BAT LASH #3 (OF 6)
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I’m loving this minor rejuvenation of the western genre in comics. Between Jonah Hex, The Lone Ranger, Loveless, and now Bat Lash, it’s a great time to be reading about the old west in comics.
I was a little fearful when this mini debuted. First of all the character’s name is Bat Lash, and while Bat wasn’t an entirely uncommon name in the 19th Century (see; Masterson, Bat), it still sounds kinda silly, especially in the context of DC Comics where the first image to come to mind when hearing that name is probably Batman.
So that was my first worry. My second was that one of the co-writers is Sergio Aragones. Now, I’m not knocking Sergio Aragones, it was just that before this series I only knew him as a humor writer so how was I supposed to know if he could write a serious western comic? Well, he can and now I am a skeench less worried about The Spirit than I was three months ago.
While Bat Lash is not as grittily realistic as Jonah Hex, it also doesn’t possess any of its ultraviolence or nihilism. Think of it as a darker John Wayne movie. There are clearly good guys and bad guys but there are also shootings and hangings and the entire plot revolves around an attempted rape. So it’s not a lighthearted whitewash of the old west, but no one has been hacked to little pieces in a barn either. Yet. This one is more like a summer action movie.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the greatest draw for me and that is the absolutely beautiful art by industry legend John Severin. The man can flat out draw and the western genre is his bread and butter. If you are at all on the fence about this book at least give the pages a look the next time you are in the comic book store. Stunning.
So if you gave Jonah Hex a try and it was a bit too much for you and you’re still looking for a solid, action-packed western comic, Bat Lash might be up your alley. Or if you like Jonah Hex and you just want more fun times in the old west, this could also be the book for you. Think of Bat Lash as the 3:10 To Yuma to Jonah Hex‘s Unforgiven.
Art: 4 - Very Good