I’ve got to admit, I’m not quite sure why I don’t get this book month in and month out. I picked up the first dozen or so, but got wrapped up in “Secret Final Invasion Civil Crises” combined with the work I was putting in on the “Hawkman Companion” that I thinned down what I was reading based on the “currentness” of the title. Dumb.
This book flat out delivers. Every issue that I’ve picked up has been a winner. “Jonah Hex” is frontier justice at its very best. Going in to any issue, all you have to know is that Jonah Hex is bounty hunter. With a really bad facial scar.
Palmiotti and Gray make this book an easy one to pick up and read. The stories vary from dense to sparse, frequently with a little bit more to read into each and every issue. On every outing, the writing duo is joined by a member of the throngs of artists itching to take a scratch at drawing DC Comics most famous gunslinger. This issue featured art by Rafa Garres.
Admittedly, I am not familiar with Garres’ work heretofore, but I would love to see more hereafter. The art is this issue is murky and rough, detailed and exaggerated. All of the colors are buried in earthtones, much as I would imagine the folks of the Old West would be. After all, if you weren’t covered in dust or dirt, you weren’t honest folk, or at least you weren’t hard-workin’ enough to be trusted by honest folk.
Garres work, coupled with the story of Gray and Palmiotti plays out like an episode of a television show. The action is masterfully framed, the quiet parts are delicately offered to the viewer. My only complaint is that Garres works so hard to make this comic an exaggeration of action and suspense that the action and suspense sometimes gets lost behind the exaggeration. A nice problem to have, especially when you remind yourself that it is, after all, a comic.
If this book were published by Image, Dark Horse, or IDW, folks would be raving about it and it would be the next best thing since “Invincible” or “The Goon.” It’s a right shame that this book doesn’t get a little more fanfare, as it is a powerful release from the event du jour while being a powerful read that will easily stand on its own legs a decade from now, just as strongly as it does today. I’d like to see Gray and Palmiotti be given a shot to treat Blackhawk or Sgt. Rock in the same manner as they have been permitted to craft the adventures of Jonah Hex. I think DC would find itself stronger to offer a line with sensibilities akin to this title. Certainly a line of books would help prop one another up and perpetuate their existence.
If you’re getting burned out by the event and need a breather, or if you just want a good read that doesn’t require years of explanation, give “Jonah Hex” a flip. After all, if artists are clamoring to have a shot at drawing the character, shouldn’t you have a shot at reading it?