A diamond in the rough, this title never ceases to please me. I was never a major fan of the character, although he did have as unique a profile as any other character in the DC Universe and was therefore instantly recognizable whenever he turned up. For almost four years now, he's been turning up on a monthly basis in his own title (not to mention the trades that title has spawned) with top-notch art and excellent writing guiding his adventures the entire time.
Palmiotti and Gray should be commended for their ability to not only produce a monthly book with a less-than-A-list character in the title role, but they have done so while attracting some excellent artistic talent to ride alongside them. Case in point this issue: Paul Gulacy. While Gulacy might not be a household name nowadays, older fans are certain to be familiar with his work. For the most part, over the course of the first half of this issue, Gray and Palmiotti just stay out of Gulacy's way, letting the master storyteller tell some stories with his visuals. There is no uncertainty here -- you know who the "good" guy is and who's bad -- or at least destined to be six-feet lower once Hex is done.
This title continues to impress me with the fact that I can go months without reading an issue, grab the latest off the racks and not miss a beat. What's even more impressive to me is that I can flip a copy over to a buddy -- who may not even read comics -- and create a new Hex fan. Palmiotti and Gray have a good thing going here and offer up a nice safety for readers looking for the following in their comics:
- No massive crossovers nor events
- Great art
- Great stories
- MONTHLY (please note that does say "Monthly" and not "solicited as monthly but released whenever the heck it happens) release schedule
- Great art
- No Excedrin-strength continuity crises
This book delivers month in and month out, sometimes surprisingly so. This issue was one of those pleasant surprises. Just when you think you might have the story all figured out and there's no way Palmiotti and Gray can offer something new, they find a new spin, they offer additional details into Hex's personal history, they make this book once more worth reading and even more worth sharing.
With the production of a "Jonah Hex" movie underway, this title will certainly get a little more attention in short order soon. Do yourself a favor and beat the rush. Pick up "Jonah Hex" now. You can thank me later.