Val Kilmerís performance as Doc Holliday, in the
film Tombstone, is probably one of the most memorable Iíve
ever seen. Whenever I think of Wyatt Earp I think of Kilmer as
Holliday. That being said I was very curious to read Radicalís take
on the legend that is Wyatt Earp.
The thing that sticks out in my mind about the
issue was the world this Earp operates in and how it got like it is
now. Set in the near future a financial crisis, even worse than the
one we just went through, has left America and most of the world in
a deep depression and recession. People are struggling to get by and
crime is rampant as people struggle to make ends meet. Wyatt Earp
was Americaís foremost lawman now he operates the A-OK Hotel in
Vegas. To get on his wanted list was almost an honor for criminals,
like Jesse James. Amongst that climate Las Vegas is the only city in
the world where business is booming but that doesnít mean itís
exempt from corruption or crime.
The world is so different to the one the original
Earp operated in, but then again itís also similar as itís lawless
and violent like the Old West and duels are now allowed by law. It
was a modern world I could imagine needed a Wyatt Earp and his pose.
I also really enjoyed the action and the artwork
in the issue. Mack Chater and Martin Montiel do a fantastic
job of creating the near future world Earp lives in. The array of
bright lights, high speed trains and helicopters showcase that this
is the near future but thereís a grittiness and a dirtiness to the
images that gives it a bit of a Western and corrupt feel. The start
of the issue is also really strong and signals the focus of the
book, itís bloody, violent and takes no prisoners. Chater and
Montiel handle the big action set pieces well, usually with a
glorious splash page or two, although the fire in the closing scenes
didnít look right and people who should have been burned were not.
What I didnít like was Doc Holliday. For me he had none of the charm
and charisma that Val Kilmerís interpretation had and instead of
being a standout character he just blended in with everyone else.
Also I didnít buy Pinkerton as the main bad guy. I much preferred
the ongoing relationship between Wyatt Earp and Jesse James to the
power hungry and weasley Pinkerton. Finally, the book contains a lot
of exposition thatís how we discover so much about the world of
Wyatt Earp. I appreciated all the information and the fact there was
a good deal of action mixed in and not just people talking but the
way it was structured was a little confusing. The story jumps around
so much you can feel a little lost and confused.
While Earp Saints for Sinners hasnít replaced Tombstone
as my favourite Wyatt Earp interpretation with this issue there is
still time for M. Zachary Shermanís efforts to do so. Issue 1 is a
good building black for the series to go from with a lot of nods to
the classic story injected with enough of its own unique personality
and some brilliant artwork.