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Jonah Hex returns in 'All Star Western Volume 3: The Black Diamond Probability'

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'All Star Western Volume 3: The Black Diamond Probability' Graphic Novel

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I'm not going to lie. I originally picked up the relaunched adventures of Jonah Hex because of the cover of the first issue. The reluctant hero sitting on a horse next to a Gotham city limit sign reeled me in. Anything that takes place in the Dark Knight's gloomy hometown immediately is put on my must-read list. Hex is still keeping me interested in "All Star Western Volume 3: The Black Diamond Probability."

"All Star Western Volume 3: The Black Diamond Probability" is made up of issues 0 and 13 through 16 of the ongoing series. It starts off with the origin of Jonah Hex and how he came to acquire his trademark scar and bad attitude he's infamous for. Next, he goes up against a madman obsessed with tracking down the formula for Dr. Jekyll's potion. Can Hex stop him before he finds it and uses it for his own diabolical purposes?

Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray should be given co-creator credits for Jonah Hex by this point. The two writers have spent more time with the scruffy ex-soldier-gone-gunslinger than the actual individuals who came up with the character back in 1972. They do a great job keeping the action coming and giving the reader an authentic western feel throughout. The fantasy element of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde mixes surprisingly well where you'd think it shouldn't.

Artist Moritat brings his unique illustrating talents to "All Star Western Volume 3: The Black Diamond Probability." He knows these characters almost as well as Palmiotti and Gray, having worked on all three collections of the ongoing monthly title. I didn't care for Moritat's style when I was first exposed to it in the pages of The Spirit, but have grown to truly appreciate it since.

We get the tale of Tomahawk as an added bonus to "All Star Western Volume 3: The Black Diamond Probability." Palmiotti and Gray pen the story of the heroic Indian warrior while artist Phil Winslade brings their words to vivid life. Some folks might get a little angry with the anti-American sentiments shared in the story, which makes readers re-think the history we're taught in school growing up.

Eight pages of extra material are included in "All Star Western Volume 3: The Black Diamond Probability." There are cover and character sketches provided by Moritat, Phil Winslade, and Ariel Olivetti. A pencil page from Tomahawk is featured as well.

"All Star Western Volume 3: The Black Diamond Probability" is rated T for "Teens." The book features violence, language, and some adult situations. If you're familiar with the monthly series, there's nothing here out of the ordinary.

Thanks to the familiar and fluid talents of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, "All Star Western Volume 3: The Black Diamond Probability" exudes an atmosphere that can be compared to a long-running television show you continue watching. You know the characters and what to expect from them. We just want to spend more time embarking on literary adventures with them.

"All Star Western Volume 3: The Black Diamond Probability" is available in paperback and Kindle editions.

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