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Longbox Junk Jonah Hex part 2 Issues 26 50

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More Jonah Hex. . .Let's do this!

JONAH HEX (Vol. 2 DC)

ISSUE 26

Now HERE'S a disturbing little tale. . .


2 sisters with a vendetta against all men capture travellers (including Hex's bounty), cut off their arms, legs, and tongues, and keep them in their barn as animals. Hex falls into their trap, but narrowly escapes. He returns to exact bloody justice on the sisters, then mercilessly brings in their victims for his bounty. Like I said, disturbing. Still a great little story with very nice art. The insane expressions on the sister's faces, as well as on Hex's own are on a whole other level of creepy than usual for this series.

ISSUE 27

This was a pretty good story. On a trip to New York City, Hex saves a boy whose father is killed by a corrupt sheriff. Years later, Hex is hunting the same boy, now a man who kills corrupt lawmen and collects their badges (hence the name and title Star Man). It's a decent story about how the past never really dies. I'm not such a big fan of Bernet's art on this series, but for some reason, I really liked it on this issue. Maybe his style is better suited for crowded city scenes.

ISSUE 28

A so-so issue about a man who unsuccessfully hire Jonah Hex to kill an entire town after they lynched and burnt his gay lover. He takes matters into his own hands and learns a cruel lesson about 2 wrongs not making a right. Not the best issue of this series, but not the worst. Hex seems a bit out of character here with the extreme brutality he shows, even though the same writers worked on this issue as the rest of the series. The art is nicely done, with very detailed faces.

ISSUE 29

This sequel to the events in issue #21 is long on action and short on story. It involves Hex and a group of Pinkerton men returning to the rocks of Devil's Paw to try and recover money lost there in the previous tale. Instead of just 1 indian, as hex believed, there is an entire band of indians hiding in the rocks, who take Hex prisoner, put him to a test of death that he survives, and invite him to join them. Hex declines and the tribe is decimated in a massive attack by the U.S. Army, except for 1 survivor that Hex saves.

It's an extremely average story that serves only to tie up loose ends from the previous story. The dark and twisted art fits this tale of death perfectly.

ISSUE 30 

A pretty good story about what happens when train robbers take over a town and interrupt Jonah Hex on a three-day drunk. There's a good amount of humor in this story, which is a welcome change of pace, but that's about all it has going for it. I'm still not a fan of Bernet's art, but the silent 2 page opener is great. . .showing scenes passing through Hex's drunk mind that nicely recap his origin and story to that point.

ISSUE 31

When I saw the sweet Richard Corben cover on this issue I was like "Awwwww. . .YEAH!" thinking he'd be on the art inside as well. Sad to say that the art is very nice and super-detailed, but it's not Corben.

That aside, this is a pretty good story about Hex hired to hunt down a masked bandit and discovering a man who has the whole town fooled into thinking he's nothing but the town drunk. He tries to outsmart Hex also, but it doesn't end well. Not the best, not the worst. Awesome cover, though. . .one of the best in the series.

ISSUE 32

When Hex refuses an offer from a wealthy man to kill his wife's former lover, he makes the last mistake he ever will when he tries to kill Jonah Hex and doesn't make sure the job is done. A simple story of betrayal and revenge that seems like a bit of a filler issue. The art by Bernet is decent, but not great. The cover, on the other hand is about the worst one of the series yet. The proportions are all off and it looks like someone slapped some color on a rough sketch.

ISSUE 33

I didn't like this issue very much. It WANTS to be great, but doesn't quite succeed. It's an exploration of Hex as a force of nature as told from the perspective of a boy he saves, then abandons in the snows of Canada. It has Hex as an expert dog sled driver for some reason, his surviving being dropped under the ice of a frozen lake in his long johns, and the gunning down of dozens of men in a pretty ridiculous story.

Like I said, it wants to be great, but ends up being pretty bad. Even art by the usually-great Darwyn Cooke isn't that good. It looks like something he threw together on extremely short notice. The cover looks like an unfinished sketch. Not the worst, but not good.

ISSUE 34

Set following the events of issue #28, Hex decides to hang up his guns and live the quiet life. Guess what. . .it turns out that death follows Jonah Hex no matter what he tries to do. This was a really good story about Hex fighting against his own nature. It's not a funny issue, but the scenes of him chopping wood to avoid conflict, then the scene of a giant heap of firewood about 10 feet high was hilarious! The art is nicely detailed and I'd say this is in my top 10 favorite issues of this series so far.

ISSUE 35

The title of this strange little tale tells the whole story. Hex meets a sheriff and his wife and learns he can't have children and she wants a family. One thing leads to another and Hex finds himself drugged with them trying to make him an unwilling. . .donor. It's a pretty good story with great artwork. The double page picture of Jonah Hex on the title page is one of the best I've seen in the whole series.

ISSUE 36

A grim tale that tries to explain why Jonah Hex wears a Confederate uniform. It seems he wants everyone to hate him as much as he hates everyone else. Not a bad tale, I'm not a big fan of the art in this story (being very exaggerated), but the dark and twisted style match the dark and twisted frame of mind of Jonah Hex.

ISSUE 37

It looks like this issue was a bit of filler and a good excuse for the artist to throw some cheesecake into the series. The story is about 3 women who decide to try to steal a bounty from under Hex, but the story doesn't really matter in this case, it's all about boobs and butts. . .don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with boobs and butts. Actually, Bernet's art is starting to grow on me. Er. . .that sounded wrong. All in all not the best issue of the series so far.

ISSUE 38

Leading on from the events at the end of issue #26, where Hex humiliates the sheriff of Highwater, Hex is taken prisoner by said sheriff and forced to endure listening to his tale of woe before we're treated to a picture of a man getting bitten in the junk by a rattlesnake. Not a great issue.

ISSUE 39

This is the third 2 star rating issue in a row. Hopefully things will start picking up again, seeing as I'm only halfway through reviewing this series. A tale of escaped prisoners, cowardly lawmen, and Jonah Hex stepping in to help keep a saloon open. Not a great story. It doesn't help that the art doesn't fit the tone in any way. I don't mind the twisted, exaggerated style of Garres for certain Hex stories, but this one was a bad fit. Moving on. . .

ISSUE 40

Part 1 of a 2 parter that brings back Tallulah Black! Hex is hired to hunt down a frontier serial killer. . .a doctor that likes to capture and torture young girls before killing them. Hex stumbles into a gunfight, gets shot, and finds himself under the doctor's. . .care after Sawbones finds the wanted poster with his picture in his pocket. Hex manages to escape and is found by Tallulah Black near to death.

Not a great story on its own, but a great setup with great art. I wish David Beck was the regular artist on this series. He pretty much gets it all perfect.

ISSUE 41

After the great setup last issue, I was a bit disappointed with the conclusion. Not saying it was bad, not by a long shot, just not that great. The killer meets Hex's style of gruesome justice, we get to see Tallulah Black being badass, David Beck's art was fantastic, and it all wraps up neatly. . .but that's about it.

ISSUE 42

Back to the one and done stories again. A decent story flashing back to Hex's childhood and his father's brutal efforts to toughen him up. It's a simple story and short by about 6 pages due to a Power Girl preview, but I liked it. Not great, but not bad at all. Even Bernet's art was pretty good. Power Girl and Jonah Hex don't really go together, but I don't make the rules. . .I just follow them.

ISSUE 43

A pretty simple tale of Hex being hired to rescue some hostages and trying to get paid when the job is done. What I liked about this issue was the art by Gulacy. 75% of the story was silent, told only by the art for 20 pages. It seems this series is given to a bit of "silent storytelling" from time to time, but other issues haven't taken it this far. I think the most before was 4 pages' worth. Nicely done.

ISSUE 44

It's the first extended story arc (6 issues) and the gang's all here! Jonah Hex, Tallulah Black, Bat Lash, and El Diablo! Look like it's going to be a pretty good team-up tale. It all starts when Hex is lured into a trap by Quentin Turnbull and his henchman, El Papagayo. Hex killed Turnbull's son at some point in the previous issues (I forget which one exactly) and he's out for revenge. Unfortunately, he doesn't make sure Hex is dead when he buries him in a shallow grave. Now it's Hex's turn.

Elsewhere, Bat Las and Tallulah Black meet by chance in Mexico during a run in with El Papagayo, and El Diablo comes in (barely) at the end of the story. This opening issue is pretty good for setup, but other than bringing the players into the game, there's not much else here. The art is dark, sketchy and nicely done. I think they picked a good artist for this first long story.

ISSUE 45

Bat Lash and Tallulah Black are imprisoned in Mexico by El Papagayo, Jonah Hex and Lazaraus Lane are making their way to Mexico after Hex makes a deal with El Diablo to safeguard Lane. Another "Gun" joins the game. . .Blue Eagle, a Comanche warrior, teams up with Hex and Lane.

Not much going on but the players moving closer together. It ends with a nice cliffhanger. . .Bat Lash and Tallulah Black against a wall facing a Mexican firing squad. Second issue in this arc is still setting things up. Not great, but pretty good.

ISSUE 46

With a last-second rescue of Bat Lash and Tallulah Black by Hex, Blue Eagle, and El Diablo, The gang is all together, El Papagayo and his men are defeated, and we're halfway through the arc. Turnbull is revealed to be hiding in some Mayan ruins and that he's hired some exotic killer to take care of Hex. There's also an extended flashback of Hex during the Civil War that gives a little background to the feud between Hex and Turnbull. Still not the best story in this series, but pretty good. Hopefully the resolution will be worth the buildup.

ISSUE 47

There's a good bit of comedy in this 4th issue of the 6 part "Six Gun War" story. Most of it during a desperate showdown with Mexican bandits while riding for Turnbull's stronghold. A trap is set for the united friends in a small Mexican town, but another character from past issues, Chako, warns Hex. . .but not before the seeming death of Blue Eagle.

Some nice back and forth insults between the friends make this issue stand out, but it still seems like setup mainly to put Chako into the story. With only 2 issues left, I hope the payoff is worth all the setup.

ISSUE 48

Quentin Turnbull's trap is sprung, Hex is betrayed by Chako, and he faces Turnbull's exotic assasins by himself. Unfortunately (for them) they all brought knives to a gunfight. . .literally. Not a one of them are armed with guns, and Jonah takes them all out before finally ending Chako's occasional comedy relief appearances with a bullet to the forehead. Too bad, I liked Chako.

This issue was long on action and short on story. I was actually a bit disappointed. The exotic assasins seemed like they would have been a bit more interesting, being from Africa and Persia, 2 twin women, a boxer, and an Indian who can block bullets with his knife (??). It seemed a bit of a waste. Not the best issue of this story. Moving on. . .

ISSUE 49

I was disappointed in the ending of this. Hex and crew finally bring the fight to Turnbull in his Mayan ruin stronghold, only to have Turnbull rescued by the Mexican army and leaving the feud between them unresolved. El Papagayo also was left alive a few issues back, so hopefully there will be a more satisfactory conclusion to come sometime in the remaining issues.

The ending seemed rushed and half-hearted. . .almost like the writers came up with a great idea (Hex teams up with all his outlaw friends from past issues), but they didn't quite know what to do after the team-up. The arc started strong and ended with a whimper. Bring back the one and done stories if this is how extended arcs are going to go. . .

ISSUE 50

After the tepid "Six Gun War" we get a fantastic double-sized 50th issue telling a tragic tale of what happens when Tallulah Black gets pregnant with Jonah Hex's child and she hangs up her guns. The story is extremely sad, but Darwyn Cooke's art adds a few comedic touches during the separate tale of Hex continuing his bounty hunting without knowing that he's a father.

I didn't like Cooke's art the last time he was Jonah Hex (it seemed half-baked), but this time around it was PERFECT. Funny where it needed to be funny and tragic where it needed to be tragic. And the cover is one of the best of the series so far. I wonder if the writers gave us such a great story this time to apologize for the mess that ended "Six Gun War". In any case. . .one of the top 5 issues of the series so far.

CONCLUSION

The middle batch of Jonah Hex was a bit more hit and miss than the first 25 issues, but overall I still enjoyed them.  We also got the first extended 6 issue story, but it was a bit disappointing at then end after a strong start.  I think that Hex is better suited to shorter stories.  

Next up. . .

Even MORE Jonah Hex! Be there or be square!

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