All-Star Western 11

Jonah Hex, Tallulah Black, the Crime Bible and the Court of Owls…what more could you want?

All-Star Western is consistently one of my favorite titles of the new 52.  Unlike Demon KnightsWestern does period-DCU in a way that is a) relevant, and b) entertaining (although I hear Demon Knights is about to become a lot more relevant pretty soon).

Issue 11 finds Jonah Hex, his crazy erstwhile lover Tallulah Black, and Hex’s nervous Dr. Watson-esque Amadeus Arkham preparing to enter into a turf war between the followers of Cain and the Court of Owls — made infamous in the pages of Scott Snyder’s Batman.  What I like about Gray and Palmiotti’s world is that they could have easily stuck with what they were doing with Hex pre-Flashpoint and placed him in the Old West.  Instead, he’s in the midst of a burgeoning Gotham City circa 1870.  Then, using the popularity of Snyder’s Batman and the rest of the Bat Family books as a springboard, through Hex into an adventure that is not only relevant to what’s happening in the rest of the DCU continuity some 150 years later, but that is also very exciting.

The character dynamics in this title are also incredible.  The stories are narrated by Arkham in a way that, again, brings to mind Dr. Watson relating the adventures of Holmes — except that Arkham is constantly profiling Hex, attempting to break into his mind.  Most of the time, the only conclusion he comes up with is that Hex gravitates towards violence.  And he’s right, the title is not short on violence.  In the issues preceding this one, we’ve seen Hex in gunfights, illegal boxing matches where knives have been drawn, and in massive explosions.  In issue 11, he and Tallulah Black (another hellraiser played HORRIBLY by Megan Fox in the Hex film a few years back) face off against a masked vigilante acting bodyguard for one of the followers of the Crime Bible.

I love where this title is headed and I try to talk it up whenever and wherever I can.  If you pick up one new title this year, make it this one, and find out the fate of the DCU a century early.  Your friends will be jealous, and you might just save the world.

– Henry