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If You Like Deadwood, You’ll Enjoy EARP #2

Review by Ian Cullen

Much like Wayne Hall, I’m a big fan of the work that Radical Publishing have been putting out there and I was thrilled recently by a care package that Radical dropped on my doorstep. So I figured I better get reviewing. So here goes.

To start off, let me say that the sheer volume of books Radical sent me will likely keep me busy for a few weeks. So I am going to try and cover the ones that Wayne hasn’t thus far covered. At least as far as I know, anyway

To that end. The first book am going to look at is Earp, which is a futuristic take on some of the wild west most iconic cowboys and stars the Earp family.

Here is a loose break down of the comic:

In the pages of Earp: Saints for Sinners, state-of-the-art motorcycles serve as modern-day horses, sky-high casinos line the streets instead of saloons, and disputes are settled by old-fashioned gunfights in the dark and twisted boomtown of Las Vegas. As unemployment skyrockets, crime spreads like a disease and the streets swarm with criminals, prostitutes, and drunks. But, in the midst of this cultural wasteland, there is one man who stands to lay down the law and remind people of their forgotten ideals. This man is Wyatt Earp.
After losing his brother, Virgil, during the arrest of outlaw Jesse James, Earp is ready for a major lifestyle change. Craving simplicity and wanting to protect his younger brother, Morgan, from the same fate as Virgil, Wyatt looks west. Leaving New York and his Marshal badge behind, he settles in Las Vegas to run an upscale saloon with his best friend and ex-partner, Doc Holliday. The city presents new opportunities and faces, but it isn’t long before old enemies and scars return, as well. Once again, he must enforce the law and bring justice to criminal entrepreneur Edward Flynn, Flynn’s personal army “the Pinkertons,” and Jesse James’ own “James Gang.” On top of this, the complicated love triangle between talented starlet, Josephine Marcus, and sworn enemies, Wyatt Earp and Jesse James, also wreaks havoc on Earp’s life.

As soon as I opened my packet from Radical, it was Earp that immediately leaped out at me. Of late I’ve developed a fascination with the American Wild West. In truth, I’ve always liked stories of the Wild West, so seeing a comic that takes the grittier elements of the region and sets them in the near future got my attention right away. The book starts off with loads of action and flashes a lot between the past, present and future, so you have to be paying attention. The characterizations are fantastically written and the Wyatt Earp of the near future is every bit the straight shooter than the character from the wild west, and his relationship with ‘Doc’ Holliday is what drives the story in many ways. In my package I received issue one and two and they were that good I read them both back to back in the space of a little under an hour.

If you’re a fan of television series such as Sons Of Anarchy, The Shield and Deadwood, you’ll probably enjoy these comics.
Nothing is black and white in the universe of Earp: Saints and Sinners, which is what makes it such an involving read.

In terms of artwork, the characters are drawn beautifully, and the future interpretation of America has a sort of Wild West visual feel to it, which can’t help but draw you in. The artist uses a lot of reds and browns very effectively to create a wild west feel, but also keeping the visuals grounded in a near future setting.

In a brief conversation between Wayne and I in e-mail, we both agreed that this would make a great movie or television series and as it turns out Sam Raimi is attached to direct a movie adaptation of the books, and I, for one, will look forward to seeing it, but a part of me thinks that some of the complexities to the characters in this universe would be best suited to a HBO or FX cable series.

Click here to go to this review at SciFiPulse.net!

Earp #2

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