See the axe on the cover of this issue? It’s being used to do all kinds of evil, nasty things to evil, nasty men. Flip to the first page of the comic. See the pretty blonde frontier woman with a bloody apron and boots? Well, she ain’t butchering pigs. At least not the sorts of pigs that usually live on farms. She’s an especially nasty woman, causing all kinds of heartache. Naturally, Jonah being Jonah, he finds his way to this nasty farm and ends up dragged into in the middle of these horrific events.
This comic has a history of being extremely violent and nasty. And appropriately so. Jonah Hex is a nasty but basically good sumbitch who finds all kinds of other nasty sumbitches who happen to be bad all the way through to their core. Because of this, extreme violence seems basically appropriate in most issues of this comic. Jonah Hex does take place in the Old West, after all, and everyone knows that was a violent time. Make no doubt about it; the women in this issue are basically bad people. They do horrific things to men who are even more evil than they are, and we definitely see the ramifications of their actions. But I found the violence in this issue to be a real turnoff. I was so distracted by the horrors in this issue that I had trouble paying attention to the events that occurred in this issue. Even by the standards of Jonah Hex, this was an extremely violent issue.
I think part of the reason why I felt so horrified is that readers seldom see the ramifications of violence. We see the gun firing, the arrow hit its mark, but we seldom see the victim get sepsis or gangrene, seldom see the horrific road of rehabilitation to allow the victim to have some semblance of a normal life. The action happens, the violence occurs, and we move on to the hero’s next heroic action.
But here the horror is all about the events that happen after the moment of violence. It’s all about how violence can just be the beginning of more torture. In this case, it’s very sadistic torture committed deliberately by insane people.
So I found it very hard to get through this particular issue. It’s professionally done, with nice artwork and colors, and the story is well done for what it is. But I found it to be too much over the edge to really get much enjoyment out of it.