Oni Press 2018
Written by Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt
Illustrated by A.C. Zamudio
Coloured by Carlos N. Zamudio
The world is thinnest at The Crossroads, the mythical plane that serves as a doorway throughout the universe. It is here, with the help of Kalfu, the mysterious Gatekeeper of the Crossroads, that Abigail Redmane begins gather a band of adventurers from across the rugged, Western frontier for a singular purpose: to fight back against the otherworldly creatures whose presence threatens to endanger the sanctity of all creation.
First of all anytime these two men get together and do a story it’s time to sit up, pay attention and make sure it’s on your reading list. That is just a guaranteed good book in my humble opinion and so far I have yet to have that thought proven wrong. I also like that this is the same universe at a different era of Sixth Gun so while you don’t have to read that to understand what’s going on it’s still a nice segue between the series. If you haven’t checked out that you need to get the first trade.
I am enamoured with how this flows through the pages. I love the two pronged approach as we open in London, England where Mr. James, call me Chief, is opening a new exhibit about the American Indian and their culture. Henry’s response to it is something that is both simple and complex and the way that we see it unfold in these pages is pretty damn glorious. There is so much here with him and Barry the aptly demonstrates the lack of knowledge and respect people have for other cultures and how it could considered offensive to put this exhibit together.
The idea behind Henry who has come to Cambridge to study and having a harder time than that of a black man. Barry as his best friend is slightly unaware of the world around him and takes things at face value and I have to admit the characterisation is simply flawless. When hit the New Mexico Territory and meet up with Chesapeake “Chester” Smith and again I am talking about characterisation which absolutely took me there and threw me off the butte. So in the description it says that one character will gather a group of special forces if you will so while I wish I hadn’t read that it’s okay I will live but it will be interesting to see how that is done and how Henry and the young woman meet up with the rest and how that will continue to change the dynamic of the characters and how they act.
I like the interior artwork here a lot too. The way they’ve managed to really capture the style of dress in different regions is extremely impressive to me. The utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in them shows off a strong eye for storytelling. That backgrounds are utilised is especially nice to see as it helps to expand the story in ways that words cannot do. The colouring here is marvellous as we colour gradation and light sources so well conceived. Then the attention to detail that we see and the varying weights of the linework that create the subtle moments to the bold ones. Overall I am so liking what I am seeing and I cannot wait to see what they bring to life next.
The things that occur here that seem to really integrate the supernatural into the story in ways that are surprising, kind of known and totally unexpected. There is a wonderful sense of awe and wonder alongside feeling that we’ve seen it before, historically set television programs, to make this as fresh and new as possible. With a solid premise along with this great pacing, plot and character development wrapped up in this wonderful interior artwork make this a must have series.