Written by Guest Contributor: Jordan North Six-Gun Gorilla is more damn fun than it has any right to be; giant talking monkeys, four armed bandits and Tumble squids. All this stuff is right out of the mind of a deranged spaghetti western fan whose had a little too much Peyote. It shouldn’t work. But it does work. Not since Saga has such a downright bizarre world managed to pull me in so much.
This issue works to build the lore and flesh out exactly the roles the government and the people play in this pocket universe they all inhabit. Ultimately, it seems the name of the game is downright corruption as the organization BlueTech-PV is shown going to increasingly hainus measures to ensure our hero doesn’t raise too much hell. It’s a balancing act though because those very antics get them ratings and thus, more moolah. It’s cool to see the internal struggle with the “how much information are we willing to sacrifice for cash” issue. The company earns more money by showing the ridiculous sights and sounds that Blue is broadcasting through his twisted version of a Go-Pro attached to his head but too much and the reputation of the company itself could tank.
On top of that you have the everyday citizens themselves who, more than anything, just want to see the drama unfold, hell as this issue smartly shows people begin to riot in the street when BlueTech even takes their program off the air for a few minutes (only to drop their cause as soon as it resumes airing again.) These people are sheep through and through. It’s a bleak future this book paints, but it has so many complications and balances so many factors it manages intrigue the whole way through.
On top of the delightfully layered plotting itself are the settings and characters whose sheer strangeness and humor make them integral parts to the success of this comic. The design of the spirits. Ideas like a landscape that changes based on emotions. Jeff Stokely’s beautifully illustrated vistas and plains. All make this thing one of the most bizarre and pretty comics on the shelf.
As for characterization itself the bickering between Blue and the gorilla kind of grinded on me this issue. It was funny at first but ultimately having two similar characters arguing back and forth and similar ways gets boring and feels a bit forced.
In the end though this book is funny, vicious and creative as hell. It makes for a great Saga-esque fix between issues of Saga. Not to say this is a lesser knockoff, not at all, that statement really speaks to the quality emerging in this thing. The brilliant writing, fun characters and sublime art make this a comic book that does what very few others can. It can still be a bit rough, but I’m really getting into this thing.
Writer: Simon Spurrier Artist: Jeff Stokely Publisher: Boom Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/18/13