Once again we travel back to the Old West and the town of Timely for 1872 #2.  Here we find Native American, Red Wolf, in jail, sheriff Steven Rogers wants him to have a fair trial in the court of law, but mayor Wilson Fisk would rather see a quick execution without a trial.  Rogers’ willingness to defend the accused until he can have his day in court has angered Fisk (not the first time, according to the story), so he’s hired a band of mercenaries made up of western versions of Bullseye, Elektra, Grizzly, and Doc Ock, to go to Timely and kill Red Wolf.  If something should happen to Rogers along the way, then so be it.

Gerry Duggan’s wild west version of the Marvel universe is turning out to be pretty impressive.  It’s fun to see these characters in a little different light.  This issue also gives us a little bit more backstory to Tony Stark’s character, and why he no longer chooses to design weapons, so there’s a little bit of characterization to go along with the action.  I also think this issue builds tension a lot better than the first one did.  It’s clear that these two sides don’t like each other, and here there is a significant amount of anticipation leading up to the major conflict.  Once the conflict arrives, Duggan pulls no punches.  The stakes here are very real, as this is not your typical super powered showdown where the hero and villain shrug off ridiculous amounts of punishment, these characters are fighting with guns and bullets, and not everyone will make it to issue #3.

Nik Virella’s artwork fits beautifully with the setting and the story being told here.  It’s a little rough around the edges, and it has a simplistic look to it that compliments the western theme.  Also, the character design for Doc Ock’s antique counterpart is phenomenal.  I’m sure it was a joint effort between writer and artist, but it’s amazing once it’s actually on the page.  It’s one of those things that epitomizes the idea of this series perfectly, in that it’s both western and Marvelized.  It is easily one of my favorite aspects of this issue.

Overall, this is shaping up to be one of the more enjoyable tie-ins for me.  I think the characters and their personalities fit well in the setting provided.  Given that this may very well be the only instance we see these versions of Marvel’s mainstays, Duggan has a lot of room to play with, and he takes full advantage of that to create a truly interesting story.  Paired with solid artwork and some brilliant character designs, this is a series i would highly recommend.  I know it’s probably a longshot, but I’d love to see this as an ongoing series.

The Verdict for 1872 #2:
5/5 – Must Have Moar!!!

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Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
Secret Wars Journal #4
Weirdworld #3 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 1: The Faust Act
The Martian (Novel)
Fear the Walking Dead – Episode 1


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