Are my expectations just too high?

Caliber: First Canon of Justice by Sam Sarkar, Garrie Gastonny, Imaginary Friends Studio, Annie Parkhouse, Stanley Lau, Eric J, David Elliot and John Zopfi

Okay so check this out: King Arthur only a Western.

This adds to my conspiracy theory that the Americans are trying to steal everything. EVERYTHING. Even olde English myths.

I am of rather mixed feelings about this delightful graphic novel that is, for reasons unknown in the kids collection despite the sex, drugs and okay, so there’s no rock and roll, just some pretty intense violence.

So the story is basically this: an old Indian man (it hurts my soul to call him an Indian man since that’s clearly not the right wold) called Whitefeather/Merlin is looking for someone to wield a magical gun. He believes it is a man called Ulysses Pendergon (Uther Pendragon) but when Ulysses takes the gun he uses to kill a falsely accused tribe of … shudder… Indians and Whitefeather realizes he made the wrong choice. Ulysses is killed and Whitefeather disappears with the gun.

Yeahs later Ulysses son, a young man named Arthur comes to Tekacoma to claim his father’s land, only to learn that it’s been seized by a corrupt government. But while he’s there he runs into a dance girl named Gwen, a gunslinger named Lance, his uncle Hector and of course Whitefeather, who finally finds the man who’s supposed to use the magic gun. They have to fight some baddies, including Whitefeather’s former lover Morgan and make some allies as well as save all the railway workers from certain death.

It’s a super exciting story, if for no other reason then it’s fun to see how they take a Medieval story and work it into the Wild West. The story changes, for example Arthur’s cousin Kay dies to motivate him on his mission of justice (instead of living long enough to become Stewart of Camelot) and Whitefeather doesn’t stay dead when I expected him to but generally it’s pretty true to the old story, about right before might and doing the honourable thing. The illustrations are lovely and really add to the story. Very compelling, very new, very fun.

The problem I had with it was … this is the Old West and it doesn’t do anything to suggest that it’s aware of the problems within the genre. And we have problems. The… shudder… Indians are all wise mystic people who connect with spirit animals, like Whitefeather, and while I recognized a certain amount of mysticism as a major cultural element, no one ever writes Aboriginals as people. The women are all big busted wenches who are good with firearms and can-can dances, none of them exist outside of these roles. The one Chinese girl, who came to the west to find her father who is working on the railway is hyper sexualized, exotic to the extreme and a master martial artist. Again, this is just a character trope, not a character. I know, I know, these are the things that make Westerns Westerns but I still… I just want more. Is that wrong?

Last movie I watched: I’m not answering that. But it was a cartoon and it started with a B.

Last TV show I watched: See above.


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