High Moon is an interesting genre mash up of western, horror and steam punk that I read online. Originally released between 2007-10 by Zuda Comics, an imprint of DC Comics, it is now being re-released by Papercutz.
This western begins in 1890 in the fictional town of Blest, Texas, which is enduring drought and devilry. Bounty-hunter Matthew MacGregor, a former Pinkerton detective, comes to town under the guise of looking for Eddie Conroy who is wanted by the state of Texas. The young daughter of the local robber baron has been kidnapped, and MacGregor is on the case, and receives some help by the town deputy, sheriff’s daughter and doctor. Surly and mysterious, Macgregor seems to deny that werewolves could be the culprits of recent deaths. A Scottish tartan and guns engraved with the words “Gáe Bulg” point to him being an immigrant or at least descended from one, but they are the few hints we are given of his past. His battle against the many monsters and the final showdown between them raised more questions about his connection to the paranormal and occult.
Part two now moves to Ragged Rock, Oklahoma with Conroy taking over the mantle of bounty hunter. We get some flashbacks to Conroy’s slave past, yet his connection to another black family that has settled in OK after Emancipation confused me. He gets in the middle of a domestic dispute between two brothers fighting over the love of one woman. The men’s mother uses some Hoodoo magic to help Conroy battle some supernatural monsters, plus Matthew’s brother Tristan has shown up to assist. Tristan has a mechanical arm and utilizes steampunk apparatus to fight.
The art has an appropriate color scheme of sepia tones with an Old West feel to the people and dusty terrain. I was unnerved at how much MacGregor looked like Wolverine in Old Man Logan, and it actually became somewhat distracting. I wanted to call him Logan and expected claws to pop out at any moment. The creatures are appealingly grotesque, and the pages had a nice variety of different panels and layout, so I felt the visuals were top notch.
I received the online book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I had quite a bit of trouble navigating through the book and double checking details, but I won’t count that against the story, for it very well could have been an issue with my tablet. I found the narrative intriguing, but will not be visiting this supernatural region again as I found it too complicated and frustrating to follow.