All-Star Western, issues 27-29. Written by Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti, with art by Moritat, Staz Johnson, and Fabrizio Forentino.
We pick up at the start of issue 27 exactly where 26 ends (reviewed here), and with a scene that many long-time DC Comics friends have dreamed about for years. The baddest man in the Old West comes face to face with the Man of Steel. And as overwhelmed as Hex should be by Superman and his abilities, it’s what the Man of Steel hasn’t done that confuses Hex. “There’s still people doin’ terrible things ta each other same as it wuz in muh time.” The fact that the presence of super-powered beings has not cleansed the world of evil is actually a quite insightful comment.
The presence of the Jonah Hex exhibit at the Metropolis Museum is a highlight of the arc, especially the timey-wimey nature of Hex coming face-to-face with what may very well be his own corpse. That day ends with a drunken Hex being run down by a truck, in another very good cliff-hanger. Hex falls into a coma and discovers after awakening, that the 21st century surgeons have reconstructed his famously damaged face. Before he can get into too much trouble in our time, Booster Gold arrives on the scene. “Ah never thought Ah’d be happy to see you," Hex admits, before being sent back to where he used to living. Unfortunately, his repaired face causes more trouble in the past than Hex could ever have expected.
This time that Jonah spent in his future is a nice homage to the Hex series from the mid 1980s. And the interaction with Superman was very well-done.
The artist change that occurred in issues 28 & 29 was jarring, but it helped that they picked a good time for the switch. Jonah’s repaired face was going to look odd, no matter whether Moritat drew it or not. We do get some more action with old-time Jonah in flashback scenes, and this distinctly different art style was more noticeable.
Sadly, this title was been canceled, and will end with issue 34. The last five issues will be reviewed here in the near future.
Source: my daughter and I have been purchasing these as new issues from a variety of local comic shops.