Writer: James Mulholland
Artist: Rowel Roque
With all the superhero, sci-fi and fantasy TV and films out there at the moment, it’s perhaps easy to forget that the Wild West was one of the original birthplaces of heroes.
Ben, the main character here, is the traditional stoic John Wayne type with a long backstory. He used to be a bounty hunter but gave it up for the woman he loved. Thanks to his son’s gambling debt, however, he finds himself forcibly drawn back in to the world he has tried so hard to escape.
While highly enjoyable, it does perhaps appear that High Noon Rising is shaping up to be a standard Western badass story similar to many others told before. However, while this may sound like a criticism it is actually far from it. In this age of overpowered heroes and constant retconning of established characters, this “back to basics” approach is a welcome change. Case in point, you see Ben get bloody and nearly beaten to death over the course of this first issue. This massively humanises him and give an added tension to the story.
The artwork, provided by Rowel Roque, also fits the story perfectly. The colour palette is a great mix of dull browns and reds, giving a feeling grit to panels. This works well with the slight, and seemingly intentional, raggedness of the scenery and character designs. While not my favourite artwork ever, it matches the story seamlessly while simultaneously setting it apart from the big publisher books.
The best way to describe this book would be as a refreshing, palate cleansing lemon sorbet. It freshens the mind and eyes, providing an entertaining alternative from the usual suspects. Highly recommended.
High Noon Rising #1 is available now from Gumroad by CLICKING HERE.
The writer of this piece was: David Gladman
David Tweets from @the_gladrags