‘Shadow Roads #2:’ Comic Book Review

Shadow Roads, the extension of Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt’s The Sixth Gun world, is a mixture of old Western tropes mixed with ghosts, demons, and other supernatural elements. It began with a rip-roaring time and some mystery built into its first issue, as one group of people - consisting of a Native American raised in England, his somewhat buffoonish friend, and ex-singer Miss Abigail Redmayne - fought off hell hounds on a train. Meanwhile, a gunslinger who sees ghosts was seeking out a well-known gunslinger to go after someone called the Hunter. A lot of questions arose: Why were these collections of characters brought together? Why are some looking for each other? Why are the evil hell hounds coming after them? We were left with the promise of the impending destruction of the universe as we know it, if it something wasn’t done.

Issue number two is mostly exposition, and it answers most of these questions while bringing the forward motion of the story to a near crawl. This isn’t to say that the information being given isn’t interesting, and that the villain (the Hunter) - who is introduced through flashbacks - isn’t terrifying, because he is, but it never hurts to save some exposition for when it’s dramatically necessary to give. This way, the surprises simply seem like more information.

What we do find out is that there is a portal between two worlds and the Hunter will be using that portal for some very bad things, if our collection of heroes doesn’t do anything about it. The characters are a lot of fun, and A.C. Zamudio does a good job of bringing them to life. I’m a fan of Cullen Bunn. This may not be the most interesting issue he’s ever written, but I like the world and the potential dilemma. If it ends up being anything like the first The Sixth Gun story, it’ll be well worth the read.

Creative Team: Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt (writer), A.C. Zamudio (illustrations), Carlos N. Zamudio (colors), Desiree Wilson (editor), Keith Wood (designer),
Publisher: Oni Press
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