Jonah Hex is coming to the present-day DCU, as All-Star Western continues to "shake things up" with a surprising co-star: Booster Gold.
In April's All-Star Western #19, the time-traveling hero from the future, Booster Gold, showed up in the far-flung past of the DCU. Through a series of random events, Booster ended up serving as sheriff of a Western town, but things changed when he encountered bounty hunter extraordinaire Jonah Hex. Now the two are heading off for a co-adventure, as they endeavor to take down a band of ruthless outlaws.
All-Star Western, launched with the DC reboot in September 2011, is written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Moritat. The series is similar to the writers' former critically acclaimed Jonah Hex series, but it's more entwined with the history of the New 52 universe.
The appearance of Booster Gold in the series ties All-Star Western to the upcoming "Trinity War" event that will cross through Justice League Dark, Justice League and Justice League of America. Readers haven't seen Booster Gold since he disappeared last August, after a version of him from the future came back to warn of disaster related to the relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman.
Now that Booster has shown up in Jonah Hex's past, the writers are saying we'll next see Jonah Hex sent to the future. How will it happen, and what does this mean for the series? Newsarama talked to Palmiotti and Gray to find out more.
Newsarama: How did All-Star Western end up being the spot where Booster Gold would return to DC Comics?
Justin Gray: We needed to shake things up. Booster is the only time traveler operating currently in the New 52, and his story is that of a man hurtling through time for reasons unknown. He’s not fully aware of the reasons behind this and so it felt like a great opportunity to pair him with Jonah Hex in a way that would get people talking about All-Star Western.
Palmiotti: We constantly like to keep All-Star Western on the cutting edge story-wise and loaded with ideas that we think really challenge the characters. Getting to be the book that reintroduces Booster again was even cooler for us. Once again we get a chance to turn more people onto the book, and that is a win-win situation for us on all counts. The crew at DC and our editors have been working long and hard on making this happen for us and we think we have a story that lives up to any hype we might have out there.
Nrama: What's the story behind him showing up in the past and interacting with Jonah?
Gray: [He's a] time-tossed hero hurtling across the DCU for reasons unknown. Booster has already appeared in the old West prior to meeting with Hex. Both men are drawn together in pursuit of a dangerous pair of outlaws.
Nrama: It's pretty obvious from Booster's disappearance in August that he's in position to play an important role in "Trinity War." How important is his appearance in your series to other events happening in the DC Universe this summer?
Gray: That’s top-secret stuff. Plus we’re still in the spring and you know people that hang around Jonah Hex don't live very long. Who knows if Booster will make it to the summer months?
Palmiotti: Justin loves the mystery, but I will say that a lot of what happens in the book in the next few months has a bigger impact not only on our title, but a lot of what is happening in the…wait, what? I can’t say more? Sheesh…. sorry folks. Lots of things happening we cannot speak of at the moment, but all of them exciting.The big trick of any comic is to keep the audience on their toes and we plan on doing just that. With the New 52, we all are working very ahead of schedule, so a lot of what we are discussing right now will not happen for many months…but knowing this, we can have some fun teasing at future events. Yes, future events.
Nrama: We've seen a bit of interaction between Booster and Jonah so far. What's Jonah thinking about Booster's appearance?
Gray: The words “rodeo clown” come to mind.
Palmiotti: At first it's “rodeo clown,” then it goes off into some pretty strange and fun places. This is the part of the book where we get to use our favorite saying, “what would Jonah do,” over and over throughout the storyline. It’s pretty crazy seeing exactly what Jonah would really do. I find myself thinking that exact line when in situations in real life. It is also why I do not carry a pistol.
Nrama: So as Jonah and Booster are now traveling together across the old West to catch outlaws, what's the tone of the story? Is it still like a Western, or does Booster's appearance change things up?
Gray: It is a Western, which makes having a superhero in the story more interesting. Booster, being from the future, only has a singular vision of life in the old West and he is about to get a reality check.
One of the more interesting things about writing Jonah Hex is how people respond to him, and as you’d imagine, Booster and Hex aren’t exactly suited to each other.
Nrama: It was obvious from the ending of issue #19 that Booster is around for at least one more issue. Does Booster stick around for awhile? And how does this affect All-Star Western's story going forward?
Gray: Booster throws the book into turmoil and a new direction. We’re not going to Thunderdome, but as you can see in the preview images, we will be bringing Jonah Hex to 2013 this summer.
That’s right, Jonah Hex will be in the same time as your favorite DCU heroes.
Palmiotti: Going forward, All-Star Western will be the book that, each month it comes out, will be the book that people say, “what the hell are they doing this month?” for a while. We plan on going to a place where no man before us dared to go.
Nrama: And it's still Moritat going forward, even into the present day?
Gray: As it has been for every single issue of All-Star Western, we have Moritat chained to a drawing table in a small windowless room beneath a bare bulb. In exchange for his many beautiful pages, we promise to feed and water him regularly. However, we also have the amazing Howard Porter providing covers starting with this month’s issue #19. Staz Johnson is providing art for the 19th Century Stormwatch story.
Palmiotti: We are blessed with one of the most consistent and wonderful storytellers in the industry right now. Moritat is doing his best “watch-what-I-can-do” work of his career, and we are so excited for everyone to see what he is coming up with for the series.
As Justin said, Howard is killing on the covers and Staz is really stunning us each and every month. The secret to getting great work out of an artist is giving them things they like to draw, and it's obvious all three of them like what they're doing. We couldn’t be happier right now with our team.
Nrama: Anything else you want to tell fans about All-Star Western?
Gray: More than Jonah Hex bringing his questionable moral code and psychopathic tendency to shoot first and not ask any questions what so ever to the modern DCU? This stuff should sell itself.
Palmiotti: I just hope retailers have upped the orders a bit and have enough copies for everyone. This story is worth its weight in…yes, I am going to say it…Gold!Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!