DCnU Take 2: Moving Day for JONAH HEX in ALL-STAR WESTERN

DCnU HEX Still HEX Says Writer

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exclusive new art

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Among DC's 52 new comics launching this month are a handful of comics that don't exactly fit the superhero label.

But in the case of All-Star Western, the new comic starring Jonah Hex, this "alternate" genre isn't exactly something new. Just before the relaunch, DC had successfully published a Western comic, Jonah Hex, for 70 issues.

The publisher is not only keeping the same character, but the same writing team. Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray will write the new All-Star Western with the help of artist Moritat.

Gray and Palmiotti had already established a loyal following for their Jonah Hex series, and the pair are well-known for their many independent series as well. We also spoke yesterday to Gray and Palmiotti about their new The Ray mini-series, which launches in December.

 

 

But the title's change to All-Star Western isn't the only alteration to the world of Jonah Hex. There's also a different setting, and a change to the way the stories are structured.

"The difference is that it's not stand-alone stories," Gray told Newsarama the first time we spoke to him about the new series' launch. "It's ongoing. But it will have the same passion and drive to tell the best Western stories possible with the greatest characters available to us.

"He's in Gotham now, and that makes a really nice dynamic," Gray said. "What we really looked at was authenticity, and what Gotham would look like and feel like at that moment in history. And that provides not only a lot of beautiful scene setting, because Gotham looks amazing, but it also presents historical things that make for good story-telling."

 

As part of our DCnU "Take 2" series, we spoke to Palmiotti and Gray to get an update on what they could tell us about next week's new All-Star Western comic.

Newsarama: As you get ready to launch All-Star Western, we're hearing more and more about the title. Now that it's only a couple weeks away, what can you tell us about the story you're telling?

Justin Gray: We’re placing Jonah Hex in unfamiliar territory, that’s clear, but we’re also taking a more action/adventure approach to the storytelling. There’s mystery and on the far outside you could look at this as a kind of Bizarro version of Sherlock Holmes and Watson. We’re exploring the idea that Gotham’s history of crime began during its formation.

 

Jimmy Palmiotti: The book also now has a unique look with the artwork of Moritat…and we take full advantage of his style and attention to detail, and because of that, when you read the first issue, you will instantly become immersed in the world we are presenting. His character work alone will set a new standard. There is a lot to take in with the first issue, and we are pretty excited about that.

Nrama: Who are the characters we'll be seeing? And are there any new names you can reveal?

Gray: You’ll see a connection to some of the characters in Gates of Gotham, but because we’re dealing with a shadowy time in history the hope is to reveal different new characters.

Nrama: Now that you're into the series a bit, how has the comic evolved?

 

Gray: We’ve been trying to play to the strengths of the premise that Hex is essentially cut of from what he knows, but is still able to adapt physically. Mentally is a different thing. Having Arkham hanging around all the time analyzing him doesn’t sit well with a man who doesn’t like to be introspective.

Palmiotti: we are doing some things in this series that we have never done before with Jonah and just as cool are we are given a chance to really experiment with all the DCU characters in the back-ups and we are taking full advantage of that. The first story with El Diablo features the art of Jordi Bernet and it has a horror twist to it…and the next backup is …well…you will understand more when it is announced. Got to leave something for later.

Nrama: What's the overall feel of it? Similar to the old Jonah Hex? Or different? How?

 

Gray: We’re not reinterpreting Hex, we’re just changing the format and style of the way we tell a Hex story. There’s still the violence, twisted morality and pitch black humor, but the stories are bigger and incorporate more of the DCU as a character.

Palmiotti: The same but different. It will be interesting to see how the readers view the series…personally the die hard Hex fans will love it I think…and new readers will totally embrace the concept on a number of levels. At the end of the day, no matter what genre is presented, a solid well told story will always find an audience and I think we really accomplished something unique with All Star Western.

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