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A long week of Secret Wars Tie-In reviews comes to a close with a new idea from Marvel, placing their heroes in the Old West.  Does the notion work?  Only one way to know for sure.

In 1872, the town of Timely is run by (corrupt) mayor Wilson Fisk and his band of thugs who keep everyone in order.  Sheriff Steve Rogers doesn’t like the way things are done, so when the mob wants to lynch Redwolf, a native American, without a trial, Rogers takes it upon himself to see that the young man gets a fair deal.  Rogers has a few friends in Timely, the inventor and former weapons manufacturer Anthony Stark, the doctor Bruce Banner, and a reporter for the local paper named Ben Urich (Marvel is winking so much you’d think they sprayed a lemon in their eyes), who try to help him in his efforts, or at least not stand in the way.

Gerry Duggan handles the writing on this series, and I think throughout the entirety of the story he remembered a very important detail, and that is, if you’re going to try something new, that doesn’t necessarily connect to the rest of the event as a whole, it should at least be fun and entertaining.  Sure it uses Western stereotypes that we’ve seen dozens of times before, but now they’re here as characters that we already know and love, so not only do the archetypes fit, but they also make all those winks and nods even more fun.  I mean, honestly, what more can you expect from a title like this?  I feel like it absolutely delivers on everything that it promised, and not only did the story deliver, but it did it rather well.  The other aspect of the story that I really liked, is that no one up to this point has displayed any powers or abilities.  Everything is based on the personality of these characters, and in the case of some heroes, that’s not necessarily enough to carry a story, but Duggan writes these characters well, he knows them and gives them strong motivations that fit with the heroes we’re already familiar with.

Nik Virella’s artwork is solid.  She totally nails the Western aesthetic to make the story look and feel that much more believable.  As mentioned before, there’s no high flying or huge explosions, everything stays relatively down to earth, and Virella draws it that way.  It’s spectacular by not being spectacular… if that’s a thing that makes any kind of sense.  Point is, it works, it’s good, and I like it.

The bottom line is this, the book is not anything revolutionary.  The basic western premise may tread a little thin, but with the injection of Marvel’s big heroes, it becomes something a little new and different, which is precisely what we were told we would get with this story, so if you were expecting something else, I’m not quite sure what to say.

The Verdict for 1872 #1:
4/5 – I can dig it.

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
Nica of Los Angeles (Novel)
March of the Crabs, Volume 1: The Crabby Condition
Hail Hydra #1 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Planet Hulk #3 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Secret Wars: Battleworld #3
Where Monsters Dwell #3 (Secret Wars Tie-In)

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