Comic Vine Review


All-Star Western #13 - The Strange Case of Dr. Arkham and Mr. Hex; ...Tomahawk!


Jonah Hex and co. have a run in with Haly's Circus in the latest issue of ALL-STAR WESTERN

The Good

First off I think it's great that the creative team on this series is integrating elements we've seen in previous ALL-STAR issues (like the appearance of Yanmei Tsen) into the Jonah Hex story. It's finally beginning to feel like an "ALL-STAR" series and not just a Jonah Hex book with a back-up. I think bringing her into the main story makes the book feel more cohesive. Additionally, I think it's neat to see the creative team look to other elements in literature to establish their story. The mention of Doctor Jekyll in this issue is a great example of that. Not only is it interesting to see the creative team take elements that are recognizable to readers and integrate them into this main story, but it also aids in developing a more elaborate Gotham City. It's essentially adding to the history of Gotham.

Moritat does a superb job with this issue, once again. He's been consistently good on this series overall; his pencils are gritty, but really pretty, and are very complimentary to the story and the world that Jimmy and Justin are trying to convey to readers.

I think it's nice to see these three characters working together (Hex, Tallulah and Amadeus Arkham). In this issue, more than any other, the three characters feel like they really work well together. It's also good to see them all playing detective, going after the bad guys and trying to solve this murder mystery. It certainly feels like the right time for the three of them to have this established working relationship.

The Bad

I feel like we have seen plenty of crazed clowns in comics in the past, so seeing this one appear in this issue was not altogether that interesting. The idea that Doctor Jekyll may be involved in the creation of these crazed individuals who go on murdering sprees is interesting, but the fact that they turn into these crazy murderous clown feels overdone. It's definitely something we have seen before. The way the issue opens turned me off a little bit from the story too, but that might be because it was in the same vein as this idea of a crazy clown massacre.

The Verdict

I really enjoyed this issue; both the main story as well as the back-up that introduces Tomahawk to readers. I think both stories are well organized, the pacing is good, and are a great example of how best to create and present a group of characters who are working together to solve a crime. I think this issue is, overall, really well done. My only real complaint are the villains used in the book; they did feel a bit cliche. I understand that integrating Haly's Circus, it makes sense to have crazed, murderous clowns; but it's a concept we've seen countless times. I think it could have been a little bit more creative.