Jonah Hex and Dr Jeremiah Arkham have escaped Gotham City and are on the run. They find themselves being comforted by a couple of women, and Jonah squares off against a mad man in a small town.
ALL STAR WESTERN #23 is an incredibly solid read. It feels incredibly cinematic and is reminiscent of films like NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and the far less sillier parts of THE LAST STAND. There's a grittiness to it, as there's always been. However, this book really holds up well with Jonah in present day. As weird as it may sound, this book is just as strong, if not stronger, with Jonah roaming around present day. Writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Just Gray have really been nailing it with this book and especially with the past couple of stories.
This issue really showed the reader that just because it's a western, it doesn't need to take place in the late 19th century. ALL STAR WESTERN #23 does a phenomenal job at giving the reader an authentic, yet contemporary, western genre book. Hex, and crew, find themselves in a local town with a maniac running loose and Hex has to stop them. It's a fantastic scene, and it feels incredibly cinematic and within the western genre.
The action is quick and brutal. Believe it or not, ALL STAR WESTERN spends a bit of time focusing more on relationships and character development rather than who is the quickest draw, which is perfect because when the action sequences actually do come around, they are fantastic. Moritat's art, during these scenes, is fantastic. He is great in show motion and making these panels feel like quick camera shots. Again, it all goes back to this book reading like an awesome film.
Normally, Moritat's art is a perfect fit for this book, but within this particular issue, there were a few problematic panels, mainly with how Mortiat drew the women. They don't seem to fit in to this book, they're like walking caricatures. On their own, they look fine, but it really seems out of place compared to the rest of the characters within this book.
ALL STAR WESTERN is a book that should be on your pull list. It's an awesome story and it's incredibly engaging. Better yet, each issue's reveal page, especially this one, really gets the reader pumped for the next issue. The reveals make sense and fit in with the story. They're not just there for shock value. Palmiotti, Gray, and Moritat deliver a fantastic issue and overall series. Sure, there's a few problems with Moritat's art in this particular issue, but overall, this book is one hell of a ride.