All Star Western #1

I’ve never read any of Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti’s run on Johah Hex, but I’ve heard great things about it. From what I understand this is the spiritual successor to that bool. Much like Green Lantern, Jonah Hex was recently the victim of a critically slammed movie adaptation. But like Green Lantern, the source material is much much better than the movie it spawned.

This issue actually feels like the first act of a great western movie. The story takes place early on in the life of Gotham City. There have been a string of murders by the notorious “Gotham Butcher” and it’s up to Jonah Hex, who has recently stumbled into town, and Amadeus Arkham, the founder of Arkham Asylum. This issue is a case in character study, literally. Much of the issue is taken up by Arkham’s psycho-analyzation of Hex. The two play off of each other like a twisted Holmes and Watson. The mystery of the Gotham Butcher is well played out and the end twist is cliffhanger gold. I’m really interested to find out if this secret organization has ties to the evil roots of Gotham City that Snyder has been hinting at for his run on Batman. The art by Moritat is awesome, some of the best of the relaunch.

I’m torn when it comes to this book. I can’t deny the high quality of the book, but even with the higher page count I can’t justify paying $3.99 an issue for it. This is definitely a book that I might pick up in collected form, and I’m really interested in checking out the team’s past work on Jonah Hex. If you’re a fan of westerns definitely give this a shot, you won’t find many better books out there.

Rating: 8.5/10


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