Saturday, July 9, 2011

Jonah Hex #69- Daddy Issues

It doesn’t have a single on-screen gunfight, has no saloon girls or sexy lady gunslingers, but this may be the single best issue of the current run of Jonah Hex.

Warning: yonder lay spoilers.

For over five years we’ve had a monthly look inside the crazed and scarred head of Jonah Hex, watch him prefer violence to solve almost any situation, and indulge in carnal sins to forget his troubled past.  Again and again that past involved Jonah’s brutal father, a perpetually angry man who tortured Jonah through his childhood in the hopes of making him a man that can take care of himself in the west.  Now, in this issue, Jonah catches up to a wounded and dying father and has one last palaver before watching him pass on.

“Without me, ya’d probably be dead, or worse… a banker”. 

While Jonah hates his father, he is always painfully aware that his father’s “lessons” made him stronger, allowed him to succeed as a tough as nails bounty hunter, and ultimately kept him alive time after time.  In this final conversation there is no redemption, no real closure, just one hollow man watching another hollow man die, with the only real connection between the two Jonah's slow realization that he is becoming his father.  Any son or father of sons reading this will have a moment where they recognize something about themselves in these two angry men.

Jonah Hex has one more issue to go before it turns into All Star Westerns as part of DC Comics new reorganization.  The current run has ranged from good to great, and despite low sales and their despicable film DC has continued to support their lone western.  Let’s hope that All Star Westerns continues this fine tradition.

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