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[h2] Publication history[/h2]
The character first appeared in volume two of All-Star Western#10 (1972), which was renamed Weird Western Tales with its twelfth issue. Jonah Hex all but dominatedthe new title right up until issue #38, at which point Scalphunter took over the spotlight while Jonah moved into his own self-titled series, Jonah Hex, in 1977. The series lasted for 92 issues with Michael Fleisher as the main writer.
Jonah Hex was cancelled during Crisis onInfinite Earths (in which Jonah also appeared along with Scalphunter and other western heroes in issue #3, 1985), but in the same year Jonah moved to a new eighteen-issueseries titled Hex, also penned by Michael Fleisher. In a bizarre turn of events, he found that he had been transported to the 21st century and becamesomewhat of a post-apocalyptic warrior, reminiscent ofMad Max. The series had mediocre success in the United States but was critically acclaimedand well received in Great Britain, Italy, Spain and Japan.[sup][/sup]
Three Jonah Hex mini-series have been published under DC's Vertigo imprint. These series, written by Joe R. Lansdaleand drawn by Tim Truman, fit more into the western-horror genre,as Hex interacts with zombies ("Two-Gun Mojo" #1-5, 1993), aCthulhoid monster ("Riders of the Worm and Such" #1-5, 1995), and spirit people ("Shadows West" #1-3, 1999).
In November 2005, DC began a new monthly Jonah Hex series writtenby JustinGray and Jimmy Palmiotti with interior art by Luke Ross. In assortedpostings on their message board[sup][/sup], Grey and Palmiotti have stated their intent to depict various adventures from across the full length of Hex'slife and career. The main artistic difference is that the series is published without the external restraints of the Comics Code which allows for harder edged stories without having to keepwith the Vertigo imprint's dark fantasy themes. Famous Hex artist TonyDeZuniga has pencilled two issues of the book (#5 and #9) and may do more in the future. J. H. Williams III drew Jonah Hex #35[sup][/sup] and has stated an interest in doing more, saying "Icertainly want to do more issues myself or even a graphic novel if theopportunity and schedule presented itself."[sup][/sup]
[h2] Fictional character biography[/h2] Jonah Hex, Vol.1 #1, 1977. Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, artist.
Throughout the character's history, the western genre conventionshave been heavily subverted. Jonah has battled alcoholism, and as an adult faced hismother's turn to prostitution. Though he traveled extensively throughout theAmerican West, he also ended up in South America and China.At one point he quit bounty hunting, got married and had a son, and took up farming, though it didn't last.
Hex's facial injuries can be traced back to being sold into slavery by his father to the Apache for safe passage. Jonah eventually saved the chief frombeing killed by a mountain lion and was made an honorary member of the tribe. He was soon betrayed by the envious son of the chief while on a raid. He returnedyears later to challenge him in a sacred tomahawk battle. But the chief's son sabotaged Jonah's tomahawk and Jonah used his knife in self defense whenthe tomahawk broke. The tribe saw this as breaking the rules of the sacred battle and sentenced Jonah to wear the mark of the demon by pressing a searing hottomahawk to his face. They said his honorary relationship to the chief was the only thing that saved him from death.
In 1904, Jonah was shot in cold blood during a card game (but not before he was transported to 2052 for the Hex series. The exact date when thisoccurred has been in debate. Several sources point to 1875, however a running timeline of events in Jonah's life places this closer to 1879.). His corpsewas stolen, stuffed, mounted, and dressed in a ridiculous singing cowboy costume, then put on display in a traveling circus. The circus owner was eventuallymurdered and Jonah's body was stolen yet again. It would pass through various hands before finally being acquired by the restaurant "Planet Krypton", owned by Booster Gold.
[h3] Recurring villains[/h3]
Being a "non-superhero", Jonah did not have a "Roguesgallery" comparable to Superman or The Flash, though he had a few adversaries who returned from time to time.The first and most notable of these to date was Quentin Turnbull, known atfirst as simply the man with the eagle-topped cane.
Turnbull was the father of Hex's best friend, Jeb Turnbull. During the American Civil War, Jonah actually surrendered himself to the Union forces after the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation, but refused to betray where his fellow soldiers were camped. A Union soldier was able to determinethe location of that camp by examining the dirt in the hooves of Jonah's horse. The Union soldiers captured all of Jonah's fellow soldiers and thenlater massacred most of them, framing Jonah as a turncoat. Turnbull's son was one of those slaughtered and Turnbull vowed his vengeance upon Jonah.
Turnbull hired an unnamed stage actor to impersonate Hex and help "destroy Hex". This actor, naming himself "The Chameleon", waseventually hideously scarred in a fire started by Hex, and vowed vengeance upon Hex.
El Papagayo was a Mexican bandit running guns. Hex was hired by the United States Secret Service (actually a man hired byTurnbull to pose as an agent) to infiltrate El Papagayo's band and bring him to justice. Hex was unsuccessful and he and Papagayo met several more timesover the years.
[h3] Significant dates in Jonah's life[/h3]
The majority of Jonah's adventures were never given actual dates, however, some significant events were given year references. The ones listed here areactually mentioned or calculated using dialogue or other references.
November 1, 1838: Jonah is born. (JH V1, #50 & reference in #57)
June, 1848: Jonah's mother runs away with a traveling salesman. (JH V1, #57)
July, 1851: Jonah's father, a physically abusive alcoholic, sells him into slavery to the Apache in exchange for either a pile of pelts (JH V1, #7) or safe passage through Indian land (JH V2, #14). The two JonahHex series have different explanations, and it is unclear which is the correct version of the story.
1853: At the age of fifteen, Jonah saves the tribe's chief from a puma. The chief expresses his gratitude by adopting Jonah as hissecond son. Jonah eventually exceeds the chief's son, Noh-Tante, in the chief's eyes. (JH V1, #7)
1854: Jonah & Noh-Tante, in a tribal ritual of manhood, raid a nearby Kiowa village to steal ponies. Noh-Tante ambushes Jonah andleaves him to the Kiowas and tells the chief that Jonah is dead. Jonah is either 'rescued' by scalphunters who slaughter the Kiowas and shoot Jonah,leaving him for dead before a trapper finds him and nurses him back to health (JH V1, #7), or Jonah manages to defeat the Kiowas but does not returnto the Apache village. (JH V2, #14) Once again, the records are conflicting.
1859: Jonah is engaged to Cassie Wainwright but she is killed by Indians the day before their wedding. (JH V1, #65)
Dec 25th, 1861: Jonah and Turnbull's son Jeb give Quentin Turnbull an eagle-topped cane. (JH V1, #55; WWT #29)
Jan. 1863: Jonah surrenders to the Union forces at Fort Charlotte. Jonah's platoon is subsequently captured and then slaughtered duringan attempted escape known as the Fort Charlotte Massacre. Jonah is accused by the survivors of being a turncoat. (WWT #29, JH V1, #35)
May 2, 1863: Jonah accidentally shoots StonewallJackson as the General returns from a reconnaissance, inflicting the wound which cost him his arm & precipitated his death shortly after due tosepsis. (JH V1, #37)
April 23, 1865: Jonah surrenders (once again) to Union forces at the federal stockade in Lynchburg, Virginia, two weeks after Leesurrendered to Grant. (JH V1, #30) It is assumed, but not yet chronicled, that Jonah returned to the Confederacy after the Fort Charlottemassacre.
1866: Jonah locates his old tribe and tells the chief how Noh-Tante betrayed him years before. The chief decrees that this must be settledby a tomahawk battle. Noh-Tante secretly sabotages Jonah's tomahawk so that the handle will break. In an act of desperation during the fight, Jonah pulls aknife and kills Noh-Tante. As punishment for breaking the rules, Jonah is bound and the chief presses a heated tomahawk to the right side of Jonah's facegiving him "The Mark of the Demon." The tribe then banishes Jonah. (JH V1, #
Winter, 1866: Jonah takes his first job bounty hunting by tracking down an old Confederate buddy, Eddie Cantwell (JH V1,#30-31)
1874: While tracking down the kidnapping of Laura Vanden, Jonah once again comes in contact with the Apache chief and is captured. Thechief admits to taking Laura and announces that he will kill Hex at sunrise. Jonah is rescued by White Fawn, his former girlfriend and widow of Noh-Tante. Thechief kills White Fawn and Jonah kills the chief before he rescues Laura Vanden. (JH V1, #
1875: Jonah marries Mei Ling and promises to give up bounty-hunting and gunfighting. (JH V1, #45)
Spring, 1876: Jonah's son, Jason, is born. A month later, Mei Ling takes Jason and leaves Jonah. (JH V1, #51-53)
1899: Jonah meets his grown son, Jason, in Mexico. Jonah learns that Mei Ling has died, but leaves before finding out that he now has agrandson, Woodson Hex. (JH V2, #25)
1904: Jonah is gunned down and killed by George Barrow. Despite some reports to the contrary, Jonah was not killed during a gunfight, norwas he shot in the back. Jonah was sitting playing cards in a local establishment. As he took off his glasses to clean them, George Barrow stormed into theestablishment and shot Jonah in the chest with both barrels of a shotgun. Barrow was then confronted by the local law. Barrow dropped his weapon andsurrendered but the local sheriff killed Barrow in cold blood. (Jonah Hex Spectacular)
In 1998, a female character named Hex was introduced in the pages of Superboy. She first appears as a temperamental supermodel until an agent of the Agenda slices the right side of her face, at which point she started claiming to be Jonah Hex. She adopts his voice and manner of speaking, and displays his sharpshooting skills with a pistol. She has the ability to shoot "psionic bullets" from any kind of gun when in her "Jonah Hex" mode; otherwise she was powerless. It was hinted that the Agenda had either performed experiments on her or that she had been created by them; but nothing has been confirmed. She was last seen flying out of Cadmus riding atop Grokk, the Living Gargoyle.
Jonah Hex makes a cameo appearance, escorting the Navajo back to the Canyon DeChelly, after the Long Walk of the Navajo was over. It appears that Jonah is escorting the Navajo on to the Long Walk, but this was an artist error, as indicated by the author on his Forum
Booster Gold (#2; 2007/11): Minor cameo at end of book
Booster Gold (#3; 2007/12)
[h3] Collected editions[/h3]
Various trade paperback collections are beingreleased, both of the ongoing second series and Jonah Hex's original appearances:
Guns of Vengeance (written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti; art by Luke Ross, Dylan Teague, Tony Dezuñiga, Phil Noto, David Michael Beck, Paul Gulacy, Jimmy Palmiotti, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Art Thibert; 144 pages, collects Jonah Hex #7-12, DC, April 2007, ISBN 1-4012-1249-2)
Origins (written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti; art by Jordi Bernet, Phil Noto, and Val Semeik; 144 pages, collects Jonah Hex #13-18, DC, November 2007, ISBN 1-4012-1490-6)
Only the Good Die Young (written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti; art by Jordi Bernet, Phil Noto, and David Michael Beck; 144 pages, collects Jonah Hex #19-24, DC, April 2008, ISBN 1-4012-1689-7)
Luck Runs Out (written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti; art by Russ Heath, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Jordi Bernet, John Higgins, Stefano Landini, and Rafa Garres; 144 pages, collects Jonah Hex #25-30, DC October 2008, ISBN 1-4012-1960-4)
Bullets Don't Lie (written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti; art by Darwyn Cooke, J.H. Williams III, Jordi Bernet, Rafa Garres, Paulo Siqueira, and Mark Sparacio; 144 pages, collects Jonah Hex #31-36, DC, April 2009, ISBN 1-4012-2157-7)
Hex's appearance in "Showdown" took place in 1883, while in "The Once and Future Thing, Part 1: Weird Western Tales", the year was 1879. The Jonah Hex of Showdown looked considerably older than his later appearance despite only four years difference, although this may have been the result of the corruption of the timestream.
The Post-Apocalyptic Hex made an appearance in a solo game module of DC Heroes titled "Hex: Escort to Hell".
The 1994 HBO TV-movie Blind Justice is claimed to have been partially inspired by the Jonah Hex comic book character. The western film follows a near-blind Civil War survivor, played by Armand Assante, as he travels across Mexico with a baby he has sworn to protect.[sup][/sup]
Jonah Hex appears in the teaser of Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Return of the Fearsome Fangs".[sup][/sup] He is voiced by Phil Morris. He was caught by a western version of the Royal Flush Gang, and plan to pull him apart. Batman frees him, and they take out the gang. He gives Batman a gold coin for his efforts, telling him to get himself "a proper cowboy hat". Jonah Hex returns in "Duel of the Double-Crossers", where he is recruited by warlord Mongul to be a gladiator in War World, and is forced to fight Batman.
Talk of a live action movie has circulated since the late 1970s without much progress beyond pre-production, though it has been reported that John Albano's exit from writing for the character was the result of a dispute overpayment for film rights.[sup][/sup]
A film about the fictional character is being produced by Warner Bros. Pictures. Jimmy Hayward is directing the film, and Josh Brolin stars asJonah Hex. The film is scheduled to be released on August 6, 2010.
I agree with the others who said that his disfigured face should be more....disfigured. The thing about Jonah Hex's face that sticks out most to me fromthe comics and some cartoons was how that stiff line of skin was like a pencil and it came from directly under his eye. Why can they never get certain parts ofcomic book movies the exact way they were in the comics.