When we last saw Jonah Hex and Amadeus Arkham, the dynamic duo of 19th century Gotham, they were at the mercy of criminal adherents to the “Crime Bible”. As this issue moves along, the cover tagline of “Guns, Gore, Gotham” is taken seriously as several characters are killed, entire buildings are demolished, and Gotham’s New 52 history gets much more interesting.

Jonah assists Arkham in escaping from the criminal religious group and in bringing at least some of their members to justice. However, with the close of the tale, Hex moves on and Arkham learns that the group may be more prevalent in Gotham than anyone recognized. I hope Hex sticks around or maybe some tales of Arkham continue in future issues because the crime religion’s tale is far from over and I expect it will have ramifications on the modern Bat-books.

Like last issue, the Hex/Arkham tale is shortened to make room for the backup tale of El Diablo. Last issue found El Diablo in a town being overrun by the walking dead. The second half of this two-parter comes to a close with El Diablo facing off with Black River the Spirit Warrior. It appears that Black River is a mystical Native American warrior who plans to get revenge on the Europeans who slaughtered so many of his kin. After saving the townsfolk, El Diablo wanders off into the sunset and to more adventures.

Both tales this issue were written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray and are some great western tales. The Hex/Arkham storyline is naturally the meat of the issue and the better of the two stories but El Diablo was still an interesting read. I expect that next issue will see more Hex and a backup featuring one of DC Comics’ other forgotten western heroes. ‘All-Star Western’ has earned a spot in my top few series of the New 52 and one that I find myself constantly recommending to friends so naturally, the verdict on this issue is…

Verdict: Buy

Cover by MORITAT