Caliber #2 ( Radical comics / Sarkar / Gastonny)
The Arthurian legend as retold in the American Old West, with all of its great symbolism, magic and spirit of adventure. The Knights of the Round Table are all gunslingers bound by a code of honor to protect the weak and defend the innocent until they are undone from within by their own moral corruption. In this tale, Caliber itself is a tattooed six-gun, given to Arthur by the Indians and imbued with supernatural power. The secret of the gun is that it is never loaded with bullets, but when a man with Justice on his side is holding it, it can fire. When it does, it fires Thunder itself and never misses.”
It’s always difficult taking a classic story and updating it or placing in a different setting. Imagine if you take Hamlet and make all the characters animals in the African Safari. It sounds like it wouldn’t work, but it did for Disney’s The Lion King. As long as you keep true to the characters personalities and plot, the setting can be just about anywhere. That’s what we find in Caliber. A great retelling of the classic Arthurian legend wrapped in the grittiness of the Old West is what you’re in store for. In a land were land barons make the law and justice is never done, where the land bleeds and cries for a hero, that is were Arthur is found. The Arthur legend re-imagined as a western where Merlin is a Native American shaman, Lancelot is Lt. Lake, fastest gun in the west and Excalibur is a gun instead of a sword. It’s all spot on and great to read.
Sarkar and Gastonny have the makings of a great creative team as they piece together what parts of the legend to leave in, change, or just plain throw out. Gastonny’s art fits the time period well with all the scowling and facial hair and his depiction of when a magical gun is fired is just down right impressive.
If you’re a King Arthur purist, then you’ll be nit-picky and find things to complain about, but if you’re just a fan of good story telling and solid art, then pick of Caliber.