Monday, January 10, 2011

Jonah Hex #63: Your Monthly Dose of Frontier Justice

I have enjoyed the current Jonah Hex series from the start.  With its consistent pair or writers (Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray) and rotating group of artists, the comic delivers great western stories every month.  It is amazing that DC Comics would keep publishing this book month after month, especially since their Jonah Hex movie flopped (hopefully it will get a True Grit bump, though). The comic is in fact much closer to True Grit than to the Jonah Hex movie.

Each incarnation of Jonah Hex has been a mix of violent and funny, with the latest issue #63 taking us to new levels.  Palmiotti and Gray have a way of periodically weaving flashbacks into stories, fleshing out Jonah Hex’s back story as well as explaining how one man can be so honorably good yet violently sociopathic at the same time (hint: it almost always comes back to Daddy issues).  This issue walks us back through Jonah’s early encounter with a child molester meeting frontier justice, an experience which determines the kind of bloody justice he will exact on another criminal later in life.

Like most of the series, issue #63 is a standalone story.  With a few exceptions the Jonah Hex stories from this run are either single issue stories or told in two to three issue arcs, and these stories don’t take place in any particular chronological order.  This makes the series particularly easy for a new reader to jump in and read an occasional issue, as you don’t need to understand an exhaustive back story and mythology to enjoy an occasional issue, unlike so many other comics published today.  Also, at $2.99 per issue they remain one of the most affordable comics on the market.  Go pick up a copy, pard, and enjoy a face full of justice. 


  1. I finally caught up on Hex last night. I have really loved the Palmiotti/Gray run at Hex, but something has really started to bother me about the character. Jonah Hex is just too preternaturally good at killing people. No opponent can ever present a credible threat. I want the hero to win, but Hex wins the battle before it starts because no other fighter is anywhere near his level. Is this problem of a "superheroic" gunslinger, one who is always unbeatable, confined only to comic books? -Cam

  2. A good observation, which only took me four months to reply to. Comics in my mind tend to be either procedural (How do I defeat the villain?) or psychological (What drives me to defeat the villain?) Comics heroes, or anti-heroes, that are nigh unstoppable tend to have stories that push the envelope in terms of action, but the real drama is in the characterization. Modern versions of the Punisher, Batman, and Superman all fall into this category. Jonah Hex has been there from the start.