Monday, February 10, 2014

All Star Western #27

How come when hypothetical "Who can beat Whom?" questions come up, nobody ever wonders about this one?

I say "nobody" in that previous caption and of course I'd be wrong because I'm sure somebody has thought this match-up through (like right here in this issue!). Perhaps if conditions are right, Jonah Hex can get the better of Superman by exploiting Superman's overconfidence and his basically pacifist Kansas beliefs (which I don't mean to say that the people of Kansas are pacifists but that Ma and Pa Kent who were from Kansas were fucking goody-two-shoe bitches. Maybe I should have said "Smallville" beliefs. Or, better yet, "Kent Family Values!"). And Jonah Hex is a stubborn amoral cuss with a mighty will so I'm sure he could find some way to beat Superman by putting other people's lives at risk! And the most important aspect of a hypothetical match-up that people tend to forget to include is this: Whose name is on the cover of the book where the match-up occurs? Oh look! Jonah Hex! In great big bright yellow lettering! I think I know who's going to come out on top!

Too bad this fucking battle begins by Superman extending a hand to Jonah Hex and saying, "Pleased to meet you, sir." See that? That's that goody-two-shoe's bitch attitude I was talking about! I think there's also a little bit of "Clark Kent wants to get a scoop" in there too! Everybody wants to read about the delusional gun wielding maniac that believes he's from the 1800s! It's a great human interest story! Just the kind of story that will impress Lois Lane's panties!

"It's all right, miss. I can see how, being from the past, he'd be mistaken in his belief that a man has to have testicles."

Superman tells Jonah Hex that his people are from "Kansas." That seems like he's playing a bit fast and loose with his secret identity there! What if Jonah Hex figures out the internet and learns about genealogical research and learns how to strings a few words together for Lord Google, like "flying men Kansas goody-two-shoes mentality." He'll probably find news reports of a flying kid from Smallville and then the whole jig is up, sideways, and bent over the table, Supes!

Superman acts calmly and rationally in the face of Jonah Hex's insults because Superman knows he's in no danger. He's not like those other heroes who constantly have to prove themselves, like Batman and Hal Jordan. But Superman still likes to one up people in a kind of passive aggressive way. It's how he's learned to deal with Batman so diplomatically. I should have put "diplomatically" in quotes since what I really meant was like squabbling children. Anyway, Superman decides to fuck with Jonah Hex by picking him up and flying him over Metropolis. And then he casually says, "I don't mean to frighten you." Oh, fuck you, Clark. That's exactly what you mean to do! "Oh, you don't think I'm a man, do you Mister Hex? Well how about I make you crap your pants like a big baby? How'd you like that?"

Superman must be a little bit tired of having this conversation with people by now. Although Hex has done it in the most entertaining way so far. Much better than General Lane or Batman or the United States Congress.

Jonah Hex has always intrigued me as a character and I've been compelled to purchase stories with him from time to time. But this is the first time I've ever truly loved Hex. Gray and Palmiotti are writing the character I've always known he could be. It's also possible I just never read the best stories starring Jonah Hex since a lot of his stories came before my entry into the comic book world. It's weird to say but I've always loved Jonah Hex because I knew he could be the character that he has been in The New 52. This is the Hex I've always wanted. This is the character that fired my imagination when I'd see his disfigured face and the guns slung low on his hips. When the plotting is tight and the dialogue on the money, I just can't get enough of All Star Western.

Hopefully this book is getting just as much love from other parts of the comic book fandom! It's not just me, right?

Superman promises to ask around (I bet he asks around at the Daily Planet!) and see about finding Jonah's House of Secrets. Jonah calls it a "House of Mystery" to Superman so hopefully Clark Kent doesn't dig up the wrong place. I've seen enough of the House of Mystery! Bring on the better half!

Such brilliantly understated dialogue.

Back in Metropolis, Hex and Gina talk about, once again, finding the "House of Mystery." I'm still going to assume that Hex has got it all mixed up in his head and that editorial didn't decide The House of Secrets can't make an appearance in this story. Especially since Constantine suggested it and if he'd actually suggested The House of Mystery, this story would be over since Constantine lives in that one. Taking a break from the search, Gina takes Hex to go see "The Jonah Hex Exhibition Room" at the Metropolis Museum of Bullshit.

At the exhibit, Hex sees that a lot of people kept his exploits alive. The tomahawk he used is here. A picture of himself with Tallulah Black. Lots and lots of stories. An original copy of Face Full of Violence by Amadeus Arkham. And finally, a stuffed figure of Jonah Hex that nobody has been able to authenticate. At least it looks much older than Hex looks now. That's a good thing if it's real, right?

And in 1972, it escaped into DC Comics!

At least Hex knows he'll get back to the past! Although who knows when it'll happen? Maybe he'll die here in the future, be stuffed, and then sent back.

Hex gets pissed off and takes off without Gina to find a bar to hole up in and get drunk. And then later, he hits the road on his motorcycle because I guess he forgets it's not a horse that can compensate for his inebriation. And that's how he ends up as a co-star of the next Driver's Ed film, Red Asphalt II: Highway of Agony IV.


All Star Western #27 Rating: +2 Ranking. I just love this comic book so much. I don't know if All Star Western should be as high in the rankings as it is but it would definitely be #1 on my fan favorite list of titles still being published in The New 52. This comic book and Demon Knights have given me the most pure joy as far as comic book reading experiences go.

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