Friday, 29 July 2011

Jonah Hex Vol.1: Face Full of Violence TPB

This collects issues 1 to 6 of the current DC Jonah Hex series, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray.  Nothing ground breaking here, just some solid, very readable, done-in-one Western tales, with nice art by Luke Ross (issues 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6), who clearly modelled his version of Hex on Clint Eastwood, and okay (but maybe too scruffy for my liking) art by Hex’s co-creator  Tony DeZuñiga (issue 5 only).  I have already reviewed at least two later volumes in this series and I find myself with little new to say about this first volume.  I do like this series a lot, though.  Probably the most notable thing about it is the fact that the individual issues in the series are nearly always self-contained, and could probably be read and enjoyed even by someone who has never read a DC comic before (although some familiarity with the character Bat Lash, who pops up in JH #2, might aid your enjoyment of that particular issue).  This is depressingly rare in modern mainstream comics, where even most trade paperbacks are not self-contained anymore, and it’s a real shame that this series is going to be cancelled as part of DC’s upcoming reboot and replaced with a new Western series, All-Star Western.  I am looking forward to that new series a bit, as at least it is still written by Palmiotti and Gray, and I will almost certainly pick up the first trade paperback, but the fact that the Jonah Hex story that kicks off the series is set in Gotham City and that that story does not appear to be self-contained is worrying. As this reboot is presumably supposed to make DC’s comics more accessible to new readers, taking what is already one of their most accessible titles – a title featuring largely self-contained stories that don’t end up disappearing up their own arses, unlike the stories  in pretty much every other DC comic – and introducing it into a convoluted new continuity just seems stupid.

Cost: This has a cover price of $12.99 (about £10.00?).  It appears to be out of print at the moment but there are plenty of new and used copies available on Amazon.  I bought my copy on eBay at least two years ago and really can’t remember how much I paid for it now.  Not sure why it has taken me so long to get around to reading it, either, as until recently it was the only volume in the series I actually owned and I have already read and enjoyed volumes 2 to 9, which I got out of my local library.  I also recently picked up a cheap collection of Jonah Hex stuff on eBay, which contained, among other things, the first six books in this series, so I now find myself with two copies of this book, if anyone wants one.

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