When ‘All-Star Western’ #8 came to a close, I was afraid that the ‘August 7’ storyline would be cramped in favor of making this title tie in with the ‘Night of the Owls’ crossover that’s going on over in DC’s bat-titles. Sadly, I was right.
When we last left Jonah Hex and his band of misfits (Amadeus Arkham, Nighthawk, and Cinnamon), Hex and Arkham were captured by the August 7 and about to be blown up and sunk to the bottom of INSERT HERE along with a boatload of civilians.
As it turns out… oh… here come the SPOILERS…
As it turns out, Hex had planned for himself and Arkham to be captured to lure the August 7 out into the open. Now Hex, Nighthawk, and Cinnamon get the drop on the 7 and take them out. Considering how badass this gang is supposed to be, I’m surprised at how quickly they’re defeated. It takes only six pages… and only five of those are actual battle scenes.
Oh! Now I see why the August 7 story was so truncated at the finale and it’s just what I expected. After the August 7 are put down, the story turns to an aside that shows one of the Court of Owls’ Talons assassinating a Senator. Yes. Hex and Arkham get involved ever so briefly but this scene takes a full seven pages and really doesn’t seem to lend anything to the story that’s been going on in this title.
After the silly Owl bit, we turn back to the beginnings to the next real story arc… and luckily, this one makes up for those last seven pages. We cut to several weeks later back in Gotham City and a secret meeting of Gotham’s elite (including an ancestor of a certain modern day detective) are discussing how best to control Gotham. (There’s a nice little reference to one of Batman’s villains after Mr. Wayne sides with an idea to promote a botanical garden reserve.)
Enter Tellulah Black. For those who weren’t reading ‘Jonah Hex’ before the New 52, Miss Black is a badass lady who had her family killed, their land taken, and her left for dead with only one eye. After a brief stint as a prostitute ended with her being scarred even more, Tellulah turned to Jonah Hex for training to help get revenge on her family’s killers.
Here in the New 52, it seems that these rich men of Gotham are the minds behind Miss Black’s hardship and she’s here to collect. Things take a turn when one of the Gothamites reveals that he has a well-trained bodyguard. In the end, it appears as if Tellulah will be teaming up with Hex again for some more violence in Gotham.
Because of the ‘Night of the Owls’ aside cut short the August 7 tale, I almost don’t want to recommend this issue but writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti did such a bang-up job with the appearance of Tellulah Black that I just have to recommend this as a buy. If past experience with Miss Black is any indication, next issue should feature some awesome action and ass-kickin’!
Aside from the main story, we’re treated to the finale of the back-up tale of the origin of Nighthawk and Cinnamon in which they finally catch up to the murderer of Cinnamon’s father. It’s a fitting end to the origin tale and I can’t wait to see more of these two down the road in the pages of ‘All-Star Western’.
Verdict: Buy (if only for the badass first New 52 appearance of Tallulah Black)
ALL-STAR WESTERN #9
Written by Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Pencilled by Moritat & Patrick Scherberger
Inked by Moritat & Dan Green
Lettered by Rob Leigh
Colored by Michael Atiyeh
Cover by Jose Ladronn