My Week in Comics: November 19, 2010

Artifacts, blades, cowboys, demons and more pervade this week's comics! What have I gotten myself into? Read on to find out!

Marjorie Liu wraps up X-23's Wolverine Goes to Hell tie-in arc in X-23 #3. Laura continues to fight the demon currently possessing Wolverine, and she's going to lose that battle unless she summons the one thing inside her he can't beat!

I love Liu's scripting here. It's very introspective, which I think is a match for X-23. As a former assassin forced to kill, she's trying to find her way to becoming 'human' again, and Liu illustrated it beautifully here. It gets a bit melodramatic at times, but given the context of the story, I think it works. Props to Will Conrad for the killer art, but I especially liked Sana Takeda's work in the flashbacks. I'm a sucker for manga art, and I don't think I've ever seen a prettier X-23 than Takeda's. A good ending to a great starting story arc for X-23. This is a 4 out of 5.

In The Flash #6, Geoff Johns ends his The Dastardly Death of the Rogues story arc with a flourish, as The Flash is finally brought before a futuristic judge for the murder of the future Mirror Monarch, while the dastardly future Top is making sure his future is clean by cleansing the past the hard way!

It's a pretty convoluted set up, what with the Top trying to undo the wrongs of the future by changing the past which is scientifically proven to mess things up (or didn't Back to the Future teach him anything?), but Johns does his best to make it work.That, or he just thought to dazzle us enough with Flash's high-speed antics, which you'll get an eyeful here. All that fast and furious action was handled by Francis Manapul's pencils really well, and the literally sketchy nature of his art is absolutely growing on me. This a great book, and as a whole the arc was more than I could ever hope for in mainstream comic books. This one is an easy 4 out of 5.

Paul Dini hands over the reins to Zatanna to writer Adam Beechen in Zatanna #7, where Zee visits Hollywood to oversee the opening of a museum dedicated to magical paraphernalia from wizards and magicians long gone. Unfortunately for our Princess of Prestidigitation, the magical items gain a mind of its own, and it's dead set on ridding the world of force!

It's a satisfying done-in-one to say the least. Beechen's got Zatanna down pat, though the issue is a bit too wordy for my taste. Zatanna explains almost anything relevant to the plot in liberal detail, something a good flashback panel or two would have done better. But that's just me. There's action aplenty enough to get you interested, with Chad Hardin's art looking as good as ever. I still love all these little adventures, something most comics forget to do. So this one's an easy 3 out of 5.

Top Cow's Artifacts event chugs along with Artifacts #3, as The Darkness, The Witchblade, The Angelus and the Rapture come together to plan their next move. Unfortunately for them, the Big Bad is already amassing his own Artifact-wielders for a final showdown of ultimate destiny!

Again, another easily digested issue from writer Ron Marz. Three issues in and I don't think any newbie should be afraid of picking this up. Readers unfamiliar with the story and its players will find plenty of new information as well as a few exciting possiblities waiting for them on the horizon, while guys like me familiar with Top Cow are treated to an exciting build up to what promises to be an epic showdown. Alliances are formed, there are backstabbings (literally!) aplenty, and you really feel like you gotta find out what's next.

Michael Broussard's art continues to kick ass, although he really needs to work on his sequential storytelling. Panels that need drama, that need pop, simply don't. It kills the illusion and it's a shame, since this is a great book otherwise. While the $3.99 pricepoint for only 20 pages of story still sting, I think it's still worth a shot. I give this a 4 out of 5.

And so we come to The Sixth Gun #6. It's Sinclair, Becky, Billjohn and the residents of the Maw against General Hume's henchmen and the army of the undead! Last man standing wins!

Writer Cullen Bunn and artist Brian Hurtt have really outdone themselves with this issue. It's the ultimate wild west showdown with zombies, animated souls and the full powers of the six magical guns at work. Every twist is satisfying, every scene just builds up the tension until you come to the final face off between Hume and Sinclair, and where it goes from there has got to be read to be enjoyed. The art brings its own share of the weight, if not more. The rain-soaked zombies, the chilling atmosphere, the guns blazing lends the issue an epic feel to it, like you're watching the climax to the greatest western film of all time.

I don't think I've ever read a more satisfying and beautiful ending, or a more satisfying and beautiful storyarc in modern comics than this. I'm seriously geeking out at this stuff. It's that good. And there are more adventures to come? Bring it on! This one's a solid 6 out of 5. Don't waste your time on other comics. Pick this up now. Pick up the first five issues while you're at it. Do it!

Wow! Now that's how you give people a great week in comics, guys! Heck, that's an understatement if I ever wrote one. This is an awesome week in comics! Agree? Disagree? Why aren't you reading The Sixth Gun yet? Drop me a comment below and let's talk about it! That has to be rectified! Thanks for reading.

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