Comic Vine Review


All-Star Western #15 - Strange Medicine; Tomahawk, Part Three: Massacre


Hyde meets Jonah Hex in the latest issue of ALL-Star.

The Good

It's great to see the creative team of this series draw from popular fiction to create an interesting story. In this issue we see Jonah Hex face off against Mr. Hyde, the dark side of a man named Reggie. The story picks up where readers left off, with Amadeus Arkham in the clutches of Mr. Hyde who has poisoned him and revealed Arkham's "inner persona." We don't get much of that at the start of the issue since the story quickly shifts to a fight between Jonah Hex and Hyde, but we do get more of Arkham's inner demons later in the issue when the two engage in a fight.

Although the majority of this issue is one big fight, I do think that Arkham provided some sort of comic relief in certain scenes. If you read the issue then you might already know what I am referring to.

There were some great panels in this issue where I felt Moritat was really exploring the use of abstract panels, that was definitely evident in the two-page spread where Hex is falling through a window and again towards the end of the story where Hyde is creating more of his potion. These were the highlights of the art in this issue.

The Bad

Most of this issue is one big fight, there isn't a whole lot of plot development and push in this story. The readers aren't really given a better idea of who Hyde is and what his motives are beyond the fact that he is clearly insane. I think a lot more could have been said about the character; I would have liked to have seen the writers of this series explore Hyde's motives and what he's after.

Some of the dialogue was really cliche. For example, the scene where Hyde reveals to Arkham what his expectations were of him after he was poisoned felt a little bit cliche and as though Hyde were playing the part of the typical "bad guy." I think this scene and some of the dialogue could have been a bit better.

Although there were some great, creative panels in this issue (which I mentioned above), there was definitely room for improvement elsewhere. A lot of the backgrounds in this comic felt empty and not detailed enough.

The Verdict

In issue #14 where readers are introduced to Hyde we get the set-up for an interesting story. Issue #15, however, falls a little bit flat. Although Moritat does play around with the panel layout on some of the pages in this issue, he does leave some of the backdrops of certain scenes blank, which is disappointing. And while the previous issue did a great job of setting up story, characters and motives, this one is all about a big brawl. This is fine, sometimes, as long as there is a point to all of the fighting. While the point of why Hex is fighting Hyde is made, I think we spend a bit too much time on that and I would have liked to have seen the story pushed a bit further.