20. All Star Western (DC Entertainment)
Writers: Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti
Artists: Phile Winslade, Moritat, Patrick Scherberger, and José Luis García-López
One of the facts that gets lost since the superhero universe was resurrected in the early ‘60s is just how important the western genre was to the comic book industry at one point. Those stories kept the industry afloat during a time when no company in their right mind would try their hand at superheroes again. But over the years, the western has lost its way, becoming irrelevant to modern audiences. That is, until DC launched All Star Western as part of its “New 52.”
Starring Jonah Hex and Amadeus Arkhman in the Old West version of Gotham City, this title simultaneously pays tribute to a long gone style and manages to tie into the current DC Universe as well. Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti add an authentic western flair to every issue as their version of Hex is the type of rough-and-tumble outlaw that makes this genre great. Throughout the first half of this year, Hex and Arkham have dealt with corrupt politicians, dangerous dames, and a brief tie-in with Scott Snyder’s “Night of the Owls” storyline, but it’s the duo's hilariously mismatched relationship that makes each issue so enjoyable.
Between that, the always-stellar art, and the terrific back-up tales in every issue, All Star Western has become one of DC’s best titles. Unfortunately, it still seems to be flying under the radar at the moment.