Comic Vine Review


All-Star Western #2 - Showdown at House Arkham; El Diablo, Part 1


Details of the 'Lords of Crime' and their influence over Gotham City continue to come to light, but will Jonah Hex be able to take on this powerful group of men?

The Good

The story opens similarly to the way the first issue opened; with Amadeus Arkham narrating the story. Upon reaching the second page, however, the narration from Arkham's perspective ends and is no longer utilized; indicating that the writing team may try to steer away from that format and that they were simply using it in the first issue to introduce the characters to the readers; basically, it was their way of making the comic "new reader friendly."

If you're into action packed stories than this second issue is definitely one you will enjoy. Issue #2 is a perfect example of Jonah Hex, the gun slinging bounty hunter who follows his own rules and disregards what anyone would consider right or wrong -- including Amadeus Arkham. Hex's personal code of ethics shock Arkham and add a certain entertaining quality to the banter between the two characters. This issue is a perfect example of why Hex is not a traditional hero, per-se.

We get a closer look at the 'Lords of Crime' as well as what the evil organizations future plans are for old Gotham.

The second part of the issue features a story by the same creative team but with a different character, 'El Diablo.' I hate to say it, but that story was more interesting to me and left me more excited than Jonah Hex's did. 'El Diablo' introduces a demon possessed rider who stumbles onto a town full of zombies -- but this doesn't feel like your typical zombie story. Overall, a ton of fun and left me very excited about issue #3.

The Bad

Whether it was Moritat's inks in the first issue, or the colors were brighter, something about the art here left me wanting more. I didn't feel that the action sequences (of which there are two full page spreads) were the best. They seemed confusing and busy, and I would have preferred to see that scene either minimized or extended onto an additional page -- spread out a bit more. As it is, however, I felt there was far too much going on in very small panels, and there was not a lot of fluidity from one panel to the next.

The story, overall, was a lot of action and felt more like an extension of the first issue than a proper issue #2. I would have liked to have seen the scene when the 'Lords of Crime' gathered fleshed out a little bit more. Who are these men who control Gotham, what are their respective motives? This was touched on in the first issue, but I would have liked to see the writers delve a bit further into their motives in the second issue. The writers still have plenty of time to add more layers into the story, so it will be interesting to see whether or not they take that route.

The Verdict

'El Diablo's' story has really piqued my interest. I loved Bernet's art at the end of that book; something about it really impressed me. Whether it was the fluidity of the panels or the way he told the story through his art -- it was gorgeous. The second issue of Jonah Hex was a solid story but left me wanting more from it. However, it's still a very good issue and I am definitely looking forward to issue #3.