Review: The Gun #1
The Gun (part one) is the story of a struggling writer, who, at the end of his rope, gets a new lease on life when he purchases a gun at a pawnshop. His life is suddenly worth living again’ until it’s not.
Today we have another review of a book from Comixology’s Submit releases. The Gun is a new series from writer and creator John Ulloa. Jose Varese provides art with Julio Alvarez handling lettering. The cover looks like it’s teasing an old school pulp noir tale. Can you judge this book by its cover or are appearances deceiving?
Mr. Davis is a writer. He’s at a publishing house awaiting a meeting to see if his newest work will get published. While waiting in the lobby, he bumps in to the lovely new secretary. He tries to think of something to say, but for once he’s short on words. The meeting with the publisher doesn’t go much better than his encounter in the lobby. The publisher passes on his book and wants Davis to write something with mutants instead. Mutants are sexy and sleek, he can sell mutants. Completely crushed by yet another setback, Davis stumbles out of the office and tosses his manuscript in the trashcan beside the new secretary. Utterly beaten down and broken, Davis decides he’s going to end it all. He tries to throw himself in the path of oncoming traffic but he can’t even succeed in killing himself. As he collects himself and tries to go home he sees a gun in a pawn shop window. When he inquires about buying the gun, the pawn shop owner tells Davis he’ll have to wait 3 days. With more money than sense, Davis gets the clerk to sell him a different gun right there and then. The pawn shop owner tells Davis that the last owner told him this was the devil’s gun. Davis isn’t buying the myth but he does buy the gun. Back at his apartment Davis decides to end it all. But when he decides he’s not going out until he has one last smoke, he finds himself on a path to a new life. An unintentional path that leads him to a short life of crime.
Ulloa writes a strong story. It lives up to the pulp/crime noir cover. There’s a lot of narration and it’s sometimes too wordy, but it fits since our main character is a writer. His internal monologue telling the story is done as if he was writing it as a book. It’s a story that feels like a mix of the Twilight Zone and a western show called The Dead Man’s Gun. We’ve seen pieces of the story before, but Ulloa throws them together in a new way. Varese’s art is fantastic. It’s very detail oriented and is one of the rare comics that is elevated by being all black and white.
Bottom Line: The Gun is a heavy and dark story in the style of an old school crime novella. It’s an intriguing story with a Twilight Zone-like ending. If you’re a fan of the genre, this is one you’ll like. 4/5