Much like Neil Gaiman’s Marvel tale of 1492, in 1872 Marvel characters exist in the old West. In Secret Wars the Multiverse is destroyed and a patchwork planet of fragments of other worlds is held together, with each being a region on to itself. Once such region is 1872, in the Valley of Doom, in a small town called Timely and its Sheriff, Steve Rogers.
The story is told by reporter Ben Ulrich, as the town of Timely had been doing well until Governor Roxxon had diverted the river with a dam to care for his mining interests. As locals try to access the water for themselves they are taken and lynched by Mayor Fisk. Sheriff Rogers has had enough and takes the native away from Fisk’s boys to stand trial. This act of defiance by Rogers creates a battle of wills between Mayor Fisk and Sheriff Rogers. With a little help from a local drunk named Stark, Rogers fights off Fisk’s attempts to take back the prisoner. This battle brings a gunman to town. A gunman with a bullseye on his forehead.
This is great story telling with the characters of Marvel, with none of their powers, taking on the old West. Steve Rogers as the sheriff. Wilson Fisk as the corrupt mayor. Ben Ulrich as the broken and scared reporter. Tony Stark is the brilliant town drunk. It lays between the spaghetti westerns of Eastwood and the brilliance of High Noon. This is a book worth watching and though it is not quite as ambitious as Gaiman’s 1492, it is still a strong comic with its own tale to tell.