Review – Earp: Saints for Sinners #0

Ever wonder what would have happened if Wyatt Earp had been a bounty hunter or a US Marshall in today’s world? That's interesting; I hadn’t either. What kind of creative minds think of topics like this and then turn them into entertaining and well executed stories? I’ll tell you! The folks over at Radical Comics have tapped creators Matt Cirulnick and David Manpearl, writer M. Zachary Sherman and the art team of Mack Chater, Martin Montiel and Kyushik Shin to carry out the task. Let me tell you, they have done a fantastic job.

As we are shown on the third page in what appears to be a plaque or some kind of simple notice, Wyatt Earp has been recognized for his services from 2013-2030 in singlehandedly apprehending more most wanted criminals than any man in history. Not bad, and exactly what you would expect from a man with that name. That begs the question however, there is an end date on that plaque, so what is happening in Earp’s absence? This is the tale that begins with Earp: Saints for Sinners #0 as introduced in this issue. The future doesn’t look all THAT different, but things have clearly changed.

This comic essentially brings the wild west to modern times. There is a modern day Jesse James who fancies himself a Robin Hood figure of bank robbers. We get a general look at a recession that hit so deep that crime spiked to unprecedented levels. That prompted the government to battle gun sales and crime by reinstituting the ability to have a duel in the street legally. Pro-gun rights people will love the line “gun sales went up, but violence went down.” In the context it is presented here I hope people won’t get too political about it because it works, particularly with the modern day wild west theme they’ve got going on. Vegas is apparently the last boomtown left, only Wyatt has had enough.

With that backstory filled in as much as it needs to be for a preview issue, two storylines are introduced. I’m guessing that they will tie in together as the issue comes close to releasing. Wyatt is thinking back to a mission to guard a bank train with his two brothers in a flashback sequence. The robber is none other than Jesse James, the celebrity bank robber himself. A few fancy moves and an attack chopper later, the train is derailed and we are left to wonder where the story is going in the flashback. Meanwhile, in the present day, Wyatt’s brother Morgan endures a brutal interrogation and escapes, only he is in some kind of trouble that is going to end up at his older brother’s doorstep.

Between the excellent artwork and the fascinating story combining some of the legends of the west, modern day political issues and somehow making it all click together this is a title that I would expect from Radical Comics. Their quality is always good and it has a gritty, almost realistic, feel to it as a possible result of the complete collapse of the financial system if it happened over the next 20 years. Pick up the preview edition when it hits shelves and I have a feeling that, as with most titles released by Radical, you won’t be disappointed.