Comic Vine Review


All-Star Western #22 - Welcome to the Asylum


Jonah breaks out of Arkham Asylum!

The Good

Jonah Hex is in the present and a patient at Arkham Asylum. He has to prove to Dr Jeremiah Arkham he is who he is. Arkham finds out that Alan Wayne made a deal with Jonah, which may lead to a little meet and greet with Batman.

First, this issue is awesome. The previous issues with Booster Gold were fantastic, but this one raises the bar. The opening scene is Jonah talking to Dr Jemeriah Arkham. Arkham is trying to get to the bottom of who Jonah Hex actually is, and Jonah keeps getting under his skin. It's a great scene, and the back and forth between the two works so well. I love seeing Jonah get under Arkham's skin.

The issue quickly kicks into high gear and becomes an escape story. It's a pretty thrilling ride and a fun one to watch at that. We get into some heavy action at the end, and Jonah finally gets to fire away. This issue ends pretty epic.

I'm really interested how Bruce/Batman is going to interact with Jonah in the next issue. It's obviously that Batman is intrigued by Jonah and his claims that Alan Wayne owes him some money. I like the fact that there's a connection between these characters, especially a couple of my favorite heroes in the DCU. I love how writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray are weaving these two times together.

I love the fact the Mutants from Dark Knight Rises are in this issue, as well as the last one. It makes the DKR book feel a bit more real, and I always found the mutant gang

There's no back ups in this issue. What we get is 30, flesh-out pages, of pure Jonah Hex story. This is what I want to see month after month. At no point, do I feel this is rushed or condensed in order to make room for a back up story. This story feels full and paced incredibly well.

As always, I'm a huge fan of what artist Moritat and colorist Mike Atiyeh are doing on this book, especially on the last two pages, which is pretty dang amazing and shows a brilliant amount of movement and great perspective. Throughout the whole issue, Moritat is great with facial expressions and capturing moments of pure emotion.

There's a couple moments that I really love here that I've seen movies or books with someone traveling through time overdo: A character being confused by modern technology. There's a couple small moments that remind the reader that Jonah is not from our time and that he doesn't know what things like "the radio" or a "car" are. Their brief, which is great because it's not the focus of the book, but it's a nice little additive to the story.

The Bad

I didn't have any real problems with this issue. I hate writing that, but ALL STAR WESTERN is just so darn good.

The Verdict

I really want to give this my "Pick of the Week" stamp, but it falls a VERY close second to JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK. What is great about this issue and series is that it stands on its own, yet is connected to the rest of the DCU. Weirdly enough, this issue, even in the future, still feels like a western. Palmiotti and Gray hit a home run here. I love seeing Jonah in the future and I can't wait to see how Jonah and Batman interact in the future. Moritat's art is brilliant in every issue, and I cannot recommend this issue enough. Treat yourself to some wild west action in modern day Gotham.