If Jonah Hex didn’t care much for Gotham City, he may be in for a bit of a shock in New Orleans in an all new All Star Western!
All Star Western #7
Thurston Moody, the man behind the missing children in Gotham has escaped to New Orleans. Hex and Arkham, DC’s original Dynamic Duo are hot on his heels. Within moments of stepping off the boat, a building erupts in flames. Hex risks his life to save the innocents inside, but the inhalation of the smoke has mortally wounded him. Luckily, Hannibal Hawkes and Kate Manser are also on the scene to save his life. When he comes to, Hawkes and Manser try to enlist Hex in their battle to bring whoever is blowing up the buildings of New Orleans to justice. After he agrees, begrudgingly, Hex finds himself in a gladiator-like arena where he’s talked into climbing into the ring and ultimately faces a spicy little tart named Z.C. Branke – who just so happens to like to kill her opponents.
The back up story this month features the supporting duo from the main story, Hawkes (Nighthawk) and Manser (Cinnamon) and retells Hawkes’ origins as a masked hero of the wild west.
Call me biased from a standpoint that I really adore Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti books, or that I think Moritat knocks this genre out of the park, or that I genuinely love Jonah Hex, or that I thoroughly enjoy regularly reading a western genre comic, but All Star Western is one of those books that I always flat out look forward to getting each month. Sure, it’s not Batman, or Superman, or Green Lantern, but dammit, I think this book is every bit written as well as those and Jonah Hex is just as interesting a character as Batman. In the first few pages, Hex, a man who isn’t exactly known for being charitable, runs into a burning building to save women and children trapped inside. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Hex has a particularly interesting view on what is right, wrong, and what he should get involved with. He doesn’t do it out of the idea of being a hero, or fixing a wrong in the world. He almost acts like as a balancing force. Those people in the building presumably did nothing wrong. It simply wouldn’t be right if they died there. That’s what Hex acts upon – an instinctual sense of what is right.
All this is fine and dandy, but don’t ask him for help like Nighthawk and Cinnamon do, because if you have to ask Hex for help, well… You ain’t gonna get it. It’s this type of thing that makes Hex nearly comical without coming off as silly. He’s guided by forces that few will understand, but the reader gets when they can see it all play out.
By far, the most interesting aspect to this issue is the underground fight club happening in the seedy underbelly of New Orleans. In a particularly adept use of “fitting in”, Hex meets up with a man who seems to have a silver tongue about what’s wrong in his city. This charismatic figure is likely a worse villain than the one Hex has come looking for, but is he saying the right things to the right people and is Hex buying any of it? Doubtful, but this could be a interesting character to have play out in this story. Plus, he has what might be best described as an acolyte who is every bit as deadly as she is sexy and it looks like she wants to have the next dance with Hex himself.
The Nighthawk and Cinnamon backup written by Palmiotti and Gray and drawn by Patrick Scherberger is a great little introduction to a character that new readers may not know too much about. Combining both the main story and the backup, All Star Western is a book I feel is every bit worth the $4 price tag. Maybe if you aren’t sure about the genre or don’t have a long standing knowledge of Jonah Hex, you might flinch at the price, but fans of this section of DC’s line or of Hex himself can’t help but be in love with this series.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Fun story, interesting new characters. Nighthawk and Cinnamon great additions to the series. Great art in both the main and backup stories.||Not much. I’m just glad this book continues to please every month.|
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