WHERE'S JONAH HEX?!
For years, one of my favorite, but generally underrated comic characters has been the rough and tough bounty hunter Jonah Hex. Created by John Albano and Tony DeZuniga, Jonah has seen himself battle dastardly criminals of all sorts, flung far into the future, and even going head to head (and winning mind you) against both Batman AND Superman. An honorable killer that has much similarity with harder edged characters like The Punisher and Wolverine, he’s an honorable anti-hero whose skill with a pistol and dogged determination typifies some of the best American Western tropes. With such a character, you’d imagine that there would be no end of popularity to the books and attached media, but sadly, this just hasn’t happened.
A well-cast Josh Brolin couldn’t save a generally unexciting feature film adaptation, generally encapsulating the recent troubles of DC Comics getting their properties done well on the silver screen, and his books, despite acclaim, have found themselves getting canceled numerous times over the years. While I find myself increasingly expectant that my favorite lesser characters of superhero books will never find the purchase that they deserve, it’s seems pretty unfair that Jonah is nowhere to be seen these days.
Most recently appearing in the ultimately less than seminal Convergence mini-event earlier this year, he’s gone MIA concerning his place in the DC Universe. With DC starting up new books that feature properties like Prez, Bat-Mite, and even Midnighter, it’s less than heartening to see no future plans for the character that I’ve read and loved for years.
The recent runs by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti on Jonah Hex and The New 52’s All Star Western are among the best of the publisher’s releases and feature rich storytelling, dynamic action, and just all around badassness. Also, while the aforementioned feature film is pretty forgettable, his DC Showcase short animated film starring Tom Jane as Hex, is among the best animated bits ever adapted by DC and Warner Animation. The fact that it also features voice talent by Linda Hamilton and Michael Rooker helps add to the nerd cred. You also can’t forget Jonah’s appearances in the original Batman: The Animated series going up against Ra’s Al Ghul and teaming up with The core Justice League or his in appearance on The Brave and the Bold referencing possibly the greatest Western film ever, Once Upon a Time in the West.
While his future, or our past (?), is unclear, there are thankfully years of material out there for new fans to discover and for older fans to revisit. I just gotta ask: WHERE’S JONAH HEX?!