Jonah Hex and Amadeus Arkham have a big problem. It’s good thing Jonah knows how to deal with problems.
All Star Western #2
Holed up in Arkham’s home, Jonah Hex is prepping for a war. Sure enough the secret society, which turns out to be followers of the Crime Bible, has sent 12 men to kill Hex and Arkham. They are met outside by a calm, cool, and collected Hex who proceeds to kill every one of them save one who’s questioned before getting killed. Hex and Arkham head to Blackgate Isle to confront the society, but a trap is set for them and things aren’t looking so good for our heroes.
In the first backup story of the series, Lazarus Lane (aka El Diablo) is drawn to a town that has a bit of a zombie problem. He learns that the Indian curse that caused the problem can only be fixed by a demon. Thankfully, Lane has a demon deep inside him. Now if only someone will knock him out.
From front to back, this book is classic Gray/Palmiotti western fare. Their Hex is a fantastic contrast to the more refined Arkham and to see him in the concrete jungle of 1880s Gotham is such a neat risk to take that’s paying off very well. There’s so many connections to the larger concepts of DC like the Crime Bible, and just about every name you’d recognize in a Batman book still roaming around. Then there’s Moritat’s art. Wow… He encapsulates the feel we expect in a gritty western story. I love how he moves from a two-page spread of the members of the secret society approaching Arkham’s house, to a one page portrait of Hex welcoming them, to three pages of several frames showing Hex doing what he does best, to one final full page image. It’s beautiful.
On the El Diablo side, Palmiotti and Gray are reunited with their former Jonah Hex art team of Jordi Bernet and Rob Schwager. It’s good to see the four of them working together again as it brings back the memories of the extremely well written, drawn, and colored Jonah Hex series. Anyway, looking at El Diablo’s first adventure in the new series, I thought it was pretty cool to have a zombie story that takes place outside our usual preconceived notions of what a zombie story would be like. Throw in the idea of what El Diablo is and how Lane has to be unconscious for El Diablo to do his thing, and you’ve got an all around interesting story.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Fantastic art on both the Hex and El Diablo stories. For Hex, Gray and Palmiotti continue playing with their star in a very different environment than he’s used to and for El Diablo, the writers take on the idea of zombies in the Old West. Both ideas work really well in general.||The Hex story goes for more action and, while still very good, doesn’t quite have the same awesome pacing and cool dialog moments this time around.|
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