SIX SWORDS #1 by Chris Massari, Matthew Perez, Melchor Sapiandante, Ryan Cody, Elaina Unger and Renatio Guerra
Characterization
Art
Story
Summary
SIX SWORDS #1 digs its spurs in the ground, loads its guns, un-sheaths its swords, and demands respect from you varmints!
92 %
Happy Trails

Once Upon a Time in the West

The distant future. The United States is reeling from the effects of World War 4. She resembles something more akin to the wild west than civilization. Corruption is rampant, and death-dealing is a viable business. Bullets fly, and swords hack. Humanity has become a wretched hive of scum and villainy. It’s a grim landscape. And yet, despite this setting, SIX SWORDS #1 is anything but grim. It’s a colorful comedic spaghetti western romp, focusing on a bunch of assassins who inadvertently team up against a common enemy.

Six Swords #1
Image courtesy of Chris Massari

The Wild Bunch

Written by Melchor Sapiandante, Matthew Perez and ComicsVerse’s very own Chris Massari, SIX SWORDS #1 starts by setting the scene in the town of Nouveau, New Orleans as it celebrates Mardi Gras. Despite the upcoming festival, deadly machinations are in play. The reader’s quickly introduced to the cast of characters in a variety of action-packed and dramatic vignettes. They meet the world-weary Commandant Graves, the silent killer Apollo Adonis, the bickering team of Ma Tao Wu and Oriental Savage, the grizzled Old Bull Wilson and the poetically insane Spider Sanchez. Each of these assassins has one goal, to wipe each other out. An array of confusion and hilarity ensues as they realize they were set up. This forces them to work together.

READ: Like the sound of SIX SWORDS #1? Find out more with our interview with the writers here!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

SIX SWORDS #1 is a newly launched Kickstarter comic with a plethora of talent behind it. While the writers produce a solid script with some clever ideas and insane dialogue, what makes this issue work is the trust they have in their artist, Ryan Cody, and colorist, Elaina Unger. Both set the scene from the word go, pulling back the curtain on a world full of light and shadow. Cody’s inking is solid and cartoony, infused with energy and charm. Unger is right there with him, adding light and depth that bring this dark future to life. His panels are tight and controlled, flowing effortlessly (for most parts) from page to page.

Six Swords #1
Image courtesy of Chris Massari

I must admit there were some scene transitions early in the issue that felt forced, the angling of panels and position of characters a bit confusing. This is a minor issue and the comic more than makes up for these small quibbles. The streets are dark and full of mystery. The characters emerge fully rounded and engaging; they almost leap off the page. Personal favorites in this issue are Ma Tao Wu and Oriental Savage who read like a Western version of Rocket Raccoon and Groot, jibing and challenging each other, while Spider Sanchez gets the thumbs up for using a severed head as a weapon!

READ: We throw a spotlight on Livali Wyle and her webcomic, GOTH WESTERN!

Cody really cranks it up in the bar brawl in the later part of SIX SWORDS #1, unleashing chaos and violence. The writers really pull back on the dialogue here, letting the art speak for itself. And what of the lettering? An indie book can stand or fall on how strong this is, and Renato Guerra is no slouch. His work is solid, adding another layer to the story. The word balloons never interfere with the art, and the fonts look professional. Great care and work went into this, with a lot of nice touches, such as Savage’s dialogue been in a different language.

For a Few Dollars More

In conclusion, SIX SWORDS #1 is a really strong debut issue. It’s a futuristic western with a nice aesthetic that successfully combines the past and future, has lots of great humor and the action on show is solid. It’s a well-produced comic that would not look out of place on the bookshelf in your local comic book store.

Like what you see? You can support independent creators by funding SIX SWORDS #1 on Kickstarter.

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