cover image Gun Theory

Gun Theory

Daniel Way and John Proctor. Dark Horse, $24.99 (120p) ISBN 978-1-61655-657-0

This slim graphic novel has a longer, murkier backstory than its hit man protagonist. It was originally a monthly comic from Marvel’s now-defunct Epic line in the early 2000s, and was canceled after two issues. In 2013, creators Way and Proctor launched a Kickstarter campaign to revive the comic as a graphic novel, which failed. But in the 12 years since its debut, Way has become a hot writer for Marvel titles such as Wolverine and Deadpool, which may be why Dark Horse stepped up at last to publish a sleek hardcover edition. This tangled history is more interesting than the graphic novel itself, a conventional, if unusually gory, guns-and-dames yarn about a cynical hired killer who makes the mistake of sparing a beautiful woman he meets in Chinatown. Proctor’s (What If? ) art, like the writing, is polished and serviceable without adding anything distinctive to the well-worn material. Despite the creators’ solid credentials, it’s not hard to see why it took so long for anyone to work up the enthusiasm to publish this book. (Jan.)