Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Exit Stage Left: All-Star Western #119

This was a fairly subdued swansong for a series that can trace its roots all the way back to All-Star Comics #1. There had been many, many changes over the years - including the major shift in genre that occurred with issue #58. The one thing that remained constant was that these issues were filled with entertaining stories and very strong artwork. This issue is no exception with Gil Kane pencilling the lead story and Carmine Infantino pencilling the always awesome Super Chief. Both stories were written by Gardner Fox, who is an underrated western writer (although Super Chief isn't really much of a western). This is the final of three appearances of Madame .44 in this title. Her relationship with Johnny Thunder had really given the strip a kick in the creative pants and it's a shame we didn't get to see a few more adventures. I understand that westerns were well past their prime at this stage, but I still always find it a bit sad to see this particular book. End of an era.

4 comments:

Man of Bronze said...

Not easy to find those late Golden Age early Silver Age DC westerns...

And the sad part is so very few were reprinted, which is too bad since most of them were either drawn by Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino and even a few Alex Toth. Ruben Moreira also did some good ones. I think I own every reprints that came out during the early Bronze Age.

But original issues of Golden Age DC westerns are scarce!

IIRC, a few years ago, there was an cool article in an issue of COMICBOOK MARKETPLACE (I miss this magazine a lot) about the last few issues of the ALL-STAR WESTERN series, especially about the Johnny Thunder and Madame .44. Was it by the always interesting Michelle Nolan? Anyway, it had some nice things to say about the western duo.

Anonymous said...

Guess I can add these to my wish list of comics for Showcase Presents volumes along with the first 24 issues of The Brave and the Bold and Rex the Wonder Dog/Detective Chimp. (And Tomahawk as you have mentioned.) So much great art from DC remains available for that format but they keep offering newer stuff.

Scott M said...

MoB - you're absolutely right, there is so much goodness in these tough to find book. I love Moreira's work on Nighthawk - that would make for a great collection.

Scott said...

Just in case you didn't know, Mike Tiefenbacher (former editor of The Comic Reader) wrote a follow-up to these stories that appeared in the back of DC Comics Presents in 1980 or so, as part of the "Whatever Happened to" series. Art by Gil Kane, too. A nice finish to the story.