Jonah Hex #13


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Jonah Hex #13


  • Words: Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
  • Art: Jordi Bernet
  • Inks: Jordi Bernet
  • Colors: Rob Schwager
  • Story Title: Retribution
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Nov 1, 2006

Men like Jonah Hex are not born – they’re made. Carved out piece by piece, weathered by their experiences. Open up the cover and see just what it took to make Jonah Hex.

Writers Gray and Palmiotti dare to tread where no writer has really gone – to shape and outline a definitive origin for Jonah Hex. There have been bits and snatches told about the character before now but Gray and Palmiotti are setting out to take those bits and snatches and weave them into a much larger tapestry. After one year of basically stand-alone stories, the writing duo are also taking their first foray into a story arc for the title starting with this issue. So does it all work?

It’s 1868 in the Wyoming Badlands and a group of gunrunners find that their luck has run out. The bounties offered for their lives have attracted the most fearsome predator of all – Jonah Hex. There is an added element here, though, as well... These gunrunners are working for an ex-Union Army Colonel named Ackerman and it turns out that Ackerman and Hex have a very nasty past that goes back to the early days of the Civil War. Like the title says – Hex is on a path of retribution now.

Month after month, Gray and Palmiotti turn in perfectly crafted stories that may be Western in their trappings but timeless in their themes and subjects. Here they tackle the hell of war and the complexities of human beings. There are evil men and good; sinners and saints on both sides of the war and both are on display this issue. The writers have never taken a simplistic route with this title and this issue is no exception. Sitting down to read this story takes a delightfully long time, as the reader is encouraged to take time to appreciate the nuances.

In capturing those nuances Gray and Palmiotti could not have asked for a better art partner. Jordi Bernet’s somewhat cartoony style, while different from what has gone before on this title, has an unrushed, measured pace. This will probably sound a little weird but each panel feels like a heartbeat – a snapshot of a moment in time. Many of the panels this issue are wordless but Bernet’s pictures speak those fabled thousand words each and every time.

Jonah Hex features a wonderfully complex character, deep, rich stories, and a pair of writers who have done their research and obviously have a great love for the type of tales they are telling here. New readers do not need to know anything about the character or what has gone before in order to jump right in and start enjoying this story. Gray and Palmiotti are peeling back the hidden layers, showing fans new and old just what it takes to be Jonah Hex. It’s a story not to be missed.

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