All Star Western Volume 2: The War of Lords and Owls

Collecing All Star Western #7-12

Writers: Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti

Artist: Moritat

DC Comics, $16.99, color, 192 pages

I don't have any intellectual things to say about All Star Western. I just enjoy it like a kid, all the way down to my toes.

Palmiotti & Gray know Jonah Hex inside and out, having written more than 100 issues about the irascible gunslinger. And when they brought Hex to the big city (Gotham) in the last volume, I worried the character would get subsumed in the Bat-mythos and lose his own identity. Especially with all the Bat-related characters around.

Oh, pooh. Hex is too big a personality to be subsumed by anyone, even Batman. Instead, Jeremiah Arkham has become a hilarious sidekick/partner/comic relief, Hex has dealt harshly with his era's Court of Owls and Crime Bible adherents, and he's teamed up with -- but not befriended -- local crimefighters Cinammon and Nighthawk (who get a back-up series, too). Oh, and Tallulah Black returns, as dangerous and sexually terrifying (to anyone but Hex) as ever.

All these characters and concepts mix in a rich, satisfying stew that has nothing to with Batman. Sure, you stumble across names like Wayne and Cobblepot, but really, this is Hex's show.

And it's a damn fine show, podnuh.

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