Review–Return to a bloody Old West in new comic book series The 7 Deadly Sins


Review by C.J. Bunce

The second of the new TKO Studios titles we dived into this weekend is The 7 Deadly Sins.  Yesterday we reviewed Sara, which conjured scenes from Sands of Iwo Jima, and now The 7 Deadly Sins feels like a modern twist on the John Ford/John Wayne classics Stagecoach (celebrating its 80th anniversary this year) and The Searchers.  Despite the basic story building blocks from a John Ford movie, this isn’t a John Wayne film or Clint Eastwood spaghetti Western, or something like more recent Western comic book series like Dynamite’s The Lone Ranger.  This is a far less traditional Western–far from Classics Illustrated, this is a story that could wrap up the trilogy of Quentin Tarantino’s bloody violent modern Westerns The Hateful 8 and Django Unchained. 

1867.  A post-Civil War frontier “cowboys and Indians” era tale, the story introduces readers to a white man raised as Comanche whose signature is a unique style of scalping homesteaders and U.S. Cavalry soldiers.  A priest wants to broker an unholy peace with the Comanche, and a black ex-Union corporal named Jericho Marsh is trying to find his daughters.  Marsh finds himself in jail and breaks out with a pregnant ex-slave, a cannibalistic ex-Confederate soldier, a Chinese prisoner, a well-known crack shot, and a woman mistaken for a man, and they bring on an orphaned mountain boy and a Comanche child along the way.  The story pulls from Three Godfathers and The Magnificent Seven–not so much derivative, it pulls on the strings of plenty of Western tropes.  A handful of strangers, all outlaws, must join to fight off the Cavalry, a wealthy landowner, and Comanches, and it’s anyone’s guess who might make it out alive.

The 7 Deadly Sins comes from writer Tze Chun (Gotham, Once Upon a Time), artist Artyom Trakhanov (Undertow, Turncoat) and if the color work looks familiar to Western readers that may be because it’s created by Giulia Brusco (Scalped, Django Unchained).  Letters are by Southern Bastards’ Jared K. Fletcher.  Parts of Trakhanov’s panels are drawn similar to the very traditional, archaic layouts of Stan Sakai’s Japanese motif Westerns, landscape shots reminded me of the stark feel of Moritat’s work on the Jonah Hex book, All-Star Western, and choreographed action sequences carry the more stylized influence of Frank Miller’s interiors later in his career.

Take a look at these great preview pages:

If you’re familiar with all the comic book publishers, you’ll probably find TKO Studios’ new series would fit right in with regular Image Comics titles.  For mature readers (the bloody violence and language is probably not appropriate for younger types), The 7 Deadly Sins is an interesting new Western fans of Jonah Hex, El Diablo, Ghost Rider, and Django Unchained comics will appreciate.

TKO Studios is launching four series this month, each printed in a slightly larger format than typical comics.  Echoing the now standard same-day release of streaming programs on services like Netflix, TKO Studios plans to release its six issues all at once, and readers have the choice of buying single issues bundled, or as a digital or print graphic novel.

For your favorite Western fan, order The 7 Deadly Sins now from Elite Comics, your local comic book shop, or direct from TKO Studios.  Find out more about TKO Studios, and read the first of six issues of The 7 Deadly Sins free now at the TKO Studios websiteThe 7 Deadly Sins is also available at Amazon here.

Leave a Reply