Tag Archives: taylan kurtulus

Review: The Dark Gun #3

The Dark Gun #3

We all carry a burden of some sort. Some heavier than others. We’re shaped by our experiences. What we endure throughout our lives becomes the bar by which we are tested. When it comes to “trials and tribulations” everyone’s definitions differ. What brings stress to some people is everyday fare to others. Take, for instance, the strange bedfellow success is to some people.

When one revels in success it can be a moment to pause and smell the flowers. For others, there’s no rest for the wicked as there is too much to do. Is there such a thing as success making someone mad? It definitely can be seen in some celebrities who found it to be too much at one point. In the third issue of The Dark Gun, the pistol finds it ways to its newest owner, a lawman who will soon find out exactly what this weapon is about.

We meet Cole Rollins, a Pinkerton agent, whose former life was a soldier during the Civil War, an experience which shapes him to the present, and which leads him to seek care from a psychologist who instantly recognizes that he has PTSD. He recounts to his doctor,  the series of events that led him to the Dark Gun, where he shot the suspect dead tot right, only to see him two days later, standing alive in front of him, only for it be his mind playing tricks on him. This sidelines him for a bit, where he gets assigned an elusive jewel thief, one which prompts visions of the gun’s previous owner all over again. By the issue’s end, Rollins finds absolute serenity in the only way he can.

Overall, an engaging and mind-bending issue of this innovative series which is part drama, part horror, and part psychological thriller. The story by Matt Durand is immense and impactful. The art by Taylan Kurtulus is simply breathtaking. Altogether, an excellent chapter in this time jumping epic that shows the power objects can have us supernatural or not.

Story: Matt Durand Art: Taylan Kurtulus
Story: 10 Art: 9.7 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Review: The Dark Gun #2

The Dark Gun #2

How can one object have such power over one person? In the only season of the severely under watched One Dollar, we get a tale of how a one-dollar bill connects the people of a small town. The show would eventually reveal how a major crime affects the people of the town and digs up some undisputed truths about each character. The show revealed to viewers how even in the Eden-like of places, darkness is also present.

What these events usually show is the evil that men do is what usually hides in them when they are most desperate. I always wondered how it would be if these objects actually had a hold on that sort of person? What evil things can it unleash? In the second issue of The Dark Gun, we travel to a different time but with much of the same result.

We meet train robber Roark Ambrose who had just been killed by a Pinkerton agent, as his childhood friend, looks at his lifeless body, their lives literally flashes before his eyes. As we are taken to when they were orphans, where they bonded because of the conditions they grew up in, which lead them to head west when they were old enough to leave. As they head on their trip, their guide gets killed, and they also face certain death, with a Tomahawk tribesman chasing them. Until Roarke, pulls out the Dark Gun, and aims it at the tribeman , as if he suddenly became a man that day. That day would only embolden Roarke, as he we take our narrator with him on his first train robbery, one that would make him infamous. As he would go on to do  more train robberies, his legend only grew, and as the two old friends met years later, he would ask I why he did it, inferring that it would have been money but it really was the reactions he would get from the train passengers, it was the control he would have. By issue’s end, a surprising fact ties the story together.

Overall, the comic is a coming of age story which shows readers that this series will be more than your typical Western, one that transcends genres on the strength of these two storytellers. The story by Matt Durand is action packed and bittersweet. The art by Taylan Kurtulus is vivid and gorgeous. Altogether, an excellent tale of two friends whose kinship outlasts them both.

Story: Matt Durand Art: Taylan Kurtulus
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: The Dark Gun #1

The power people put over objects and their value has made materialism almost a way of life. The thoughts that usually come up when one considers such masterpieces as the Mona Lisa, the words “masterpiece” and “brilliant” tend to flood conversations. Just because we label such items with this “value,” do they truly deserve it? Does that value come from the rarity and creators behind such pieces?

Another such item with a long history is the Stradivarius violin. One requires a city permit from Cremona Italy, before it gets played by any musician and has been in existence since 1720.The movie Red Violin was based on the violin’s immense history but with a sinister twist. I always wondered how this would be applied to different objects, and how would it affect the world around it? In Matt Durand and Taylan Kurtulus’ The Dark Gun, we get a wild twist on objects with hidden histories, one that changes everyone around it.

We meet Jon Ambrose, as he writes a letter to his son, knowing he might not see tomorrow, he tells the truth of what happened when he was an Army cavalryman in 1876. For one morning, one of the men in charge of the artillery gives him brand new gun, one that he feels an uncanny connection to and one which feels as if its otherworldly. As heads off on patrol for the first time, he was warned of the tribes that still inhabit the land, mostly legends and some of it true, but all of it to scare new soldiers. As this becomes the first time, he brandishes the gun, his aim becomes perfect, killing whomever is front of him, as they take out a few natives and imprisoning the others. Unexpectedly, the gun calls to Jon once more, causing him to kill everyone in sight including his fellow cavalryman. By issue’s end, Jon meets his ultimate fate but not without his telling the true power of the weapon.

Overall, a powerful story about choice, legacy, and those forces beyond our control. The story by Durand is enigmatic, action packed and ultimately, grim. The art by Kurtulus is gorgeous and well drawn. Altogether, a story that shows how paramount selection is and how it affects your world.

Story: Matt Durand Art: Taylan Kurtulus
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Scout Comics Reveals Firewater from Ken Kristensen Lifting the Veil on a Dark Chapter in American History

Award-winning writer Ken Kristensen and Eisner-nominated artist M.K. Perker take inspiration from one the darkest chapters of American criminal history with Firewater, a gritty and disturbing crime series from Scout Comics.

In the release Kristensen said:

Terrorizing and murdering Indians – let’s face it – was a disgustingly profitable business for centuries. But never more disgusting or more profitable than during what was called the Osage Reign of Terror. This series is a dramatic interpretation of that long period of horror and the epic struggle to bring justice to one of the most corrupt places on earth. I have unique connection to this story because my wife and son are Osage.

We’re talking about killing on an immense scale – hundreds of murders, made even more egregious because so often it involved a white man marrying an Indian woman and then murdering her to inherit her oil rights.

This story is as relevant today as when it happened. This singular time and place was a heightened microcosm of America’s social schism — income inequality, ethnic persecution, racism, gender inequality, institutional corruption, and environmental issues. It was a reflection of the nation’s material success and spiritual failure.

Firewater is centered around the FBI’s first deep-cover investigation, an effort that attempted to unravel a genocidal conspiracy perpetrated by some of the most powerful people in the state and some of the most notorious outlaws of the day.

The story is set in Osage County, Oklahoma in the 1920s – a time when the Osage were the richest people on earth, thanks to the largest oil field in the world being discovered on their reservation. The reservation was a criminal playground because of its “sovereign nation” status – state cops had no jurisdiction. Kidnappers, drug dealers, bootleggers, con artists, pimps, bank robbers — every conceivable criminal flocked to this lawless reservation that was generating billions of dollars.

Firewater immerses the reader in a full ensemble of cops, criminals, activist citizens, and everyone caught in the crossfire.

Firewater #1 will feature this amazing variant cover by Taylan Kurtulus.