Sunday, 28 April 2013

Review Month - All Star Western issue 19.

All Star Western - issue 19.

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray.
Art by Moritat.
Colours by Andre Szymanowicz.

Published by DC Comics as part of the New 52.

What can you say about this title that hasn't been said already (and mostly by myself). Palmiotti and Gray have such a great grip on this character. Forget Lobo, Jonah Hex is pretty much DC's Wolverine analogue. (Yes, I know Hex came first!) We also get this surprise guest star of Booster Gold. A great left field decision to introduce such a 'regular' DC hero into this dirty and violent environment. I reviewed an old Booster Gold comic just last week and this put a big smile on my face.

The book opens with Hex and Booster talking and Booster trying to impress him about how tough he really is and the fact that he is now a Sheriff of a local town.. Hex isn't having any of it. The pair examine three bodies of men working a claim who seem to have been killed without putting up a fight.

The story then switches to a small town as the Clem Hootkins Gang ride in. They are lead by a real nasty Klaus Kinski lookalike. They have a chat with a local drunk, kill him, reveal a big Wild Bunch machine gun. Rob the bank and destroy the town. Hex and Booster appear and (kind of) agree to track the gang down. We get a flashback sequence that shows how Booster became the sheriff. Booster then wakes up drunk / hungover on the floor of the tavern and the two ride off to find the gang.

I got a little confused at this point as the story seemingly flows into the Stormwatch back up piece. Some more end / start credits were needed possibly?

The book is full on funny and full on violent. A mean feat. The art by Moritat is the best of his I have seen for a while and is also (as usual) some of the best out there. The colour palette has that washed out, almost sepia look to it that works as well in the old west setting as it did in the turn of the century Gotham. The gold and blue of the Booster Gold costume works really well as a clean cut counterpoint to the old dirty west. Loved it!

The weaving of Booster Gold into this setting makes for some interesting possibilities for this arc and I can't wait to read the next issue! Hex never misses a beat in his speech and his movements into action. At this point in the DC Universe I would rather read him than any other character (yes even Batman!).I just wish that we got a full issue. I shall be buying this book in trade as well. This is a future classic, trust me.

Buy it.


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