Streets of Glory
by Garth Ennis, Mike Wolfer (Avatar, 2009)

Mike Wolfer is about to be compared unfairly to the past.

Streets of Glory, a hard-bitten Western saga set in Montana at the tail end of the 19th century, would have earned much higher marks (from this reviewer, at least) if writer Garth Ennis had never crossed paths with artist Steve Dillon. Taken solely on its own merits, this story of a member of a dying breed of frontier gunslinger would have been a resounding success. The story, told from the perspective of tenderfoot Pete Lorrimer, centers on gunman Joe Dunn, an aging Civil War hero who has his own ideas about justice. Confronted with an old, bloodthirsty foe and a "modern" capitalist out to make his mark on the West, Dunn greets the day with blazing guns and a stubborn unwillingness to back down against greater odds.

The story, collected from a six-issue miniseries, is a fast but thorough read, and Wolfer's art is good, solid stuff -- right down to the blood and viscera that Ennis so favors in his work. Unfortunately, Wolfer's style pales in comparison to Dillon's, who set a very lofty bar when he and Ennis brought the Saint of Killers to life in their highly acclaimed Preacher series many years ago. In fact, Dunn's craggy profile and two-fisted gunnery is in many ways a shadow of the unstoppable Saint.

Is the comparison fair? Not to Wolfer, certainly, although the comparison is inevitable. Still, Ennis fans certainly won't want to miss this book -- and if you never read Preacher, you'll probably enjoy it even more than I did.

review by
Tom Knapp

22 August 2009

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