The way things are going you really get the impression that DC Comics hates westerns. All-Star Western continues to slog along as a prequel to the Batman comics, with this week’s issue #5 set in, of all places, the Batcave. Now the Batcave in this instance is also inhabited by a tribe of bat worshiping savage barbarians, hard to really figure when you consider that this is in effect the DC version of New York City in the late 19th century. It’s hard to care anymore,as moving from the amazing run of Jonah Hex to this disappointment is enough to put one off DC’s attempts at westerns for good.
Except they also publish American Vampire through their Vertigo imprint. This fascinating horror comic features Skinner Sweet, a wild west outlaw turned vampire, who surfaces in 1920’s Hollywood and keeps moving forward in time. DC recently ran a three part series called "The Beast in the Cave" in American Vampire, starting with issue #19, about Skinner’s pre-vampire time as a cavalry soldier in haunted Apache country. The story by series writer Scott Snyder was excellent, and art by Jordi Bernet (the best of the rotating Jonah Hex artists) was a hit. Dang, DC, you can make a good western comic. But it sure as shit isn’t All-Star Western.