Image Comics 2015
Created by Brian Schirmer, Claudia Balboni & Jeremy Saliba
Written by Brian Schirmer
Illustrated by Claudia Balboni
Lettered by Rob Bowman
Edited & Cover by Jeremy Saliba
Alright this is just another prime example of two things, the sheer awesomeness of creator owned projects and Image is home to some of the most unique and exciting books on stands today! I’m sorry but good westerns are so few and far between and then add into it a supernatural element and suddenly things become not only much more interesting but infinitely fascinating.
Well I have to say that there is something exciting, fresh and different about this and the introduction we’ve been given. I mean right off the bat things are kind of weird as a man riding a horse has his gun talking to him. Immediately we know that this isn’t going to be something to be expected. As if this weren’t enough he’s being chased by someone or something and how he gets away kind of defies explanation.
So let’s go back a little ways shall we and see and learn a little bit of what’s going on. There’s a whole thing happening here that kind of has some elements of this whole larger scale conspiracy agency with ulterior motives keep things in check. I’m not sure check is the right word but they are definitely looking out for some interests i’m just not quite sure whose. Still these shadowy figures who like to think they are in control well they are the subject of much joy for readers like myself.
So as we see the man who is named Tom Ketchum is mistaken for Black Jack Ketchum, as they bear a very startling resemblance. Black Jack has a bounty on his head and is being chased by a myriad of people who want his head. Why though what’s this Black Jack done that’s so heinous well we don’t really know and it’s Thomas who bears the responsibility to figure out who this man is and how he’s sullied his own reputation.
The way this entire issue was orchestrated was incredible to see. Not only are we treated to this exceptional introduction to a delightful character who’s a bit of a ne’erdowell and can use Saloon doorways to travel to different places who has the help of a young girl, an exceptional marksman and mute, and the man who sent her to him but to a plot and story that is full of what is going on here moments. From the way Thomas has been led through this story to the ending of the issue there are plenty of times you wonder what’s happening till of course things are revealed in a way that makes you question it further.
Claudia’s vision and talent in bringing this to life is a major part of its charm. The old west imagery along with the fantastic stuff, see the train that chases him, the scenery of the time and locations it’s all just superbly done. There’s this whole spaghetti western feel to this that is almost irresistible.
Fans of westerns, the weird and unexplained and plain old fashioned good storytelling will be fans of this!