All-Star Western #5 coverTalk about a cliff-hanger! When we last left bounty hunter Jonah Hex and his unlikely partner Amadeus Arkham in ‘All-Star Western’ #4, they had just discovered a child kidnapping ring and Arkham had a gun to his head.

As Hex tries to save Arkham, the crooks get the drop on him and dump both Hex and Arkham into a section of the Gotham sewers that leads to an underground system of caves. The pair struggle to survive in the darkness with no food, no heat, and no light. In their exploration of the caves, they discover what may be a lost tribe of cannibals and Hex comes face to face with one of the denizens of Gotham’s Bat Cave.

‘All-Star Western’ continues to be a sleeper hit in DC’s New 52. Writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti have consistently delivered some pure two-fisted gun-slinging weird West goodness on a monthly basis since the series began. That’s no surprise since the duo were responsible for the ‘Jonah Hex’ series before DC’s New 52 relaunch. So, while the setting of Hex’s adventures may have moved to a more recognizable location, the great stories remain the same.

Now, with the inclusion of Amadeus Arkham and the setting of Old Gotham, ‘All-Star Western’ is made all the more intriguing a read since eagle eyed readers can catch glimpses of things that have, and may in the future, play into the modern day adventures of the Batman family in their individual titles.

The back-up tale this issue continues the adventure started last month with the origin of the Barbary Ghost. Part 2 of this chronicle follows the Chinese immigrant family as they struggle against a vicious crime lord who seems intent on putting the entire family in the ground. Personally, I’m loving these back-ups since they give me a chance to read some of DC’s “lost” characters that I sometimes have never seen or read about since I collected ‘Who’s Who’ back in the mid-80s.

All in all, ‘All-Star Western’ #4 was a good solid read and one that I can heartily recommend purchasing. So, even if you’re not normally into western stories but you’re a Batman completist or someone looking for something a bit out of the usual superhero fare, I suggest giving ‘All-Star Western’ a shot. You might just be pleasantly surprised.

Verdict: Buy

ALL-STAR WESTERN #5
Written by JUSTIN GRAY and JIMMY PALMIOTTI
Art by MORITAT and PHIL WINSLADE
Cover by LADRONN