Even Jonah Hex can’t escape the diabolical clutches of the Court of Owls. The bounty hunter finds himself facing the scourge of the Batman Family within the pages of “All Star Western Volume 2: War of Lords and Owls.” He can’t escape his fate and ends up confronting the crooked upper crust of whatever new town he rides into.
Kidnapper Thurston Moody has fled to New Orleans and gun-for-hire Jonah Hex is hot on his trail. While there, he uncovers a sinister plot to eliminate the immigrant population. He joins forces with crime fighters Nighthawk and Cinnamon to take on the August Seven group who are behind the murderous plans. Hex then finds himself led back to Gotham City to help Dr. Amadeus Arkham and the good citizens go up against a secret society known as the Court of Owls.
Writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray continue throwing their beloved bounty hunter into the middle of trouble and leaving him to get out. The way they incorporate Amadeus Arkham and the Court of Owls into the storyline is brilliant and no doubt pulls in new readers who would never give All-Star Western or Jonah Hex a chance without planting them firmly in the center of the Dark Knight’s hometown.
Moritat continues his run as artist for the issues collected in “All Star Western Volume 2: War of Lords and Owls.” He doesn’t stray from his usual style and adequately lends visual splendor to Palmiotti and Gray’s script. His work definitely stands out from other artists of today.
Three backup stories are included in this collection. Nighthawk and Cinnamon, Bat Lash, and Dr. Terrence Thirteen all get to see some action in short yarns spun by Palmiotti and Gray. Artwork is handled by Patrick Scherberger, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, and Scott Kolins, respectively. There are all sorts of extra mystery and action for readers to enjoy in these mini-tales.
Six pages of character sketches and designs give us an inside look at Moritat’s concepts coming to life for “All Star Western Volume 2: War of Lords and Owls.” He shows his early work on Nighthawk, Cinnamon, Tallulah Black, the 1880’s Talon, Court of Owls, and August Seven anarchist group. There is also cover, train, and boat sketches included.
“All Star Western Volume 2: War of Lords and Owls” is another fine example of old school Wild West action being blended into the DC Universe by the two writers who know Jonah Hex better than anyone else. The book closes just as it should with a hint as to what bizarre direction we can expect to be taken in Volume 3 of this excellent title.