I am a reluctant cowboy fan.
Not the sports team, they can go to hell. I mean the actual cowboy. Riding the range, shooting rustlers, keeping John Wayne relevant.
Growing up, my love was mostly for the pop culture of the ’80s. Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Transformers, etc, and the cowboy was less a culture icon of cool, but then, movies happened. Tombstone, Unforgiven, and I’ll even give Young Guns a shot here, all brought me into the ‘holy hell cowboys are awesome’ camp!
None of that was as good as DeadEye: Begun in Blood. This makes cowboy life look badass and tragic and amazing.
DeadEye: Begun in Blood
*Ominous music swells*
Now, this is not a spoiler – as the writer reveals it on the opening page – but this is not a normal cowboy tale. Yes, it’s got revenge and a kid who’s idolizing the hero, and bad rapey shit-head cowboys, but it’s also got some god-damn aliens, and not like that terrible flick with James Bond.
We’ve got an antagonist and protagonist, cut from very similar cloth – expert marksmen, seemingly ready to kill at the drop of a hat, but their motivations are not as clear cut. The backstory for DeadEye – our hero – is one of loss, and revenge. The backstory of 4-Pistol Pete – our potential big bad?
I think hunger.
Nathan’s artwork – a muted desert color palette – is perfect for this medium. You can feel the grit in your teeth, the sun beating on your neck, and the washed out color of the low scrublands. The painting style used is fantastic for the action sequences, with gun battles taking on a snapshot of violence and explosion in direct contrast to that bland and stark background:
“Ya’ll feel lucky pardner? Well? Do ya?”
*Spits* *spittoon sound*
I’m cautiously optimistic as hell about this series/collection. Cautious because I’ve been burned before on an alien-cowboy mashup (Looking at you again Daniel Craig), but optimistic because this blends the best of the tired bounty hunter trope with an almost Predator-like vibe for an alien.
Is It Good?
You’re god-damn right it is. Artwork + tight plot + compelling story + aliens – old tired bounty hunter thing + horses = Yes.
I’m giving this an 8.5 – I liked it quite a bit, and the artwork alone is worth a 10, but I’m not going to go full 10 out of 10 until I see where this is going. I’ve been hurt before, and I’m scared.
Look for this on shelves Feb/March 2016!