Monday, February 3, 2014

Comic Review: All-Star Western 10-12

All-Star Western, issues 10-12. Written by Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti, with art by Moritat. DC Comics, cover-dated June-August, 2012.

After the actions in issue 9, Hex & Amadeus A are back in Gotham, where a former “associate” of Hex’s, Tallulah Black, lands at his feet, having been tossed out a second-story window of Wayne Casino. She has a grudge against a major landowner in Gotham, who is butting heads with the Wayne family. 

The secret society running Gotham, who appeared many issue before, have reappeared. As a matter of fact there are two: Arkham’s work leads him to clues as to the mysterious “Court of Owls” that stretches back to Gotham’s founding. They are in a secret society battle against the Lords of Crime, who have a nice “five families” concept to their organization of criminal enterprise.. Hex and Black have been unwittingly working for the “Owls,” as their targets have been Lords. 

The Crime Lords have the three arrested and taken to Slaughter Swamp, where they are threatened by a machine in a panel that includes the one of the best comic captions ever: “Steam-powered death machine.”
The strength of these issues is Amadeus’ narration, which gives us a “way in” to understanding these emotionally damamged characters. As one panel reads: “I could give an entire lecture on deviant psycholog based on those two alone.” But the star is Black, of whom Arkham once comments “Our only hope of survival lies in the hands of a deranged woman with one good eye. I only pray she’ll be back in time to save us.” 

There are backups of Batlash (in issue 10), and Dr. Terrence Thirteen (in isues 11 & 12). Art in these stories are by Jose-Luis Garcia-Lopez (10), and Scott Kolins (11 & 12). I especially enjoyed the Dr. Thirteen story, which had a very Sherlock Holmes feel to it. 

Source: My daughter and I are purchasing these regularly from various local comic shops.

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