Written by Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt
Illustrated by Mike Norton
Colored by Bill Crabtree
Lettered by Crank!
Published by Oni Press
Release Date: 8/6/2014
It’s Dia de los Muertos and Brother Roberto Vargas misses his daddy. Okay, so it’s a little more complicated than that, but it’s a good place to start. Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt bring you the story of what happens when dead things don’t stay dead, in “The Sixth Gun: Days of the Dead”.
Bunn opens the book with a beautiful retelling of “Moby Dick”, except Captain Ahab is being played by “Unkilled Zhang”, a local fishing legend of San Francisco. Zhang is in negotiations with a Mr. Chan who is under the consortium of a Ms. Abigail. They are on the lead of the Yum Kimil totem. This totem, and Yum Kimil, become a balancing point for the story as it shifts its attention to Brother Roberto Vargas in Mexico.
Brother Vargas is meeting with his estranged mother during Dia de los Muertos, with the intention of “uncovering” his deceased father. It is within this scene that we are informed that this is actually a prequel to the main title, as we are informed that “it would be many years yet before an innocent farmer’s daughter would first lay hands on the Sixth Gun…”. An important piece to note, considering the next shift in the story to the stronghold of the Knights of Solomon.
Enter Jesup Sutter, a former Pinkerton, now agent of the Knights of Solomon. Jesup has been called upon by the seers and is being told to stop Yum Kimil and seek out “the Rose” for death comes for her first. Jump cut back to Mexico where Brother Vargas is meeting with Eli Barlow, the necromancer, to reanimate his dead father. Once again of this earth, Senor Vargas has been tasked with explaining Yum Kimil. We come to find out that Yum Kimil is the Aztec god of death. In the haste of catching up with good ole dad, Brother Vargas does not notice that the necromancer has slipped out to the cemetery and conjured up the spirit of Yum Kimil. Oy vey!
What Bunn gives us with this mini-series is a chance to look deeper into the Sword of Abraham and the Knights of Solomon. Both organizations cloaked in mystery and death, so the title is very fitting. I for one am very excited to see this story develop and expand, perhaps even closing off with a tie-in to the origin of the main series. Either way you look at it, it is just really good to see Bunn writing what he knows best, western-zombie-masonic-thriller. A genre that stands alone.