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All-Star Western #0 Review

5

If you've ever wondered how Jonah Hex came to be, then look no further than this week's issue of ALL STAR.

The Good

I think this might very well be one of the best written #0 issues of the New 52 that I have read so far. To say that Jonah Hex has had a tragic life would be an understatement. If you've ever felt any sort of pity for Bruce Wayne and his origin story, you will surely not find a more tragic character back story than Jonah Hex's. It's interesting, actually. He is a man without a father and a mother who abandoned him. He is without family, without heritage and he fights for no cause than his own. He's complex, but also so clear cut and easy to understand. He is tortured, and it's difficult to determine whether or not he is the type of man that allows his history to define him. There is no character more intricate than Jonah Hex, and if you've ever wondered why, then you need look no further than the #0 issue of ALL-STAR WESTERN.

How Palmiotti and Gray can compress Jonah's entire character history as precisely as they did in ALL-STAR WESTERN #0 without making the issue feel convoluted, forced or rushed is more than just impressive; it's masterful. If ALL-STAR is a series you have been avoiding but one you have thought of picking up just to see what it's all about, then you need to purchase this issue. In it you not only get a sense for the character and of what makes him tick, but you get his entire back story. Evenly paced, well written, organized and perfectly condensed; this is a comic you absolutely want to pick up if you are a Jonah Hex fan or have always wanted an introduction to his character.

Moritat has consistently been the artist on this series and his work here is absolutely stunning. You absolutely get the sense of pain and torture the character has had to endure, and his depiction of Hex is really beautiful. It's definitely hard to read this issue without getting a little bit choked up.

The great thing about the creators on this title is that they know just where their limits are; they know just how far enough they can push the story and characterization before it gets to be too much. Hex is the kind of tortured character that a reader can relate to. It's easy to see why he is the way he is, and the scenes from his childhood really exemplify that. He's clearly tortured, and was tortured as a child and this issue really captures that.

The Bad

Nothing bad here. This is an incredible issue, in my opinion.

The Verdict

If it were up to me I would have Palmiotti, Gray and Moritat on this title forever. I think that this creative team works really well together on ALL-STAR WESTERN and they have set the standard for this series pretty high. This is, by far one of the best #0 issues I have read so far; it's clear, organized and it gives the reader the characters back story and still manages to set the stage for the next story arc without making the book feel rushed.The creators on this title have a very clear idea of the kind of story they want to tell and the type of character they want to portray and it's hard not to fall in love with him. If you've ever wanted to see what would make Jonah Hex cry, or how he got the scar on his face, then this isn't a book you will want to pass up.

7 Comments
Edited by Imagine_Man15

Alright, I give up... I'll start reading this series

Posted by bladewolf

This is a seriously good issue, much better than the last few!

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

I love this book :)

Posted by CpTait

The art looks slightly different this issue, specifically the present day setting. Jonah looks younger/cleaner with few lines used to draw his face? and the characters look a little smoother in general. If the character art stays this way i'll be very happy.

Edited by Reignmaker

@CpTait said:

The art looks slightly different this issue, specifically the present day setting. Jonah looks younger/cleaner with few lines used to draw his face? and the characters look a little smoother in general. If the character art stays this way i'll be very happy.

I have a hard time believing that was Moritat's art when it shifted to the present day. It didn't mention anyone in the credits under art except Moritat. It did mention a special thanks to "Pla Guerra" though. Makes me wonder if it was penciled by Pia Guerra from Y The Last Man.

Moritat's pencils are something that either works for you or not. I know the reviewers over at IGN have typically rated this book low chiefly because of Moritat. I think it's ok for the given subject matter, but I don't know if I'd want to see his art in a super hero book.

Posted by Mezmero

This issue was amazing. I honestly wasn't completely clear what his origin was until reading this. I'm especially fond of the end of the flashback because it humanizes Hex as a tormented guy who is still susceptible to the drink no matter how tough he is. The last page had me intrigued as well. Great job on the review. Keep up the good work.

Posted by ncarolinasailor

I really enjoyed this (knowing nothing more of Jonah Hex prior to this and the knowledge that a really bad flick was made a couple years ago). I have been looking for a western comic that reads like those from the early 60's. Jonah Hex has the epitome of a rough childhood as you might imagine a man on the edge of the law in the frontier might have had. There is so much fodder for story lines here that I hope we will see in the future with this series. I think the All Star Western is going to be a beacon of hope for those anxious about the new 52.