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All Star Western # 2
Written By: Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti
Art By: Moritat
The book that should’ve been the Best of the Week with its inaugural issue is back with a vengeance. All Star Western has been developing an amazing buzz and there was nothing in this issue that made me think that they didn’t deserve every ounce of it. Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti have reigned supreme by delivering great Jonah Hex stories for the last few years– but with All Star Western they have just brought Hex– and the comic book western– to another level entirely.
Picking up where we left off in #1, Jonah Hex and Amadeus Arkham continue their murder investigation– only to become embroiled in an all-out gun fight worthy of any true grit western. Rifles shooting through windows, big explosions and bloodthirsty hooded henchmen were all I needed to have the best reading experience this week. Hex’s most recognizable attributes also poke their head out with a “by the book” confession/murder scene. What really sold this book to me was how Gray & Palmiotti have managed to tell the origin of one of the most famous fictional cities with a great amount of subtly.
One of the ideas that made the DC New 52 Relaunch so intriguing and ambitious was the stated attempt to make all of the books– regardless of timeline– mesh with one another. Paul Cornell gave us a hint of Stormwatch in Demon Knights #1 and now All Star Western is giving us hints that its’ overall story will provide us with definitive origin story for the legendary Arkham Asylum. Although our main character is Jonah Hex, to me he is only one player in the bigger picture– which is how Gotham City came to be the darkest entity in the DC Universe.
I can’t possibly write about All Star Western #2 without making mention of the fantastic art, which in my opinion was leaps and bounds better than the first issue. The decision to not make any double page spreads and stick strictly to one page splash’s served well for those reading this issue on a digital delivery system like myself. And if I haven’t said enough to make you go out and read this book then maybe I can cap it off by mentioning that this already action packed issue also brings with it an
8-page back up featuring El Diablo.
All Star Western is a perfect example of how fun comics used to be. You will get the best bang for your buck here– even considering it’s $3.99 an issue. Given all the great content in ASW, Marvel Comics should be embarrassed that for the same price they rarely– if ever– bring the goods that Gray & Palmiotti bring here.The Incredible Hulk # 1
Written By: Jason Aaron
Art By: Marc Silvestri, Michael Broussard, Joe Weems, Rick Basaldua and Sal Regla
The Hulk has gone through many transformations throughout the years. Various creators have attempted to put their own spin on the jolly green giant– with some succeeding more than others. So it’s not that surprising that a hot writer like Jason Aaron fails to bring even the slightest bit of interest to this one-dimensional character. (Even if he is speaking again.) Thankfully, the art doesn’t reflect the listless storytelling. The multi-artists’ efforts provided some of the best work displayed this week and was the only thing that made this book bearable.
Wolverine and the X-Men # 1
Written By: Jason Aaron
Art By: Chris Bachalo
I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this. I’ve hated the title since the 1st announcement. I have always felt jackhammering Wolverine’s name into a comic’s title is just a cheap formula to sell more books. That said, I enjoyed the cast of characters and fresh comedic feel that Jason Aaron has injected into the X-Men. The X-Books are heavy with drama– making this change of pace a welcome treat. I’m not sure whether this lighter touch will continue but it sure made this book more enjoyable than most X-Fare.Aquaman # 2
Written By: Geoff Johns
Art By: Ivan Reis
The disappointment bug bites me once again as one of DC’s best characters continues to get the short end of the stick. I’m not debating that Ivan Reis is a great artist but I think his style is becoming very much (dare I say) like Rob Liefeld’s. I should probably elaborate in order to be completely fair: Where Liefeld lacks the ability to draw a proper range of emotions, Reis’ faces a problem with… Perfection. It’s a fact that everything Reis draws– be it physiques, faces or even “average Joe” filler characters– must all be perfect, featuring great looking square-jawed people. This is only a nitpick I have. I would never go so far as to say that he is a bad artist, only not an artist that I don’t specifically enjoy. The story is also snooze worthy– making this issue an overall BUST.Deadpool # 45
Written By: Daniel Way
Art By: Salva Espin
I haven’t discussed the Merc with a Mouth yet. The one thing I think we should all consider is that Daniel Way has managed to successfully write Deadpool for four years– earning much praise from non-critics. Although I can understand the seething hatred for Deadpool, I can’t state I share it. His market saturation is nowhere near that of Wolverine’s, making the argument of his overuse a weak one. Deadpool #45 keeps up the funny as Wade Wilson and his darker Doppelganger save the day and wreak havoc. This is also my first exposure to Salva Espin— who displays a clean line and makes each character unique. Don’t let the critics steer you away from one of Marvel’s best books– amazingly not affected by all the event tie-ins.
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