Since it's launch in September, issue after issue, All-Star Western does not disappoint. Of all of the books to have launched as part of the New 52, All-Star Western has been one that captures the essence of old Gotham City in a dynamic way and tells an incredibly interesting story. The Jonah Hex and Amadeus Arkham team-up has given the title the perfect balance; between Arkham's hesitant, cautious nature and Hex's boldness and brashness, the series' fourth issue will keep you at the edge of your seat once again.
The team embarks on a new adventure; for 50,000 dollars Hex is hired to locate the son of a wealthy Gotham aristocrat -- what he finds may be more than he originally anticipated. Hex proves that for the right price, he is willing to do the work and 50 grand seems more than reasonable. Hex arrives at St. Jude's orphanage to find a young boy who had been rescued after having endured rat bites and dysentery -- this boy might be the clue that will lead both he and Arkham to the missing child.
Moritat returns to the series in this fourth issue and delivers an exceptional take on the story; his style uniquely rugged and rough, capturing the true essence of Jonah Hex brilliantly. Gray and Palmiotti deliver another fantastic story that continues to take readers down into the "dark underbelly of Gotham."
The second part of this issue is equally as interesting and entertaining as the first. Gray and Palmiotti team up with artist Phil Winslade to introduce a new character, The Barbary Ghost -- a legendary Chinese woman who appears to have mystical powers and an unquenchable thirst for vengeance. It's great to see Gray and Palmiotti's take on this new character. Really beautifully written second story that will leave you wanting more. The art by Phil Winslade is breathtaking; giving the character and the story a very pulpy feel that reminded me of western comics from long ago.
The first portion of the story moves rather fast. Rather than having Hex go immediately to St. Jude's Orphanage I would have liked to see what steps he took to get there. How did he know where to go? What is the thought process behind his decisions? Aside from the pacing which seemed to move too quickly at times, this is another fantastic issue of All-Star Western.
Both All-Star Western stories are very exciting this week and both will leave you wanting more. While it's great to see Palmiotti and Gray continue to explore Jonah Hex in old Gotham, it's also nice to see them venture into new territory by introducing readers to their creator owned character "The Barbary Ghost." Yet another brilliantly executed issue of All-Star by artists Moritat and Phil Winslade. Both provide a unique style that really lends to tell a fantastic story.