Friday, 9 November 2012

Comics I've Read: Holliday

A modern-retelling of the last days of Doc Holliday and the events surrounding the shootout at the OK Corrall.

It's interesting for a number of reasons, one of which is how the writer attempts to keep the actions of the characters as close to their historical counterparts as possible, so the Earp family's antics makes them look only marginally less corrupt then the actual villains (they rob local criminals and associate with Doc, who is a known murderer for example).

Oddly enough the updated setting actually works for the most part, Holliday dying of AIDS rather than TB for example, which naturally leads to... problems when he reveals this to his girlfriend. Basing the story in the contemporary US also makes a point about the historical characters themselves, the point being how the same actions can be construde as being heroic or horrible depending on the century they occurred in.

The relationships between the characters was a lot of fun, with the friendship between Holliday and the Earps seeming very genuine and the interplay between Doc and his girlfriend also seeming oddly sweet. Even the Cowboys (the syndicate the Earps and Doc fought back in the 1800s, updated to a more modern group of gangsters here) are given actual personalities and relationships, so they're not just people for the heroes to shoot for being bad guys.

In all, a good read though oddly fast paced. People who liked Ed Brubaker's Criminal should like this also.

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