Like it or not, the New 52 rebooted all DC titles back in 2011, bringing to a premature end plenty of storylines and series that had life left in them. As annoying as that was, it did also allow for a bunch of new titles to launch, things that either hadn’t been done before or, like ALL STAR WESTERN hadn’t been around for some time. Under the guiding hands of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, this series showed the latest exploits of Jonah Hex, taking him out of the badlands of the Wild West and moving him over to the Gotham City of the late 1880s. There he gets involved in stopping a child slavery ring before this issue sees him and his erstwhile partner, Dr Amadeus Arkham, head to New Orleans to track down the man behind it.
There he meets up with Nighthawk and Cinnamon who recruit him to help take down a band of anarchists who are recklessly endangering children and civilians as they attempt to overthrow the city’s leaders. Hardly surprising, Hex takes some convincing.
With information from Nighthawk and Cinnamon, Hex infiltrates a fight club while the other two head out to hunt for the anarchists, giving an opportunity for a knowing nod to the reader:
Hex ends up taking part in the arena fight, knocking out his massive opponent quickly and easily before being challenged by the deceptive ZC Branke whom he’s already seen fight and defeat an even larger opponent than the one he’s just handled:
Having been a fan of Palmiotti and Gray’s writing on other series, I was glad I took a punt on this one when it was launched as part of the New 52 as it was consistently entertaining. Sadly the artist Moritat (whose work I first encountered on this title) didn’t hang around for the whole of the run.