All-Star Western #16 Review
***SPOILER FREE REVIEW***
The latest issue of Gray and Palmiotti's All-Star Western is another solid comic book by the writing duo, bringing both fun and interesting character development to this series.
Gray and Palmiotti are known for writing fun comic books, and All-Star Western is certainly a fun comic book. While I've been a little disappointed by the current arc, this issue is a step in the right direction as we get action and character development. Since Jonah Hex is sidelined from the occurrences in last month's issues, he's forced to actually slow down and not fight his way through every obstacle. We get some nice scenes as Hex interacts both with his caregiver as well as a background character made more prominent this issue. These slower scenes actually reveal alot to us about Hex, and lead to some nice character development, including a spoiler I found slightly surprising (see below in the comments for the spoiler). These slower scenes were actually some of my favorite of the comic. We also get a strong fight scene in this issue, that's quite enjoyable. Unfortunately, this issue wraps up too quick, and it would have been nice for the back-up feature of this comic focus on the loose threads to help wrap them up.
Speaking of the back-up, I haven't really cared for the back-up stories featuring Tomahawk, which wraps up this issue. I'd rather it focus on on some of the loose threads of the current issues (ex. what's happening to Amadeus Arkham, what are Tallulah Black and the Barnaby Ghost up to, etc), similar to the back-ups from Batman. While I understand that the back-ups are necessary to introduce all of the Western DC characters to the New 52 universe, I feel like this comic would be better served if the backups either: 1) focused on side plot/characters, elaborating on their stories, 2) integrating into the main story, allowing for a longer story to be told (as in the first issue of this series), 3) dropped all together, and bring the price down to $2.99, which may help improve sales on this title.
Moritat's artwork is greatly improved from the last few issues, and looks really good in this comic.This may be one of Moritat's best drawn issues yet. When you consider the steady ability for Moritat to get his work done and not need fill-in artists, he should really be commended for making this title (and especially this issue) stand out.
Overall, a solid entry into the All-Star Western title, which is to be expected by this creative team. They know how to make fun comics. Here's to more great Jonah Hex stories!