Review: The Six-Gun Tarot

What can I say: I like western mashups.  I enjoyed the original Vertigo Comics Jonah Hex horror/western mashups, and I enjoyed The Six-GunTarot.  The premise is a little Buffy meets Bonanza, and as with most high-concept titles, that can go either way.  John Landis says “What’s important and essential is the execution of the idea.” Rod Belcher has executed.

In some sense this is all from the Vertigo (or Buffy) handbook.  There’s a mythical menace tied to this town in the West that draws a quirky set of powerful defenders to the area who must learn to work together to defeat the big bad.  Along the way lessons will be learned, bonds will be forged, etcetera.  In a World Where…

So, execution matters.  And Belcher delivers.  He’s thoroughly competent at the action parts. He writes a heart-pounding fight scene and the tension building damages your cuticles.  All the thrills are delivered well.

What I liked more was the low-key moseying pace of his characters.  Make no mistake – the action is moving fast, but the characters use their time more for the wry aside or the polite discussion than for the ironic one-liner.  In Six-Gun, the Hellmouth has opened below Lake Woebegon.  It’s a winning tone, and makes the all the blockbuster stuff that much more enjoyable.

There’s no literary pretension here.  This is an engaging adventure story.  And it’s very engaging and adventurous, with a side of small town charm.

Strongly Recommended.

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