A few weeks ago, I got quite a scare when I heard a rumor that my beloved All-Star Western was cancelled. Luckily, this rumor turned out to be untrue, and I’m glad to see more issues coming out starring the lovable scoundrel Jonah Hex. Now that Hex, and his new girlfriend Gina, have finally returned to the past, we’re in for some more classic Western shenanigans. How did this issue rate? Let’s saddle up for All-Star Western #29!
Fresh off a stint in the modern era, and blessed with a handsome face thanks to plastic surgery, Jonah Hex and his girlfriend, Gina Green, arrive in the late 19th century. After a run in with Apache warriors, the duo sit down and Gina begs Hex to tell her a story, which he eventually obliges. Through the story, we find out about one of Jonah’s previous bounty cases, where he brought down white-supremacist responsible for numerous atrocities against the native tribes of the region. After finishing the story, Hex and Gina journey onward to the land of the Dine people, where a horrible event occurs…
I’m consistently amazed with the story-telling duo of Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti. These gentleman have written Jonah Hex for over 100 issues at this point, and it’s clear they understand not only his character, but also find intriguing ways to weave in real historical context alongside wild, supernatural activity. This issue is broken into three parts, each of which essentially tells a separate story, yet all of it flows together seamlessly and makes this issue feel cinematic. Furthermore, this issue, while building on events of the previous arc, represents a stand-alone story which speaks to the versatility of the writers.
Artist Cliff Richards took over as penciller with this issue. While I do miss the wonderful Moritat, Richards is equally suited to this book and has a great style. I love the way he draws the period-appropriate weaponry and clothing, as well as the action sequences. Richards brings an exquisite subtlety to the book, making even scenes of characters speaking with one another resonant with intrigue, hatred, and defiance. There’s a special sequence (which I don’t want to spoil) that deserves special attention, as it proves just what kinds of far-out things Richards is capable of. My only gripe with Richards’ art is the way he draws Hex’s hat; for some reason, the way it sits on his head just looks odd to me. Mike Atiyeh and Rob Leigh have stayed on as colorist and letterer, respectively, which makes the artistic transition all the smoother. If nothing else, the tone of the book remains perfectly consistent, despite an art shift.
All-Star Western #29 continues the tradition of this intriguing spin on a classic genre. This issue caps off the previous time travel arc and sets the stage for new events of Hex’s life, while reflecting on where the man has come from. Recently, I heard one of the best things you can learn in life is how to survive failure and move forward; this issue touches on that theme, which is an inspiring one, as the reader follows the powerful journey of Jonah Hex. This is definitely an issue anyone who enjoys great story-telling, but especially fans of the Western genre, should pick up.
-excellent story punctuated by amazing character moments
-great weaving of three different stories
-perfect jumping on point for new readers
-Jonah’s hat sits oddly on his head
-last arc seems to have wrapped up somewhat hastily
Brett Simon is a twenty-four year old comic enthusiast. He’d go camping with Jonah Hex.
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