Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Comic Book Corner: All Star Western #1

What is light years better than anything Grant Morrison has ever written?

Anything written/created by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray.

I have been a fan of Jonah Hex since I first bought Hex #1 way back when thinking he was some kind of rip-off of Mad Max, the Road Warrior.

Being so long ago, I would like to think that at some point in the 18 issue series, I realized that he was an old time DC western character, but heck, I was like 15 years old and thought Road Warrior was the best movie ever.

What really got me interested in the character was the more 'Weird West' tales written by Joe R Lansdale (later of 'Bubba Ho-Tep' fame) and illustrated by Tim Truman. 'Riders of the Worm and Such' and 'Two Gun Mojo' blended the Old West with the supernatural. I have never played the Deadlands RPG, but I have to believe these books probably inspired that world a bit. Zombies and other supernatural beings take on the scarred gunslinger in some of the best comics ever written.

While I always kept my eye out for the original Jonah Hex stories, I never really read them until I finally bought the black and white reprints.

The most recent Jonah Hex series by Palmiotti and Gray was great. The emphasis was on single issue stories and there were very few exceptions where a storyline stretched multiple issues. The series was one of my favorites over the last 5 or 6 years as both DC and Marvel slowly drove me away from super-heroes in general.

Grant Morrison ruined Batman, JSA was destroyed by horrid writing, and DC in general just went from one too many crises to another for this guy. So, when DC decided to relaunch all 52 books in September 2011, I only had interest in a single one, and that was All Star Western.

The artwork by Moritat (whom I have never heard of) was near perfect and once again, P&G deliver on a great story, staying true to the Hex character and also showing a very cool Gaslight version of Gotham City. It reminds me a lot of Chicago as depicted in 'Devil in the White City' by Erik Larson (not the comic book Erik Larsen). Mayor Cobblepot, and mention of the Wayne family should neatly tie things together into the DC Universe..but of course, I want nothing to do with the rest of that stuff going on in the DC Universe...those bridges have been burned down by poor writing and worse editing for good.

As long as Palmiotti and Gray are writing, I will be buying Jonah Hex.

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