Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti have been writing Jonah Hex for almost 10 years now, and with their milestone run coming to an end this August, it’s a pleasure to see the creative team take a back-to-basics approach for the remainder of the series.
Most of the last year of All-Star Western had Jonah Hex in the present-day DCU, encountering characters like Superman and Swamp Thing as he learned how much the world would change and the legend his name would become. It was entertaining enough, but the Wild West setting gave Gray and Palmiotti the opportunity to tell the kinds of stories that DC doesn’t normally publish, making the arc feel restrictive. Now Hex is back in the appropriate time period, and he’s getting right back to what he does best: collecting bounties on pitiful criminals.
Drawing 27 gorgeous issues of All-Star Western without any fill-ins or delays, Moritat left a huge hole to fill when he departed the series. With colorist Michael Atiyeh sticking around to ease the transition, artists Staz Johnson and Fabrizio Fiorentino have done an admirable job pushing the book’s art in a more classic western direction, and this preview of next week’s All-Star Western #32 spotlights Johnson’s textured rendering and atmospheric staging. It will be sad to see All-Star Western go, but the fact that Gray and Palmiotti have kept their story going for this long is a testament to the high quality of their work.