Issue by Issue – Guns of the Dragon #1

Writer – Tim Truman
Artist – Tim Truman
Colours – John Kalisz
Letters – Ken Lopez

Written and drawn by Tim Truman, Guns of the Dragon brings together characters that were not currently in the spotlight at DC in 1998, the first of which being Baron Hans Von Hammer – The Hammer of Hell also known as Enemy Ace. Also starring would be the one and only Bat Lash, a little older and perhaps a little wiser and it finds them in China, 1927 at a bar owned by the former gunslinger which would see the Baron getting into a bit of trouble. Truman also introduces a new character in Biff Bradley and one can only guess that he is related to the man called Slam whose name they share. Bat Lash convinces Hammer to work for him for a spell and to join him for a meeting, not knowing that all the while they are being spied upon by not one interested party, but two. One of those happens to be Vandal Savage who is looking to put a stop to Bat Lash and those that follow him as Savage has a plan of his own at the moment and not just any plan, but ‘The Great Plan.’ What that is, has not been revealed as yet, but Truman is sure to make it intriguing as Bat Lash, the Baron and the rest of their company have been recruited to essentially save China by going to Dragon Island to reclaim some ancient swords and if possible, bring back a live dragon. How they are going to do that is anybody’s guess. What follows is an attack during the secret meeting, a revelation of said attacker and what is quite possibly the real villain behind it all – Mao Tse-Tung. Truman has a lot of fun with this issue, bringing together a very eclectic cast of characters and setting them upon a mission of the impossible and because of that, readers will also have a lot of fun with this book as well. What also makes this quite a good read is the fact that Truman seems to have a strong handle on the characters, each one feeling and sounding as they should, Hammer as uppity as ever while Bat Lash is still a scoundrel, still enjoying life and as good with a gun as he ever was. For a first issue, it all managed to work well and there is enough mystery present, not to mention curiosity as to what will happen next to draw those who read this back for the next book to see just where it is that Truman and the companions are headed.

3.5 out of 5

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