Issue by Issue – The Gunhawks #1

Writer – Gary Friedrich
Artist – Syd Shores
Inker – Sol Brodsky
Letters – Artie Simek

In the first issue of The Gunhawks starring Reno Jones and Kid Cassidy, the two men are anything but. At the moment, the two are looking to hunt buffalo in order to scare up some cash, yet they are not only poor at doing so, they get fired upon by an old man looking to protect the herd. Written by Gary Friedrich and drawn by Syd Shores, they introduce readers to a couple of men post-Civil War who are not as rich in life as some might be, but the old man who is now essentially mentoring them, planes to give them a couple of life lessons if they are willing to learn. With Cassidy laid up with a broken leg, Reno learns how to use a buffalo gun that the old man has invented and soon becomes a crack-shot. It is also during this time that readers are made privy to the boys’ origin, one that sees them growing up together despite one being black and one being white, only knowing that they are friends and equals in each other’s eyes. Despite that, the Civil War is upon them and while one might think Reno would join with the North, he abstains until his girlfriend is abducted by some Yankees. It is then that he joins the Confederate army and kills as many of those from the North as he is able, but it lasts not for the war ends and Rachel, the woman whom Reno is keen on, is still missing – Reno’s madness ending too. So it is that after everything that Cassidy and Reno knows has been taken from them, they set off to find Rachel which brings them to their current state. Friedrich writes an interesting tale to say the least, especially when it comes to the origin part of the story. Be that as it may, love can make or break a man and Reno still means to find the men that took his Rachel away and Friedrich provides him that opportunity when some rustlers looking to kill off the old man’s herd make themselves known. As Reno, Cassidy and their benefactor take to their horses to route the enemy cowboys and do just that, Reno kills their leader and realises that he was the one that carried off his girl during the war. With the story coming full circle as it does and the boys heading off to find more information from a couple of the men who escaped, Friedrich has made this first issue a very good read. Some might find a bit of the dialogue dated, but one has to remember the time and place of the story, a time when the United States was not so united. As it stands, Shores provides some great artwork and some thrilling action throughout and factoring in what Friedrich brings to the table, it ends up being quite the fun ride.

3.5 out of 5

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