Heart of Stone is a balls to the wall, over the top Western filled with magic and gunplay. If that hasn’t convinced you to buy this issue then I’ll continue, but trust me… you should just buy this issue now. Everyone loves a good Western and the reason is because there are so many bad Westerns. This story is set in the west, but it is anything but the traditional tale that you’re used to and there is a splash of modernism to it. Also in case you were confused, this is classified under the “Good Western” category. Travis has been hanging dead for two weeks. He was once a fierce gunslinger and poker player, but now he’s just a dead man hanging from a tree. Our narrator speculates as she talks about him, why he was killed, we may never know. The woman appears before Travis’ dead body and warns him that the men that killed him are coming for him, not that he can do anything about it. The lady is death and she is crying for him, but soon vanishes as Travis’ murderers appear. The mayor and sheriff arrive with another man who professes that he can perform “the ritual.” The mayor tells him to hurry since another woman named Kat “2 Guns” McSea is coming with her group of assassins to also get revenge on the two men and the town they run.
The third man cuts out Travis’ heart and says that he’s also removing his soul. In its place he installs a stone heart that will make Travis soulless and under the Mayor’s control. The sheriff is weary of bringing Travis back to life, but the mayor is convinced that it’s the only way they’ll survive the coming onslaught. As the operation finishes, back in town Kat and her crew arrive. Kat is wearing a corset, a torn dress and has “Love” and “Hate” tattooed on her boobies. She’s also carrying two large pistols and has the support of a ton of dangerous looking men. Things get violent.
The story is fast and dirty. It gets to the point and then gets to the killing and I appreciated that. It didn’t need an entire issue to explain the heart thing and it didn’t matter why Travis was killed or why Kat was back for revenge. All that matter was that they two parties needed to butt heads. The pacing was perfect for the story, but the art as well.
I loved the art style. It had a Ben Templesmith flair, but with a lot more exaggerations. Kat is just as gorgeous as she is deadly. Also there were a lot of half nips shown which added a strange mixture of sexiness to the graphically violent story. With that said there was a ton of action and violence. The action was easy to follow and again was over-the-top. While this is set in the west there was a degree of modern elements to the story. Kat’s tattoos, some of the guns used and quite a bit of the dialog as well. Regardless, it worked with the art style just fine.
This was a highly entertaining issue and it’s kind of a shame that it’s only a one-shot. I would definitely check out the adventures of Travis and Death again and hope that there will be more stories to follow. This issue may not have the deep thinking of other comic books, but it has an entertaining and fun story along with an amazing art style that when combined produces a fun comic.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Stefano Cardoselli Colorist: Craig Gilliland Publisher: NAS Studios Price: $5.00 Release Date: 5/15/13