Friday, May 28, 2010

What The HEX Goin' On Here? All-Star Western #10

The recurring heroes in Western comics were traditionally cut from heroic cloth. Guys like Red Ryder, The Lemonade Kid, NightHawk... Maybe some of them wore masks, but they weren't outlaws or bandits, just guys with secret identities. And even the guys who were "outlaws" were never really bad. Guys like The Rawhide Kid, Kid Colt, The Outlaw Kid, the Two-Gun Kid (Weren't there any grown-ups in the West?) were branded as outlaws, but they were all falsely accused.

Sure, there were a few misfits, mostly Indians or "half-breed" characters who weren't accepted by the folks they tried to help. But the reader knew about their troubled, noble hearts and so that was okay.

This approach lasted from the Golden Age of the late 30's all the way through the 1960's. And then, in 1971, a new type of hero began to surface in the fabric of American Western comics. The ANTI-hero. What's an anti-hero?

"In fiction, an antihero is generally considered to be a protagonist whose character is at least in some regards conspicuously contrary to that of the archetypal hero, and is in some instances its antithesis." - Wikipedia

Jonah Hex is not a typical hero. He is not handsome (although he may have been once). He is not noble (He kills men for money). Jonah Hex is a horribly disfigured Confederate veteran who makes his living as a bounty hunter. And he's mean. Plumb, mad-dog mean.

Enjoy his debut in All-Star Western #10, "Welcome to Paradise"


  1. Tony DeZuniga will always be, for me, the classic Hex artist. His Johah is how the character is supposed to look. I loved Hex as a kid, love him still (The new Hex comes so very close but smacks just a touch too much of modern sensibilites).

  2. Mykal: I agree. They brought DeZuniga back for a few issues near the beginning of the current run, but his art has changed quite a bit.

    The newer ones ( I dropped off about 2 years ago) are pretty good, but yes, "modern sensibilities" is right.