“All Star Western” #24 continues Jonah Hex’s roadtrip in the twenty-first century as the gunslinger finds a new shooting iron and crosses paths with a former Vertigo star. Writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti seem to have no shortage of events and individuals they want to check the character against as this issue puts him in court, has him meet Bruce Wayne and continues to develop Hex’s relationship with his traveling companion, Gina Green.
As Hex has done throughout his run with Palmiotti and Gray, he rolls with the punches, taking everything in stride and delivering his own very specific brand of justice. Hex doesn’t want trouble from anyone and he’s trying not to cause trouble. He’s confused by things in the current time period, but realizes there’s nothing he can do to change them, so he hops on a chopper, gets a leather jacket to replace the Confederate uniform and goes about minding his own business. Palmiotti and Gray keep his galpal around from the past couple of issues in a maneuver that allows Hex to be more involved with the reader without chaining the character to burdensome caption boxes that would shatter the character’s mystique.
Moritat’s art reminds me of Colorforms from my youth: the backgrounds are clear and detail, as are the characters, but it seems as though the characters are simply placed on the background. In some spots the floating is more prominent, as colorist Mike Atiyeh applies patterns or gradients to the background that don’t help ground the characters. That said, Moritat does a great job of selling the characters and making them fun to read. The absence of excessive detail pushes the characters forward and gives the reader more of a sense of motion and vitality from the characters. The combination of Moritat, Atiyeh and letterer Rob Leigh make the visuals more bubbly and “All-Star Western” #24 more lively.
“All-Star Western” #24 is simply another excellent installment in the adventures of Jonah Hex. One of DC’s most consistently enjoyable titles, “All-Star Western” doesn’t lose sight of the “Western” despite the current-day setting and modern guest stars. Gray, Palmiotti and Moritat are having fun playing with Hex, his reactions and, more importantly, the reactions of the world to Jonah Hex. Despite the ornery appearance of the character and the shift in subject matter towards the weird, “All-Star Western” #24 is a delightfully fun comic for the reader to soak in.