The last several issues have given us wonderful one shot stories exploring and building upon the relationships between Reed, Starla, and Sterling. This has all been part of the Houghton's delightfully devious master plan to break your heart into a million pieces. They have lovingly crafted the rich world of Reed Gunther. They have made us fall in love with their characters over and over again. Now, it is time for them to tug on your heart strings.
Reed Gunther #9 may just be the best issue yet. Without giving too much away, something terrible has happened to Sterling, and it is now up to Reed and Starla to stop him, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Reed Gunther has always been a fun and heartwarming book, but now the Houghtons really prove themselves at storytelling. This issue is just as packed with action as it is packed with emotion. Chris' art is wonderful, and he really knows how to choose his panels. He picks the best moments of the action to illustrate and lets your mind build out the rest of the scene. Shane writes Reed incredibly in this story, as the cowboy is wholly concerned with what is happening to Sterling, even to the detriment of himself and those around him. Reed's disbelief at what his loyal bear and best friend Sterling is doing is heartbreaking, and leads to an incredible set up for the next issue, the final in this arc.
Reed Gunther #9 hits comic shelves today (Wednesday, March 14th). If you want to catch up on the Reed Gunther story, there is a trade paperback out that collects the first 5 stories. Issues 6 through I are available now.