All Star Western #34 (DC)

Jonah Hex #34

Rating: 4/5 – We Bid Farewell to the Acrid Smell of Gunsmoke, For Now.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer David Akers.

After nearly three years, Jonah Hex has finally come to the end of the trail. All Star Western is the only remaining series that started the New 52 which wasn’t set in the current day, and it’s sad it hasn’t been able to keep its readership. Personally, I have loved every issue and I’m sad to see the series end.

In this issue, penned by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, with art by the always amazing Darwyn Cooke, Jonah Hex and his companion Tallulah Black track down the man who’s been using Jonah’s name. In the process Jonah faces his future and attempts to avoid the fate he’s seen for himself. Do they ride off in the sunset, or will Hex’s corpse become a sideshow attraction?

This series has been one of the most constant, evenly written series DC has produced, especially since the beginning of the New 52. It’s also one of the few that is still written as connected done-in-one stories, which I appreciate. Palmiotti and Gray, who wrote the previous Jonah Hex series, really have a great handle on the character, and have never been afraid to embrace even the weirdest aspects of Hex’s history. Recently, they brought Hex into our present for a while, a seeming callback to the Hex series of the 1980s, though that one had Hex in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi future it also took the character out of his 1800s comfort zone.

In this final issue, Palmiotti and Gray avoid the usual path by not “resetting” his character. Hex suffers no gunshot through the cheek, no pickaxe to the face, nothing to undo the plastic surgery he had received while in our present. It’s just a simple find ’em and kill ’em story like we’ve come to love. In fact, some might think it’s too quiet, but I found it a fitting send off. In fact, if I have a minor complaint, it’s the use of Darwyn Cooke. Don’t get me wrong, his art is beautiful, but it would have been nice to use one of the regular artists, someone who could have drawn Tallulah’s scars in their normally obvious, even distracting, form.  As drawn by Cooke they are barely noticeable, but that’s a minor quibble in an otherwise perfect ending to a wonderful series.

Reviewed by: David Akers
(david@comicspectrum.com – also found at www.davidakers.com
)
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