Writer: Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti
Art: Moritat, Patrick Scherberger
Publisher: DC Comics
Odd as it may sound, my first introduction to Jonah Hex was on Batman: The Animated Series. He had a two-part episode that tied to Ras Al Ghul and Batman. It was a great episode, full of Old West style action with an entirely different kind of hero. I’ve been curious to get a peek at Hex’s latest starring vehicle in All Star Western ever since the New 52 launched, and getting drawn into the whole Night of the Owls event seemed as good of an excuse as any to check it out. This issue doesn’t really have much relevancy to the overall event, but it was still fun.
Despite the Night of the Owls banner on the cover, and the fact that we see Hex trying to gun down a Talon assassin, the whole Owls thing really is nothing more than a glorified cameo in this issue. There are connections here and there, but not having read any of All Star Western leading up to this point, I wasn’t able to make any of those connections. The issue starts off right in the middle of things, and it ends much in the same way. If, like me, this is where you’re coming in at, try not to worry too much about what’s going on and just enjoy the action. It’s wild west fun that has a different flair from typical super hero books while at the same time feeling very familiar. Again, there’s little to no significance that I can see for this being a Night of the Owls tie-in, but perhaps in the greater context of things that changes. All I know is it was fun to see Hex in action again.
The backup feature with Nighthawk and Cinnamon is also a lot of fun. It’s a light-hearted, romance action romp. I know, that sounds like a strange description, but I think it’s apt. As the narration introduces us to this loving duo of old west heroes, it notes that “In order for love to last, you need a strong foundation.” I couldn’t agree more. While it goes on to share a few ideas of things that can make up that strong foundation—respect, trust, and a good sense of humor—it lacks a key element to truly having a love that lasts; a foundation built on the One who actually is love, God Almighty. It only makes sense that if we truly want to know what love is, we should learn from the one who is love. First John tells us that “This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10) Many think that true love happens when both people well up with warm, fuzzy feelings inside. God shows us that true love was when he was willing to have his son, his only son, die on our behalf long before any of us paid him any regard, let alone showed him any love. He loved us while were unlovable. You want a strong foundation for love that lasts; use God’s love as a blueprint.
All Star Western is a fun, if a seemingly insignificant, addition to the whole Night of Owls crossover. Truthfully, I don’t know that it even needs to be considered as such. The whole section with the Talon feels shoehorned in to another story just for the sake of having it in there to be a part of the larger event. But whatever, Jonah Hex is always fun to hang around with, and if nothing else, this issue may get you interested in checking out the rest of this series to see what the story is really about; I know I’m going to.
Score: 4 of 7 (mainly because for a tie-in, it doesn’t really tie in a whole lot)
A BIG thanks to Astro-Zombies for providing the material for this review. Learn more about them at astrozombies.com.