Thursday, April 25, 2013

Laid Back Comics: All-Star Western #19 Guest Staring Booster Gold

There is one thing to say about this, Jimmy Palmiotti is a man on a mission with All Star Western. When the gate-fold “WTF” covers were first announced he kick up the gears and started promotion the book to anyone and everyone he could. Why? The answer was simple, the guest star that would be joining the book of course.  A certain time traveling hero by the name Booster Gold, who hasn't been seen since Justice League International book. This was a twist to be sure.

All Star Western is honestly best be described as a cult book, the best book you may not be reading, and many others. It is mainly because while it may have be a book placed in the same DC Universe it stayed in its own corner because it took place in the past, with little connections to the bat books. Here though is a full injection to the rest of Universe as Booster now thrown into the mix. The book itself is broken down into four different sections, the meeting, the villains, Boosters arrival, and the back up Stormwatch. With the first two sections of the book flows very naturally it only feels like it trips a little when we get to the area where Booster first appears as it was a sudden shift with very little lead in.

That is not to say the story placed by Palmiotti and Grey where Jonah Hex meeting the time traveler who now sudden wearing a sheriffs badge isn't still a good read. Hex calling Booster out on his tough guy act and pretty much giving him an idea that this world he has entered is not some polished western, where violent gangs will do horrible acts just for some possible cash is done and you need a bigger bad gang to catch them. And now he has a bit of a comic foil to follow him around which has been a small staple of the series. Gray and Palmitotti though aren't pushing a pure comedy though and as much as I would love to see the Booster of the old JLI days working with this cowboy, we are seeing the slightly more serious side. It shows in how they write him and what he wants to do to criminals as to what Hex will do as well.

There has to be a lot of credit on how much one enjoys the issue thanks to Moritat on art, but also colorist Andre Szymanowicz who did something sublet with Booster as with everyone else. The world is slightly dark and at times dirty like the old west should be, but Booster comes off bright and colorful at times, he stands out and as a man from the future it makes sense. He still ‘clean’ as opposed to Hex and the world he lives in. It is this little touch that gives this book something a little more special than a small guest star.

The other item this book has been doing lately are these small backups of other western heroes and villains. Here is a story of Gun Fighter coming to the rescue of a convoy of women from raiders and werewolves. With that running around it is no wonder Hex wasn’t fazed by a time traveler.

Overall All Star Western is a great book that doesn’t get the newsworthy notes that it should. If you’re a fan of Hex or Booster than this is a perfect time to pick up this issue and the issues that follow.

OVERALL 8.5 out of 10

Bryan "BAC" Clendening writes for Broken Infinite, follow him on Twitter @BAClend

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