With the final entry of Radical Comics’ four-ish re-imagining of the Wyatt Earp legend, Earp: Saints for Sinners, the big showdown between our hero, Doc Holiday, and the James Gang (not to be confused with the 70’s band that gave us Joe Walsh) against an army of Pinkerton goons takes place. Lots of bloody shoot-outs, plus a sequence where Earp goes Jack Bauer on slimy Vegas kingpin/mayor Flynn — as well as some scene chewing thuggery by Alan Pinkerton, who has kidnapped Earp’s shapely lady love Josie. The girl holds her own, natch, much as we’d expect her to.
While our title lead by and large remains a tough guy cipher throughout the Matt Cirulnick/M. Zachary Sherman plotted adventure, his mercenary buddy Doc adds much needed character spice to the proceedings. “I cut off Osama Bin Laden’s head with the sharp end of a rock after I finally beat him unconscious with my bare hands,” Holiday tells Flynn in a scene obviously written long before more current events, but since this book’s plainly set in an alternate dystopian America, I guess we can let it pass.
Colin Lorimer’s painted art is up to the demands of broad action, though he perhaps overuses the big overhead shots. It’s generally stronger in the one-on-one conflicts: the crowd pleaser is the pummeling mano-a-mano finale ‘tween Earp and Pinkerton, of course, and it’s as brutal as you’d expect it to be. The days when western showdowns took place with foes shooting at each other from a distance on a sunny dusty street are long gone. If they ever existed in the first place.