So, guns. There's a lot of them about, it seems. Not so much over here, but in America, in Africa, in the Middle East, there seem to be quite a few.
And in comics too. Despite various characters having all sorts of whizzy powers, sometimes only a gun will do.
I have a strange relationship with guns, growing up in a country where you basically never saw one except on the television, they became almost mystical, fanciable things, like a wizard's wand or a seer's stone, something that could bring forth power and noise and do irrevocable damage (unless you were the hero, then you could shrug it off). But the nature of that power wasn't really understood.
Which means when I have come across them, they just seem like toys to me. Props. Heavy, admittedly, but they couldn't actually do any damage, could they?
So in today's Wolverine & The X-Men, Eye Boy finally discovers a use for his mutation. With guns.
In All Star Western, which you would always be expected to have guns, they take it to another level this month.
Even in Amala's Blade #1 by Steve Horton, which you think would be all about swords, there's a big old Gatling gun there as well.
Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie go for the aesthetic of the gun as album cover in Young Avengers, and basically how cool they look when people hold them. Especially when they are smoking. The guns I mean, people aren't allowed to smoke in Marvel comics, but guns are. Jamie and Kieron are both British, do they have the same detachment to the reality of a gun as I do?
While in Batman Inc #10, ol' Batty managed to dodge bullets, in a scene rather familiar to those who remember Frank Quitely in We3…
A Batman writer once told me that they kept being accused of having an anti-gun agenda when writing the comic. You know, if anyone in comics is going to have an anti-gun agenda, it's probably the guy who's dad was shot by one, at close range…
In Before Watchmen: The Comedian #6, the gun in the legend of America, here in close proximity to a Kennedy, plays with the mythos.
And in The End Times Of Bran And Ben, even the demons are toting them. Remember, guns don't kill demons, people kill demons.
In East Of West, we have the eternal question, is the cigar mightier than the gun. Both are used in a rather phallic facing off scene here, some kind of willy waving. Because, of course, the gun (and the cigar) that takes away life is also a symbol of virility.
So if you take a gun away from someone else, giving you two guns, well then, as in Mighty Skullkickers, you're even more virile!
But there are other solutions. Maybe not the cigar, but Reddit is certainly a more powerful weapon as the Yancy Street Gang discover in FF today…
I do appreciate living in a country where I am very unlikely to be shot. Stabbed, more likely probably, but possibly more survivable. But if someone broke into my home and threatened my children, a set of steak knives doesn't seem to have the range for me.
Nevertheless, I prefer my guns to be fictional. There are so many cool things you can do with them in that way…
Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics, London.