"Retribution Part 1"
Writers: Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Jordi Bernet
Publisher: DC Comics
Now, this is how you write a western. I've been a fan of DC's western and war comics since I was barely 11 years old, and for some reason Jonah Hex was always one of my favorites. What I never knew, though, was how he got that funky scar on the right side of his face. Well, if the cover blurb is any indication, this is the "Shocking Origin" we've all been waiting for.
I've been reading this book from the first issue, and one of the strengths that Gray and Palmiotti bring to this book is a flair for strong characterization. They keep up this trend this issue, accompanied by the brilliant talents of Spanish artist Jordi Bernet, doing his first sequential work in the United States, his only previous American comics work in the US being an issue of Solo from DC earlier this year. Looking at his work, I'm reminded a lot of Alex Toth, another one of my favorite artists.
The story here is very simple and straightforward. Jonah Hex is a bounty hunter, tracking down wanted men across the Old West. Unfortunately, he makes the mistake of attacking a bunch of Union soldiers at Fort Donelson while trying to take out a crooked Army captain, and is shot and whipped and left for dead. He's found by a farmer and his family and restored to health, but the soldiers find him and kill the farmer and his wife. Jonah leaves, determined to track the soldiers down and take them out.
This was a fantastic issue and shows that Bernet's someone whose art speaks for itself. There's so much style to his work that it's just beautiful to look at. Gray and Palmiotti pull no punches here, and while this is the first of a 3-part story, you better believe I'll be picking up the next two parts. Highly recommended.
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