These one-shots spotlighting Marvel's Western heroes have been a lot of fun so far (I absolutely loved the Giffen/Fleming back-up story in the first one-shot), and in the second one-shot so far, a fairly normal lead story has been outshone by a more inventive back-up story.
This is not to say that the lead story in either issue was bad, for the lead story in this issue, by the Jonah Hex writing team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, is a good story. With very stylized artwork from Federica Manfredi, the story is a nice little story about Kid Colt and The Arizona Girl fighting off the Apaches, then finding themselves in a crazy western town where the townfolk do not act like normal folk, even the people in town that Colt has MET before!!
The story may contradict some early Fantastic Four issues, but hey, who's counting?
All in good fun! And this issue was just that. I especially love the exchanges between Colt and the Arizona Girl (Annie). I love how she is so quick to anger, but he has a way of calming her down. Pretty interesting relationship.
The second story, though, by Jim McCann and artist David Williams, is just a stellar short story. I hope to see more of the characters introduced in the story, the Philadelphia Filly (think Tracy Lord from the Philadelphia Story, but only out West!), along with Spender, the man who is known as Spender because he lost his original name in a poker match!! That sort of cool little touch just rules.
The Filly is a bit of a Miss Manners of the Old West, but she is a quick thinker and I would really like to see her and Spender get into other adventures. Fun, funny and clever, McCann has a real winner here. I hope he is given the chance to revisit this character in the future.
The collection is rounded out by two classic Rawhide Kid tales plus a generic western tale. They're all quite fun, as well.
I would recommend this comic, with the reservation being that the best stories in the book are the backups (but the lead story is good, as well).