Review by: pyynk

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Avg Rating: 4.4
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Written by Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Moritat & Staz Johnson
Colors by Mike Atiyeh
Letters by Rob Leigh
Cover by Howard Porter

Size: 40 pages
Price: 3.99

It’s no mystery I’m a fan of Westerns in general and Jonah Hex in particular. While I’m a fan of longtime writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, I was a little hesitant when I heard they planned to bring Hex to the modern day. Much of what makes Hex special, I thought, is his ability to operate in his own bubble and away from the DCU. He’s not just some guy who dresses up like a cowboy and commits deeds of derring-do in the 21st century. He actually is a bounty hunter from the 19th century with the attitudes and social mores that come with it. Bringing him to the modern day, I thought would take away what made him different. I should’ve known better.

Issue 21 of All-Star Western tempered that worry somewhat by Hex blasting right through a hostage situation in a way that left me howling with laughter. Issue 22, knocked any notions of a watered down Jonah Hex into the mud, the blood, and the beer. It’s really Jonah Hex. He’s really in the 21st century and he’s really not happy about any of it. Hex trying to adjust to life both in the modern day and to Arkham Asylum is gold, the voice and reactions are perfect and the interactions with this issue’s special guest star are also perfect. Gray and Palmiotti have such a grasp on the character, I feel for whoever follows them if they ever decide to walk away. As for Moritat, his work on Jonah Hex is fantastic; detailed when it needs to be, but sketchy and vibrant when it needs to be as well. And as of this issue he’s drawn both horses AND cars. And he’s done a good job of drawing both. Fear this man, other artists. Fear HIM. Every beat works and every action sequence feels vibrant and kinetic. Moritat straight up SELLS the action. This issue is missing the usual back up story and while the backups are fun, those additional pages allowed the main story to really stretch out. Moritat got to play a lot more with page design, for example, and the results are terrific. There are more than a couple of pages I’d love to have.

One of the comments I’ve heard from other long time Hex readers is that they were looking for something to shake up the action, to warrant tying Jonah closer to the DCU. This is the issue. Is it a good jumping on point? Sure! All you need to know is he’s a Wild West bounty hunter dropped into modern day Gotham City. Page one catches you up on the rest. How good is this particular issue? I don’t re-read most single issues; I just don’t have the time. I’ve read this one four times.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent

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