Finally, after over a year of waiting, the final arc of Cullen Bunn’s supernatural western has begun. For those who need a refresher, The Sixth Gun is a supernatural western about good versus evil that centers around six pistols that can be used to bring about the end of the world.
Despite the fact that this is almost the end, the issue is surprisingly accessible if new readers want to jump on now. Brian Hurtt’s line work remains clear and distinct, with a slightly cartoon-y edge that plays up the world’s fantasy rather than its grit in a way that feels refreshing compared to so many other comics. Bill Crabtree’s colors remains bright and beautiful even when they’re bringing life to post-apocalyptic wastelands. Most importantly, Bunn’s writing sets the mystical mood, effortlessly reminding us of the rules of his world while also pushing the story forward. It’s instantly engaging even for newcomers, but it’s inevitably even more so for longtime readers.
Bunn is a master of slow-build mysteries. For 47 issues, he has–to both brilliant and frustrating degrees–given us just enough answers to distract us from the central question of heroes’ relationship. From the beginning, Jake Sinclair and Becky Montcrief seemed to be thrown together by circumstance—a bad guy and an innocent innocent girl pulled unwillingly into a battle with supernatural evil over the end of the world. But what’s revealed in this issue forces us to ask if their connection might be more profound than even the vague suggestions of romance or sexual tension that have appeared throughout.
Despite any digressions (and there were almost too many), Becky and Jake have always driven this narrative. Bunn has occasionally separated them in the past and while that stretched the central narrative and allowed for more exploration of the book’s world, the story was always a little less interesting. Now, with only 3 issues left, Bunn has no choice to keep them together until the very end. It really is the perfect time to jump in, all the good stuff, no waiting around for it.