With ALL-STAR WESTERN’s extra page count, Justin and I were given a chance to not only expand the storylines of classic D.C. western characters, but to bring some new and exciting characters into the universe as well. Issue 4 of ALL-STAR WESTERN introduces the debut of a brand new character called The Barbary Ghost, featuring the incredible art of Phil Winslade, the vibrant colors of Dominic Regan and the master of comic book lettering, Rob Leigh. The story itself takes place way west of Gotham… in 1878 San Francisco, in the area known as the Barbary Coast: known for it’s development during the California gold rush, and since then has become famous for its gambling, prostitution and crime.
Our story follows the plight of the Tsen family, a group of Chinese immigrants coming to the new world to make a fresh start for themselves in America. More specifically, we focus on the daughter of the family, Yanmei, as she deals with crime lord Bo Long, and his gang of killers and thieves as they shake down her family for protection money. With any introduction of any new character, we establish the world around her, the supporting cast of her family members, and introduce a situation where the odds are stacked against our hero. We felt, looking at all the western characters out there, that featuring a character that has a Chinese background would be an interesting twist to the western genre, and at the same time introduce the reader to another story about the world back then that isn’t covered very much in comics. The history of the old west is so rich and fascinating, we wanted to create characters that would not only be interesting, but also keep with the tradition of ALL-STAR WESTERN. The story itself is a classic tale of revenge set against some horrible conditions …a story where we see how one person can step up against all odds, and make a difference. The Barbary Ghost has all the classic themes and we think just the right stuff to become an important part of the new D.C. universe.
-- Jimmy Palmiotti (ALL-STAR WESTERN)