So far the Jonah Hex revival has been wonderful. Each done-in-one issue has offered thrills, excitement, and wonderful twists and turns. This issue is no exception.
What makes this issue a bit exceptional is its relentless darkness. After a groom is killed at a wedding, Hex seeks vengeance, but in the end, none of the copious death seems to be worth the struggle.
Unusual for this comic, there were a number of places where things didn’t flow as well as they should have. The key problem for me was that for some reason the key event of the story, the murder of the groom, happens slightly off-panel. We see guns firing, then a close-up of the bride splattered with blood, and then it’s just assumed that he is dead in the next panel. The scene loses some of its energy by not showing the actual event.
Another problem with this issue is that Hex seems too much a super-hero and not enough a conflicted anti-hero. I can accept that he’s the fastest draw in the west, and the best marksman this side of Clint Eastwood, but the scene where Hex unerringly throws a sheriff’s star without being shot really strains credulity. Sure Hex is a great shot, but can he throw like Roger Clemens, too?
There are some terrific scenes in the comic, too. The opening scene, with Hex walking out of a blazing inferno like some spirit of hellish vengeance, is spectacular. And Ross does a wonderful job of drawing distinct faces that look like they’re actually from the era he depicts.
But this issue was slightly less good than some of the other issues of this run. I loved the darkness and the energy of the story, but I can’t escape the feeling it could have been even better than it was.