The Sixth Gun Book 6: Ghost Dance (Oni Press)

The Sixth Gun vol 6 Cover

Rating: 4/5 – Where we learn Ghost Dances are as scary as they sound.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Jeff Bouchard.

When we last saw our group in issue 29 of The Sixth Gun (Book 5: Winter Wolves) they had reunited after being on separate journeys and Drake and Becky had survived a magical attack.  They were finally together again and on their way when a band of Indians, who seemed familiar with Drake, stopped them.

The Sixth Gun Book 6: Ghost Dance, which collects issues 30-35 of the series, picks up from there with the health of both Drake and Becky fading and this group of Indians who have been called together by The Voice of Thunder to offer assistance to the protectors of the Sixth Gun.  We learn early that the battle from previous issues has left Becky’s spirit fractured between worlds and she must go on a Ghost Dance to be whole again.  It is this spiritual journey that tells the story from Becky’s perspective but readers learn as much about the all-powerful Sixth Gun as Becky and her compatriots do battle in the real world against General Hume’s wife and her hired gang of Skinwalkers.

The normal creative team contributes to this story arc, including Cullen Bunn writing, Brian Hurtt illustrating, Bill Crabtree coloring and the lettering split between Douglas E. Sherwood (issues 30 and 31) and Ed Brisson (issues 32 to 35). Bunn’s razor sharp writing continues as the story dives deeper into the Sixth Gun mythos and Becky’s Ghost Dance reveals more of the true power of the weapon as she fights to regain control of it and herself.  Hurtt’s illustrations are their typical high quality as well and the magical land of the Ghost Dance allows him to flex his creative muscles and pencil all manner of beast from dragon to giants spirits not to mention the Wolf Raptors in the real world that are awakened to battle Drake and company.  Hurtt’s illustrations matched with Crabtree’s colors have been one of the main strengths of the book to me as I find their combination visually stunning. They continued their success in particular with the scenes in the rain in issue 34, which were some of the best of the trade.

Thirty-five  issues into the run and I struggle to think of many books that have been of as consistently high quality as The Sixth Gun through that many issues.  Book 6 continues the trend as the creative team explores more of the characters we have grown attached to and the powerful weapons they wield that we have grown to fear.  With a somewhat shocking turn of events at the end of the trade, it is anyone’s guess where the creative team will take readers next but with the Sixth Gun’s power attracting all types of individuals, it plants Drake and Becky firmly in the middle of whatever evil comes their way.  It’s going to be bloody, it’s going to be hell and it’s going to be a lot of fun to read.

Reviewed by: Jeff Bouchard
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