First up for this week, we see the ends of both the Mr Hyde and Tomahawk plotlines. Are they stunning conclusions, or do they just peter out? Find out in ALL STAR WESTERN #16.
Previously, our anti-hero Jonah Hex managed to fend off the brutal Mr Hyde (yes, the very same Hyde), and subdue his ally Amadeus Arkham while the latter was under the influence of the Jekyll potion. But not without difficulty, as Hex broke his leg in the fight, forcing him to heal at Arkham’s estate under the care of Nurse Constance. Arkham was placed, ironically, in a mental institution, presumably to sweat off the effects of the Jekyll drug. And Mr Hyde retreated to a lab in the forest, along with the Black Diamond that acts as the base of his formula.
All this occurred a month ago in comic time. With barely anything being accomplished by any of the players involved.
That’s right. Nobody was doing anything for a month. Hex spent the better part of it drinking until the Arkham house ran out of booze. Amadeus himself is entirely absent from the proceedings. And Hyde himself just shows up out of the blue so Hex can get a chance to finally kick his ass and resolve this plot. At the risk of spoiling things, it’s like the issue resolved to just the whole Jekyll and Hyde business, regardless of how, so it just handed it to us.
Although ALL STAR WESTERN #16 isn’t all terrible, because we do get some character development. Specifically we finally get to meet Amadeus Arkham’s elderly, insane mother in person. She and Hex interact, and it goes not quite how you’d expect. It’s one of those quiet moments that makes the realization that we need to resolve a lingering conflict all the more jarring.
Oh, and apparently we’ll be starting a Stormwatch story arc next month. How is it every series I buy nowadays is crossing over with Stormwatch?
And then there’s the Tomahawk backup story, which I barely care about. Tomahawk takes his fight to the British outpost and faces the man who had his family murdered. And there’s some admittedly accurate talk amongst the characters about how the native tribes will slowly retreat back against the inflow of white settlers and soldiers. Partly due to technology and sheer numbers on the white man’s side, and partly due to the natives’ inability to work together, Tomahawk’s cause is ultimately a vain one. A victory now means little when the weight of history comes crashing down.
But there I go, talking as if I really cared. I’m just glad to see it end so we can get on with some other backup story next month. If you had any reason to jump ship off ALL STAR WESTERN, now’s the time. Not that you’d have reason to, the lackluster Tomahawk stuff notwithstanding.