One thing that the creative team has done well is making Jonah Hex the headliner of this series, while still remembering that this is ALL-STAR WESTERN, not a JONAH HEX title. Both Gray and Palmiotti have successfully managed to integrate other characters like The Barbary Ghost into the story. You might recall that The Barbary Ghost was featured in her own back-up story several issues ago, so it's great to see the back-ups be integrated into the series in this way.
As much as I hate to see Tallulah Black go, the way she departs the series isn't jarring and makes a lot of sense. Once again, the balance between Hex and Amadeus Arkham is great; I love the way these two characters keep one another in check and their humorous banter is fantastic. The moment where they interact is, in my opinion, when the issue gets really interesting. The comic ends on a serious cliff hanger and things turn really dark really fast. You can really feel the way the tone of the issue goes from feeling really light-hearted to really dark very quickly, but it works here.
The back-up feature is the second part of a story featuring Tomahawk. What is great about this story is the characterization and the silver-age feel that the story has. I really like historical fiction, so reading a story about Tomahawk is great. The creative team manages to really ground the tale in reality and it feels like a classic comic book story.
The colors felt a little bit off in this issue. While Moritat's style is generally pretty rough, this issue felt a little less clean and streamlined than previous books. The fight scene between the Barbary Ghost and the Golden Dragons, for example, was particularly confusing. I think that had those panels been a bit more detailed they would have been easier to understand. Unfortunately, however, the it was too difficult to decipher what was actually happening during the fight.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed this issue. I love that you get two very different stories and I think the newest adversary to Hex and Arkham is definitely one that has piqued my interest. The character is interesting and taken right out of a classic novel, something I can appreciate. I think the creative team also really managed to find the voice of the character, too, which is important. The shift in tone halfway through the book is not only appropriate, but it is done so with ease. Save for some panels in the main story that felt a little bit sloppy, this was still another great issue of ALL-STAR WESTERN.