The Comic Queen

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Friday, December 03, 2004

Pick a Comic Any Comic: Demon Gun #1

Written by Gary Cohn; Penciled by Barry Orkin; Inked by Peter Palmiotti; Lettered by Kurt Hathaway

At the Vancouver Comicon, Erin challenged me to reach into a long box, pull out a comic, buy it, and review it no matter what it might be. Of course, I reached in and grabbed a $16 book and decided then that our new game needed rules. The price had to be reasonable and I could put back any book that was, for example, part three of a four-part run. My second draw, Demon Gun #1 fit our guidelines perfectly.

Demon Gun is a three-part story that was published by Crusade Comics in 1996. It tells the story of Preacher Howe, a man set on getting revenge on a gang of bad guys, the Comancheros, who ransacked, pillaged, raped, and murdered in his town Temperance, New Mexico. The good reverend was shot and left to die. He prayed to God to let him live and get vengeance on those who had hurt him. God listened and Howe transformed into a strong, hard religious Punisher of sorts. He spent the first issue of the arc catching up with some member of the Comancheros gang.

The cover of Demon Gun is very cool. Howe is portrayed as a sort of typical western Clint Eastwood, only living dead style. He has a snarl and his gun is cocked and ready. From the cool cover, I thought this book was going to be a good pick and a fun story.

It’s not that the writing was bad, and the plot was interesting enough. What I couldn’t stand, though, was Howe’s dialogue. He recites Bible passages nearly every time he speaks. I know Howe is a religious man well learned in the bible. He is an expert on any passages relating to vengeance and getting your due. This is rightfully so, as he has, in essence, sold his soul to get out this revenge. This reciting gets very tedious about half way through the book. I was hoping for some regular dialogue, but it just isn’t there. By the end I was tired of Howe’s endless quotes. This was very forced at times.

I googled Demon Gun today and found that the three issues were collected into a trade paperback. The trade was released in both English and French language editions. Also, back in 2003 the movie rights were sold. We could see a Demon Gun movie sometime in the future.

Demon Gun is a typical revenge western with a biblical bend. The art is good and the story fine. It is only the dialogue that drags it down. It’s a decent little niche title, but I won’t be rushing out to find issues two and three.

Bottom Line: C+

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