Here’s Spit In Yer Eye: JD reviews All Star Western 0
(featuring Jonah Hex)

Title: ALL STAR WESTERN featuring JONAH HEX #0
Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Artist: Moritat
Colorist: Mike Atiyeh
Published by DC Comics
Reviewed by Johnny Destructo

Hellfire and tarnation, what is it that keeps me from reading this book? I’ve heard whispers and exclamations that this book is rad, from those I respect, and yet I can’t seem to get off my duff and read this book more often. Is it that I don’t have the money? Hell no, I work in a comic shop and can read them for free! Is it that I just hate Westerns? 10 years ago, I would have said yes. But my journey from Asian cinema into Akira Kurosawa into Spaghetti Westerns has left me a fan of the broken leather and sand-modded, haggard faces of the old west heroes. Just not enough hours in the day, is what it boils down to. Well, it looks like I’m going to just have to create more, because this books seems well worth it.

Now I’ll admit that while I’ve enjoyed the occasional Hexposition (thangyewvurrymuch), I was slightly bored by the first couple issues of the New 52 ASW. I wasn’t feeling Hex’s new Chatty-Cathy partner, or his time in Gotham city. I suppose I felt that, like the almighty Pee Wee Herman, Hex was “a loner, Dottie…a rebel”. But that was just me being a sullen amber-stuck grouch, fearing the changes brought by the updated landscape of the New Five-Two.

That doesn’t apply here though. I can’t say that my previously stated views on the subject were worn down and given new light through this issue, because none of that is IN this issue. This does what the Zero issues SHOULD be doing, going back and telling the origin of the book and its characters.
No Chatty-Katherine or Gotham City here (ok except for the last vignette). Herein, we have a tale worthy of any western film. In fact…something like this SHOULD have been given to us in place of the terrible Jonah Hex movie that we got in 2010. (Holy hell on a horse saddle, that was only two years ago? That wretched thing felt like forever ago. Anyhoo.) This story is not THAT. We are witness to Woodson Hex, being totally bad-ass and protecting his wife as she gives birth to their scarless baby boy, Jonah. (Ok…so he wasn’t born like that. Got it). But the bad-ass Woodson deteriorates from the drink over the years into a wife-throttling coward and things do not go well for the family, as you would expect.

We are then taken on a journey as Jonah endures hardship after hardship after hardship. Abused. Betrayed. Abandoned, time and time again. Even sustaining some terrible scarring, but even THAT is not enough. We then are slogged through even more Hexcessive tribulations until he is outcast from his adoptive family and into his face is finally burned The Mark Of The Demon. Man, insult to injury for this fella. It just ain’t right.

But as painful as it was to experience along with ole Hex, it was a damnably pleasurable ride.
Saddle-sores and all, this book is gravel, grit, n’guts and it’s holding me at gun-point to read some more.

JD can be found hosting the PopTards Podcast, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam over at www.poptardsgo.com, graphically designing/illustrating/inking for a living, and Booking his Face off at http://www.facebook.com/jaydotdeedot. Follow his twitter @poptardsgo. His talkback name is PopTard_JD

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