All Star Western: Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Moritat, Mike Atiyeh, Rob Leigh, Rafa Garres
Terrence 13: Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Scott Kolins, Mike Atiyeh, Rob Leigh
So Arkham witnessed the murders of his guard and patient, and presumes it was the owl-attired assassin he and Hex saw down in New Orleans. He starts investigating into this supposed “Court of Owls,” and hopes that they don’t actually exist…because a “mob war,” of sorts, between the two secret societies in Gotham - the Court and the Crime Bible - would devastate the city.
Bennett is with someone named Ethan, who apparently is part of this whole Crime Bible business, in a carriage when they’re stopped by Hex and Black. There’s a shootout and it looks like Hex and Black are going to come out on top when…BUM BUM BUMMMM…the Talon shows up! She makes off with Bennett. The next scene between those two is quite satisfying.
We then cut to the followers of the Crime Bible. I hope they get like an official name soon. It’s kind of a mouthful to say “Followers of the Crime Bible.” Kind of like, “The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men.” Whatever happened to “Intergang?” And where’s Bruno Mannheim? Isn’t he supposed to be immortal or something? (Okay, maybe I don’t know that much about Intergang after all)
We meet the heads of each form of crime, the Lords of Crime. And look! There’s Lorna Kyle, Lord of Thieves! This must be Selina’s ancestor! She’s even petting a cat, in case you had doubts! Kind of a little too on-the-nose, but it works. She has an awesome attitude, and I dig how she behaves. It’s interesting, also, to see a “truly evil” form of Selina in her as well, whereas Catwoman’s always more ambiguous.
The Lord of Terror, Stephan Kaoss, resembles Hugo Strange a lot, as well.
The Crime Bible worshipers have Hex, Black, and Arkham arrested and taken to Slaughter Swamp to be tortured and killed. I like the torturer, only he reminds me a lot of the butcher we met back in ish #3. How many of these sick bastards do the Lords of Crime know?!
This issue is narrated by Tallulah, which is an interesting change. I like her style, her voice, and her attitude. She is a bit one-track-minded, but I don’t blame her. She has a definite character and goal set. She becomes this unshakable person, someone you can rely on not to waiver under pressure.
Oh man this Dr. Thirteen character is A HOOT. I love the way he berates his colleagues who go on about ghosts and the supernatural, while he’s using keen intellect to piece together the mystery. It’s fantastic. Not only that, but we get a Western flamethrower pistol, magnifying spectacles, and a huge machine that looks right out of Tesla’s laboratory. I’ve always loved the “Wild Wild West” style of modernizing Western tech and gear. Like retro-futurism, a style of the Steampunk genre.
And Scott Kolins does a great job of drawing all of these things. The characters look great, the backgrounds are rich, and the tech is well done and easy to make out. Atiyeh’s colors are also brilliant and bold. Thirteen’s line of “This is the 19th Century for pity’s sake!” just had me rolling. Nice job on the backup story.
All Star Western #11, the verdict: A great continuation that’s including the Court of Owls and the Crime Bible even more! I love how it feels like they’re coming to a head, and there’s going to be this epic showdown between the two groups. Somehow. Poor Hex suddenly seems so small and insignificant, especially in this issue where he’s not the focus, and Tallulah’s narrating. It puts things into perspective. I don’t know who at DC came up with the Court of Owls rhyme, featured at the top of page 2, but it has no proper rhythm. It doesn’t fit into any poetic structure, as more than two of its lines run over others. Hard to say to a beat. The backup featuring Terrence Thirteen is amazing, and I can’t wait to read more on him.
(Photo Source: iFanBoy)