BOOM_SIXGUNGORILLA_002v1Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely are at it again in the latest installment of Six-Gun Gorilla. What is “it” you ask? I don’t know exactly. I can’t define it, but I know I like it. Lots. Following up what I touted as “the best first issue I’ve read in a while,” the second builds on the pulpy goodness of its predecessor and adds banana-loads more simian shenanigans to the mix, a combination guaranteed to delight.

Spurrier delves a little more deeply into the art of war on The Blister. Previously I thought the war zone was just another planet in a galaxy far far away, but it turns out that it’s in another dimension, one with messed up physics: no combustion and no electricity. Does that make any sense? Absolutely not, but let’s try not think too hard about it. Just enjoy the ride and bask in the cool weapons Stokely gets to draw up in this steampunk old West. If you’re looking for scientific accuracy in a book called Six-Gun Gorilla, well you’re gonna have a bad time.

When we left Blue, the series’ protagonist, he had just met the gun-wielding gorilla, who will now be referred to as “Gorilla.” The primate’s the result of a washed up rebel genetic experimentation program aimed at creating the roughest toughest soldiers around. He’s the only one that survived the program’s liquidation and he’s a little ticked off.

And he’s just plain fun to look at; no if ands or buts about it. Stokely captures Gorilla in such a wide range of movements and from so many different angles, long gangly arms ripping off heads, flipping and gunning through the air, that I wish every page featured a genetically modified monkey. He’s stolid but coiled tight, a boulder perpetually poised over a precipice, ready to careen into whatever’s dumb enough to stand in his way. And stand in his way some unfortunate souls do. Awesomeness ensues. He’s not big on talking, and we’re not quite sure what his motivations are, but he’s adopted Blue as his partner for the foreseeable future, most likely for that camera in his eye. Seems like he wants his story told.

We’re also introduced to a couple new characters and while the plot doesn’t exactly thicken, we’re teased with the idea that something BIG is going on behind the scenes. We get a little more info on why Blue’s out there doing what he’s doing, we meet his ex who’s manning the cameras over at Bluetech and never knew he decided to join up and die, and we get a taste of life on The Blister. Not just from gun-toting grunts, but from the common folk just trying to make it out of this crazy war alive. It’s specifically in these moments when Six-Gun Gorilla feels like more than just a fun pulp. Spurrier and Stokely show us the sobering circumstances of life on the front lines. There’s more to this story than just the hero’s quest. That sounds depressing, but luckily it’s not thanks to Dora, the town’s plucky prostitute.

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The only quibble I have with the story is that I don’t particularly care about Blue. Gorilla is interesting, Dora is great, but it’s hard to connect with a guy looking to commit suicide. He’s not quite the protagonist we need just yet; he’s more like a vessel that moves the story forward, not doing anything of his own accord, just being pushed in whatever direction he needs to go. I have a feeling that’s going to change in the very near future, if the stampeding oxen and the giant mobile wooden mansion are any indicator of the trials and tribulations to come, Blue’s going to need to man up fast if he decides to survive.

Six-Gun Gorilla #2 is a sensational second issue and the series doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. As long as Spurrier and Stokely keep doing what they’re doing I’ll be picking this book up!

About The Author

Ben graduated with a degree in Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media from Michigan State University, finally figured out that he loved comics more than anything in the world, and moved to New York City to intern for Marvel. He lived in NYC for a while, freelance writing his own column for Marvel.com, “Unlimited Highlights” and waiting tables, but missed the Michigan greenery and moved back to attend grad school at MSU and study comics.

He was accepted into the school’s Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing program and worked for the Writing Center as a Graduate Coordinator, helping people of all writing levels improve their work. Flash forward two years and he’s a Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing master, the Scholarly Panel Coordinator for the MSU Comics Forum, and an Editorial Fellow at Symbolia Magazine, while still keeping up with his Marvel freelance gig, writing reviews for DestroyTheCyborg, and writing at his own blog, I Speak Comics. Comics have consumed his life and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

When he’s not reading, thinking, or writing about funny books he plays fighting games. He loves them ALMOST as much as he loves comics, which is scary. Currently he’s bringing the lightning as Shazam in Injustice: Gods Among Us, but he plays a bit of Guy in Street Fighter 4, Ezio in Soul Calibur 5, and Thor/Hulk/She-Hulk in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. If you’re on Xbox and have a hankering for a beat down, hit him up, he’s iFIGHT4food.

Is that it? He'll get back to you when something new and cool goes down.

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