The Pistoleers started life as a three part comic book western by indie creator Dan Nokes, which is now collected into one volume for your digestion. This story is a change of pace from Dan’s earlier work and the entire story has much more serious undertones and themes than the more Tolkenesqe epic of the Paranormals.
We are introduced to the story and characters through a third party narrator, almost straight away I found myself reading the narrative bits with my little big man voice. The story is solid through all three issues and carries with it a very dark undercurrent about the effects of revenge and retribution on the soul. This darkness is huge change of direction for Dan, and his normal irrelevant humor is not present at all, although there are a couple moments of dark humor.
This is a true western tale anchored firmly in reality and pulls no punches, make no mistake this is a gritty piece of writing by Mr Nokes.
The artwork is Dan’s usual unique stark scratchy inks and he allowed himself a larger panels to show more action. A sign of growing confidence he in his work. My only compliant is the guns throughout seemed awkwardly placed and distorted, but it didn’t distract from the story.
The story in itself is dark, this is a western saga more on the lines of Unforgiven, than Wild Wild West. The reality of the story really hits home in the last few panels of the last book and Dan to his credit pulls no punches.
However I also have one compliant about the story. The Pistoleers had a couple of McGuffin characters that seemed to only appear at convenient (then disappear) just to push the story along. This happened twice and did irk me a little bit because it did feel clumsy, as if Dan was struggling to get his protagonists to the next plot point.
The Pistoleers story is told over 3 packed issues, and is now packed into one non-stop action TPB, again Dan provides us a huge bang for our buck story. This time I feel Dan could of easily split this story into two volumes. One thing you can count on from Dan Nokes and 21st Century Sandshark Studios, they never short change you on story, and Dan is one of the best value for money indie creators out there.
Dan has created another epic story with The Pistoleers, it is a change of pace and more reality bound than his previous work and he largely pulls this off. This is recommended read if you come across Dan at a convention pick up The Pistoleers, or order it direct from his website.
3.5 Thumbs up out of 5
To learn more about The Pistoleers go here http://21sandshark.com/