Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hmm. I don't think I've seen The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly since Clint Eastwood's chair speech at the RNC. I wish I could say that was coincidence...

While I don't consider myself a huge western fan, there have been several I've enjoyed over the years, both in movies and in comics. Somewhat surprisingly in comics, since with the exception of Jonah Hex, they're rather few and far between anymore. The last ones I remember paying for were DC's most recent run of Bat Lash, some Vertigo limiteds like El Diablo or Weird Western Tales, and Witchfinder: Lost and Gone Forever. (Most of the westerns I like aren't completely western...)

The other day at Hastings (between two locations, if I'm honest) I found almost the entire run of Dynamite Entertainment's 2009 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly series; all but issue #2. I knew of the book, but couldn't positively say I ever saw it on the racks. There was a Man With No Name series as well, but that one I don't think I remembered until seeing the ad for the trade paperback on the back of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly #8. I did a little research to try and find sales numbers, but couldn't; which makes me wonder if sales were below 5,000 copies. (Or 7,000? I don't know if the Beat was doing the indie sales chart back in 2009.)

As far as the actual comics, they aren't bad: Chuck Dixon is always good for a page-turner, and the first arc is a bit of fun, with art by Esteve Polls. There's no Angel Eyes or Tuco in these stories, but there's plenty of Bad and Ugly to go around. Blondie is on the trail of another bounty, train robber Miles Devereaux, but Devereaux overhears the details about a train full of gold looted by renegade French Legionnaires. And a one-handed bounty hunter is following them all, to see who comes out with the money...

They're not reinventing the wheel, but good enough. I had the same weird question reading these that I sometimes do reading Conan comics: if Blondie cashes in on the bounty, shouldn't he be rich enough not to have to chase them anymore? I sometimes suspect he makes a fortune then blows through it just as quickly.

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