Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt and Bill Crabtree’s The Sixth Gun is a brilliant comic, with excellent writing and consistently superb art throughout its run. However, there’s the sense that the fifth volume is treading water a little, in stark contrast to the propulsive and eventful four volumes that precede it.

Having escaped from the (less heroic than we thought at first) members of the Sword of Abraham, Becky has rescued Drake from the clutches of some very nasty people. Together, they’re now looking for a way to find the evil Widow Hume – and in parallel, Gord Cantrell has formed an unlikely alliance with living mummy Asher Cobb and two-faced rogue Kirby Hale. With Becky and Drake being trapped in a wintry realm and encountering a terrifying enemy and Ford (and his new companions) being pursued by the Sword of Abraham, it’s going to take some serious sacrifices to get the gang back together again.

So yes, as mentioned this volume really feels like filler, which the series had previously avoided. It really drags, going nowhere until the final issue of the book – at which point things get back on track spectacularly. It’s a shame that the pace and feel of the first four volumes couldn’t have been maintained, but it was bound to happen at some point, given how compelling the series was until this story began. It really does feel as if Winter Wolves could have been dealt with in an issue or two at most; despite the story itself being an uneventful disappointment, however, Hurtt’s art remains just as consistently strong as ever.

Let’s hope that the series can capitalise on the regained momentum and genuinely amazing developments provided by the final chapter in this particular book; it’s a real shame to discover that The Sixth Gun loses its way a bit here, but it’s definitely a relief that it picks up again prior to the end of this story.

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