Credit where it’s due, I wouldn’t have pegged “All-Star Western” #9 as a candidate for a “Night of the Owls” crossover. That’s exactly what Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Moritat have dreamed up for comic fans, though. Except, of course, it’s not quite as straightforward as most of the “Night of the Owls” comics.
In this case, Palmiotti and Gray have dropped a Wild West era Talon into their greater story that’s been running in “All-Star Western” with some mixed results. Considering the comic had shifted down to Louisiana, the Gotham-based Talon is a bit of a surprise, but it’s worked in thanks to a Talon pursuing someone all the way from Gotham City.
For new readers, it’s the moment they’re waiting for, but it’s also the least interesting part of the comic. Moritat’s drawing of the Talon is one of the least interesting renditions we’ve seen, which considering so many Talons in the present are in period outfits, is a little odd. It doesn’t help that Gabriel Bautista has colored the first appearance of the Talon as being in a shiny metallic color; my initial thought was, “Why is the Talon in a metal suit?” Later pages are colored much more appropriately, but the damage is done.
It’s the rest of the comic that works much better. Palmiotti and Gray write Cinnamon and Nighthawk has fun guest-stars and Moritat’s art elsewhere in the comic appears much more lush and enticing. Patrick Scherberger draws the back-up story that directly stars Cinnamon and Nighthawk, and it’s good, too. I’ve enjoyed Scherberger’s art ever since he came to my attention in CBR’s Comic Book Idol competition, so it’s fun to see him turning out energetic and attractive pages here.’
“All-Star Western” #9 is nice book, but those picking it up for “Night of the Owls” are going to miss out on the rest of the comic, which is far more interesting. Palmiotti, Gray and Moritat’s Jonah Hex story has been consistently strong, and that’s the real reason to check this series out. So buy it, but look at everything else that’s going on and you’ll be much happier.