The Sixth Gun: Winter Wolves (#24 – 29) – Cullen Bunn

3 out of 5

Two interesting storylines butted up ‘gainst one-another to make it a six-part arc.

Adherence to arcs has been a problem with plenty of comics, and it’s something that Bunn struggled with in Sixth Gun (which is why it was nice to see him get away from it in Harrow County).  In Winter Wolves, advancing Drake’s and Becky’s emotional grappling with what was witnessed last arc has to share space with Gord, Asher, and Kirby finding their way back to the other duo, requiring Bunn to set up a completely pointless lark of an endpoint for both parties to travel toward.  Had he separated these stories, he could have done without this hand waving: Drake and Becky could’ve gotten sucked in to the endless winter cast by a Wendigo and the Gord clan could’ve had fisticuffs with the Sons of Abraham without pausing to justify their trajectory.  It also would have fixed the jarring juxtaposition of the two tales: winter and staying still for Drake; forests and on the run for Gord.

Frustratingly, removing those roadblocks, both halves of this arc are really good.  Hurtt gets opportunity to go large scale – the Wendigo sequences – and cluttered action with Gord.  Bunn’s writing is sharp, wringing some excellent tension and dialogue out of Drake’s and Becky’s interaction, and handling the sniping between the others believably, not brushing it off as just a humorous aside.  The arrangement of the tales intertwining almost redeems itself with an especially mean-spirited resolve… until Bunn sweeps it under the carpet in the last issue.  But we do get some satisfying Becky action thereafter, again firming her up as the character most coming into her own.