Town Called Penance” is a silent swashbuckling masterpiece that never stops or comes up for a air from the action that keeps its paging turning. The issue’s opening lights on Becky Montcrief, deafened as a result of an explosion but still on the hunt for Drake Sinclair. She ultimately rescues him from the menacing Doc Fingerbones, and after a narrow escape from a posse of pistol-toting brutes, the two are swimming for their lives trying to clear out of a quietly collapsing mine before it’s too late.

Silence is the theme of The Sixth Gun #21 –– the entire tale is told solely through pictures. But the extended hush that is created by writer Cullen Bunn and artist Brian Hurtt maintains the excitement of an action-oriented comic book while at the same time sustains an unnerving sense of surprise, as we are just as deaf as our heroine and know not what dangers lurk around the bend. One such moment is when Becky and Drake leap down from one landing to another; in this small panel, we get a greater sense of its danger in a brief, almost vertigo-like picture. Add speech bubbles or sound effects and it would’ve been just like any ordinary panel. Without them, sheer genius. And this issue is filled with little moments like this keeping us rapidly turning pages until the end.

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