Cover to Jonah Hex Vol. 2 No. 1 (2005)
by Luke Ross
|First appearance||All-Star Western No. 10|
|Created by||John Albano|
|Full name||Jonah Woodson Hex|
|Team affiliations||Apache and Navajo tribes|
Confederate States Army
United States Army
Five Warriors from Forever
|Notable aliases||The Mark of the Demon|
|Hex No. 1, 1985. Mark Texeira and Klaus Janson, artists.|
|Series publication information|
|Publication date||(vol. 1)|
March /April 1977 – August 1985
September 1985 – February 1987
January 2006 – October 2011
|Number of issues||(vol. 1) 92|
(vol. 2) 70
|Main character(s)||Jonah Hex|
|Writer(s)||Michael Fleisher, Joe R. Lansdale, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti|
|Penciller(s)||José Luis García-López, Dick Ayers|
|Showcase Presents: Jonah Hex, Vol. 1||ISBN 1-4012-0760-X|
|Showcase Presents: Jonah Hex, Vol. 2||ISBN 1-4012-1561-0|
Jonah Woodson Hex is a fictional antihero appearing in comic books published in the USA by DC Comics. The character was created by writer John Albano and artist Tony DeZuniga. Hex is a surly and cynical bounty hunter whose face is horribly scarred on the right side. Despite his poor reputation and personality, Hex is bound by a personal code of honor to protect and avenge the innocent.
The character was portrayed by Josh Brolin in the 2010 film adaptation of the same name. Thomas Jane provided his voice in a DC Animated short film. He is acted and portrayed by Johnathon Schaech in DC's Legends of Tomorrow and appeared in the Arrowverse crossover "Crisis on Infinite Earths".
The character first appeared in a full-page in-house ad for All-Star Western No. 10 which was published in various November/December 1971-dated DC comics, including a few of DC's war comics line, as well as a half-page version of the same house ad in Batman No. 237. This house ad contains the first published images of Jonah Hex, as well as two dialogue-filled comic strip panels not used in his first full-story appearance.
His first full-story appearance was published a few weeks later in volume two of All-Star Western No. 10 (February–March 1972), which was renamed Weird Western Tales with its twelfth issue. Jonah Hex headlined the new title right up until issue #38, at which point Scalphunter took over the spotlight while Jonah Hex moved into his own self-titled series in 1977. The series lasted for 92 issues with Michael Fleisher as the main writer and Tony DeZuniga providing much of the art.
In a 2010 interview with Filipino journalist Anna Valmero, DeZuniga described the moment he first conceived the image that would become Jonah Hex: "When I went to my doctor, I saw this beautiful chart of the human anatomy. And I saw the anatomy of the figure was split in half, straight from head to toe. Half his skeleton was there, half his nerves and muscles. That's where I got the idea it won't be too bad if his distortion would be half."
Jonah Hex was canceled during Crisis on Infinite Earths (in which Jonah also appeared along with Scalphunter and other western heroes in issue No. 3, but in the same year Jonah moved to a new eighteen-issue series titled Hex, also penned by Michael Fleisher. In a bizarre turn of events, Hex found that he had been transported to the 21st century and became somewhat of a post-apocalyptic warrior, reminiscent of Mad Max. The series had mediocre success in the United States but was critically acclaimed and well received in Great Britain, Italy, Spain and Japan.
Three Jonah Hex miniseries have been published under DC's Vertigo imprint. These series, written by Joe R. Lansdale and drawn by Tim Truman, fit more into the western-horror genre, as Hex interacts with zombies ("Two-Gun Mojo" #1–5, 1993), a Cthulhoid monster ("Riders of the Worm and Such" #1–5, 1995) and spirit people ("Shadows West" #1–3, 1999).
Jonah Hex vol. 2
A new monthly Jonah Hex series debuted in November 2005 (cover date January 2006), written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti with interior art by varying (and occasionally recurring) artists. In assorted postings on their message board, Gray and Palmiotti have stated their intent was to depict various adventures from across the full length of Hex's life and career. The main artistic difference is that the series is published without the external restraints of the Comics Code Authority which allows for harder edged stories without having to keep with the Vertigo imprint's dark fantasy themes. Tony DeZuniga, the original Hex artist, returned to pencil two issues of the book (#5 and #9). John Higgins drew issue No. 28 and J. H. Williams III provided the art for Jonah Hex No. 35, expressing an interest in doing more: "I certainly want to do more issues myself or even a graphic novel if the opportunity and schedule presented itself."
All-Star Western vol. 3
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. With this change, Jonah Hex volume 2 was canceled and Jonah transitioned as the lead story in All-Star Western volume 3 (November 2011). While Jonah Hex vol. 2 consisted of standalone stories, All-Star Western features an ongoing story arc that finds Jonah in Gotham City during the 1880s, teamed up with Amadeus Arkham.
Fictional character biography
Born November 1, 1838 in northwestern Missouri, to Woodson and Virginia Hex, Jonah was a regular victim of physical abuse as a child at the hands of his father. In 1851 his father sold him into slavery to an Apache tribe. They worked him constantly until one day when he saved their chieftain from a puma and he was welcomed as a full-fledged member of the tribe. The chief took Jonah as his own son, but his adopted brother, Noh-Tante, grew jealous. Noh-Tante shared Jonah's affections for a young girl named White Fawn, so he betrayed his brother during their manhood rite at the age of 16 and left Jonah for dead with their enemies, the Kiowa. He was rescued by a Cavalry patrol, although they shot him in the gut when he tried to stop their slaughter. Left for dead a second time, he was nursed back to health by an old trapper in the woods. Returning to his tribe's camp, he found them long since gone.
American Civil War
As Jonah grew into adulthood, he joined the United States Army as a cavalry scout. By 1861, the country was radically divided. When war erupted between the Northern states and the Southern states, Jonah shifted his loyalties to the newly formed Confederate States Army and earned a commission as a lieutenant in the 4th CS Cavalry. During this time, Jonah met a fellow soldier named Jeb Turnbull and the two became close friends.
As time went on, Hex found himself increasingly torn between his loyalties to the South and his feelings towards the treatment of slaves. In September 1862, President Abraham Lincoln announced his Emancipation Proclamation – a proposed bill that would outlaw slavery in most slave-holding states. Jonah realized that he could no longer support a system that elected to hold his fellow man in bondage, however, he had no intention of betraying his comrades by cooperating with the Union. Therefore, he felt that the best option available to him was to surrender and wait out the war. He abandoned his post and went to the Union camp at Fort Charlotte, sneaking into the Camp captain's quarters to surrender directly. The camp's captain pressured Hex to reveal the location of his Confederate unit, but Jonah refused to yield the information. However, an orderly examined samples of clay from the iron shoes on Hex's horse, and determined where the Confederate soldiers were stationed.
The Union soldiers tracked the enemy back to their camp and took them by surprise. As the Confederate soldiers were arrested, the Union captain, smarting from the fact that Hex was able to penetrate the fort's security, publicly thanked Jonah for his assistance, marking him as a traitor in the eyes of his former unit. Hex responded by brutally punching him and was sentenced to solitary confinement.
Jonah found a shaft beneath his cell and used it to access the compound where Jeb Turnbull and the other prisoners were being held. He aided them in trying to escape, but the fort's soldiers were prepared for them. Unbeknownst to Hex, the Captain had deliberately had the "escape tunnel" dug. The fort did not have enough food to support its soldiers, let alone prisoners, so he had manipulated Hex into staging a breakout so that he could legitimately claim that the prisoners were shot trying to escape.
In an event that history would know as the "Fort Charlotte Massacre," the Union soldiers shot down nearly every escapee in cold blood, including Jeb Turnbull. Jonah found himself a victim of a Union bullet as well but managed to survive long enough to kill the camp's captain. The handful of survivors, unaware of the captain's treachery, blamed Jonah and spread the word of his apparent betrayal.
Following the Fort Charlotte Massacre, Jonah patched himself up and moved out toward the Western territories.
Mark of the Demon
Eventually returning to his village in 1866, Jonah found that Noh-Tante had married White Fawn. He declared Noh-Tante's betrayal to the chieftain, but the accusations were denied and it was decided that they would deliberate through trial by combat. Noh-Tante sabotaged Jonah's tomahawk, forcing him to cheat and end the fight with his knife. For breaking the rules of combat and killing his son, the chieftain declared that Jonah would be branded with the mark of the demon and exiled under penalty of death. The mark of the demon punishment consists of pushing a scorching tomahawk against the branded one's cheek; thus Hex received his distinctive feature. Years later when he returned again to rescue a kidnapped white woman, he was captured and White Fawn was shot dead by the chieftain for trying to help him escape. Jonah killed his adopted father in return and gunned down half the tribe who went after him, with the help of Henri d'Aubergnon.
Jonah Hex was inspired to become a bounty hunter after murdering his first criminal, the outlaw Lucas "Mad Dog" McGill. He gunned down Mad Dog while the man was beating his wife outside of a saloon; in his inebriated stupor, Hex believed him to be his own father, Woodson Hex, abusing his mother, Virginia Hex. The local deputy insisted that, even drunk, it was the fastest draw he had ever seen and gave him the massive bounty on McGill's head. Hex accepted the money and scattered it on the streets as he rode out of town. His first bounty poster was in 1866 on an old army buddy named Eddie Cantwell. The manhunter Arbee Stoneham stole Hex's reward by murdering Cantwell and then humiliated him by taking his guns. Eight years later they met again while Hex was bringing down the Jason Crowley gang. He intended to take revenge on Stoneham but found him wheelchair-ridden. The two men went for a drink instead.
The town of Paradise Corners hired him to take down a criminal named Big Jim, but when he thought of settling down there they shunned him and treated him like a monster. His next target was a robber named Terry White, who betrayed him after Hex found him in the desert and nursed him back to health.
Weird Western Tales
Jonah received a wolf named Iron Jaws when he tried to rescue a peaceful Pawnee tribe from their local town and failed to save the girl who owned him. His former mentor, Windy Taylor, called Jonah to help find his son, Tod Taylor, who had turned outlaw. Tod gunned down his father and Hex avenged the man who taught him. Iron Jaws died after venturing into the desert to rescue Hex from dying of exposure where two outlaws had tied him up. Hex next took down a corrupt sheriff who was scamming his town, and then a corrupt hanging judge at the next. Briefly he became the bodyguard to a sideshow attraction whose owner he murdered after the man tried to frame him for a heinous crime. Finding an escaped psychopath on the run, his next bounty was the Gentleman Killer. Fort Lang was seemingly attacked by Indians, and Hex uncovered a railroad conspiracy to drive them off their land. When some bandits he had hunted down an injured an old lady who had shown him kindness, he funded a children's hospital to make sure she got the medicine she needed before chasing them down and slaughtering them.
While tracking down Blackjack Jorgis for revenge, Hex was ambushed by ex-Confederates sent by Quentin Turnbull. His mentor, Hank Brewster, died in the gunfight and his first horse, the General, was killed by stray bullets. Briefly hired by the U.S. Secret Service, he toppled an assassination conspiracy against Ulysses S. Grant. Temporarily blinded from his injuries, he took down an entire gang without his sight. He fought corrupt army officials when he took down a greedy landowner who was robbing pioneers and letting them die.
Five Warriors from Forever
The Lord of Time assembled a team, known as the Five Warriors from Forever, when he believed that his time machine, the Eternity Brain, would end all existence. This team included Jonah Hex alongside Black Pirate, Enemy Ace, Miss Liberty, and the Viking Prince; to make them powerful enough to become a threat, they were each energized with a special force. Their purpose was to fight the Justice League and Justice Society to strengthen their resolve through defeat, which they succeeded in doing. Eventually, the Five Warriors rebelled against their master and assaulted the Palace of Eternity. Hex got into a gun-fight with a T-Rex, but they were defeated and eventually returned to their own times using the Cosmic Treadmill.
He later encountered the Justice League separately, with several other Western heroes including Bat Lash, Cinnamon, and Scalphunter. The Lord of Time sent members of the League back to the 19th century in an absurd plot to rule the world. Jonah met an amnesiac Hal Jordan in the desert and nursed him back to health. They teamed up with Elongated Man, Flash, and Zatanna to take down some robotic gunfighters while the League dealt with an anti-matter asteroid that threatened to destroy the Earth. In the present, Superman defeated the Time Lord and restored things to normal.
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Hex became involved in the first Crisis when he was summoned, along with several other heroes, to fight for the Monitor. Jonah Hex fought against the Shadow Demons alongside Bat Lash, Cyborg, Firebrand, John Stewart, Johnny Thunder, Nighthawk, Psimon, and Scalphunter. Alex Luthor and Harbinger gathered the heroes of several Earths to discuss strategy, and Hex was present in the crowd to witness Pariah's warnings.
Jonah Hex disappeared in a flash of light one night at a saloon in 1875. He was abducted from his own era by the villainous Reinhold Borsten (and with a little unintentional help from Access), who transported him into a post-apocalyptic Seattle, Washington in the 21st century. His intention was to use the time-traveling gunfighter as a warrior, but instead Jonah escaped and met a motorcycle gang named the Road Reapers. They immediately took him in after he rescued their warrior Stiletta, and he obtained a zonesuit to protect himself from radiation by killing their cowardly leader, Falcon, in self-defense. His next companions were a group of soldiers from the Vietnam War, although they were betrayed by a robotic duplicate of Stiletta and none survived except for a Cpt. Stanley Harris. Briefly, he became shotgun man for a drug dealer named Barnaby Blossom. When he discovered that Barnaby was getting kids hooked, he killed the man. The real Stiletta tracked him down, and they became stranded in the desert together without water after a roadside ambush. They survived by walking twelve miles to an oasis and fighting off killer mutant worms. Having attracted negative attention from the underworld Conglomerate by knocking over their drug shipment, Hex and Stiletta were hunted down by their mercenary Chain, but defeated him in a junkyard. The Conglomerate enlisted Hex to help them take down Borsten, and he was captured by Borsten in a fight so that he could destroy the villain's time travel device after using it. Together, Hex and Stiletta infiltrated the complex and Harris was sent home, but Jonah didn't make it to the time machine before it was destroyed. They escaped as the building exploded, and Borsten apparently died in the blast.
Hex got newer and improved guns after he won at a dangerous live shooting gallery, but Stiletta was kidnapped while he was fighting. He was then captured by a scientist named Dr. Adamant, but escaped and destroyed his society before Jonah could be turned into a robot. His next challenge was an anti-sin cult called the Sin Killers, whom he demolished while rescuing the daughter of a local man. Borsten was revealed to have survived the explosion. Briefly, Jonah met the Legion of Super-Heroes while they were traveling in their Time Bubble.
New York City's leading crime syndicate, the Combine, sent Hex after their greatest enemy, the Batman, by framing him for Stiletta's murder; the two men fought and nearly killed each other. Realizing that they were on the same side, Hex helped Batman stop the Combine from unleashing giant killer robots on the populace. Stiletta was discovered to have been brainwashed and trained as a professional wrestler, calling herself Blonde Spitfire. Briefly, Jonah was captured by two cannibals and forced to escape through the sewers. Enraged, he began hunting down members of the Combine. The Road Reapers were captured by a group of warriors called the Dogs of War, who pressed them into slave labor for an alien named S'ven Tarah. Jonah was forced to fight the deadly brainwashed Stiletta, but he brought her back to normal after knocking her out.
Tarah revealed that he was a time-traveler and his slave camps were building a machine to thwart an alien invasion from the Xxggs. Hex was attacked by a rogue Chain again in revenge for their last battle, but defeated him a second time. Having been captured into the slave camp by Manta, Hex organized a breakout to escape and fought Starkad on his way out. Stanley Harris revealed himself to be one of the Dogs of War, and enlisted Jonah's service. They fought against the Xxggs for the future of humanity and succeeded, but Tarah explained that he was unable to send Hex back to his own time. On Thanksgiving Day, he gathered with Stiletta and remembered his family. Finding his own stuffed corpse in an amusement park, he took comfort in the knowledge that someday he would get to go home.
Jonah began to take up with another bounty hunter named Slow Go Smith who became his friend. Smith was killed by gun-toting zombies in a barn, and Hex was framed for his murder. Following their trail, Hex discovered that it was the work of a snake oil merchant named Doc "Cross" Williams. It was revealed that Williams studied voodoo in Haiti, and reanimated the corpse of Wild Bill Hickok as his personal bodyguard. They tried to zombify Hex as well, but he escaped and tracked them down again. Jonah put Hickok down again by beating him on the draw, then avenged his friend by leaving the Doc to die a slow, brutal death at the hands of Apache raiders.
Riders of the Worm and Such
Following the slaying of Stove Belly Jack's gang, Hex met a giant worm in the desert. He teamed up with a local ranch who'd been under attack by the creatures. It is explained that the monsters were half-bred rape children of an underground race and a human woman, calling themselves the Autumn Brothers. Hex rallied the ranchers to take the offensive. They launched an assault on the tunnel system where the rest of the worms lived, slaughtering them as they went and blowing up their queen with dynamite.
Jonah became a member of Buffalo Will's traveling Wild West Show after a trick-shooting midget named Long Tom saved his life. He reconnected with an old friend named Spotted Balls and met a local squaw prostitute who gave birth to a Bear Boy. She claimed to have given birth after mating with a bear spirit. Hex decided to leave the camp with Spotted Balls and the squaw because he did not like the way things were run. This infuriated Buffalo Will, who sent an armed posse led by Long Tom to murder them. Jonah killed most of his pursuers using traps, but Spotted Balls died in the final shootout. He was able to return the squaw and her cub to its father and Jonah finally met the mythical spirit people. Returning to camp with Long Tom's corpse, he swore to Buffalo Will that if he ever saw him again he would kill him.
Face Full of Violence
When a rich family hired him to track down their kidnapped son, he found the boy had become part of an underground dog-fighting ring and was forced to put him down when he contracted rabies. In a conflict involving a stolen gold crucifix, he burned an entire mining town to the ground. Bat Lash helped him take revenge against a corrupt sheriff who framed him. The Mayor of a small town tried to execute him to cover up the incestuous rape of his mute daughter, but the townspeople lynched the politician instead. On Christmas he got into a gunfight, killing a dozen men to protect one of his bounties from their revenge attempts. In the small town of Salvation, he met a local gang who posed as nuns and tried to murder him before he could reveal their secret.
Jonah Hex continued to act as a bounty hunter until the age of 66 in 1904, when he was married to a Native American woman named Tall Bird. His life story was documented by Michael Wheeler. The entertainer L.B. Farnham approached him to become part of a Wild West Revue show in his old age, but Hex angrily refused to let them turn him into a sideshow. Hex's last bounty was a gang run by bank robber George Barrow; he succeeded in wiping them out, but Barrow returned for revenge several days later. Playing cards in a Cheyenne saloon, Hex was murdered with Barrow's double-barreled shotgun while fumbling to put on his spectacles. His death was immediately avenged by the lawman Hank Crawford, who gunned down the unarmed Barrow in cold blood. In his dying moments, Hex hallucinated and reflected on the life that he had lived.
Tall Bird and Wheeler attempted to give Jonah a proper Native American burial, but they were robbed at gunpoint by Farnham and an accomplice. Farnham had Wheeler shot and the widow left unconscious to die in a house fire while he stole Hex's corpse for his Wild West Revue. Jonah Hex was taxidermized to be put on display permanently in a gaudy outfit, although the two evil men met their ends through the "accidental" discharge (at point-blank range) of Jonah's hair-trigger guns and a gang robbing the body for their own gain. Hex's body was thereafter transported from location to location. His final resting place was as a dummy at a Westworld theme park. Eventually he was discovered by historians, but Tall Bird was revealed to have survived the fire and she claimed his body. She did an interview with a young scholar to fill in the missing details in her husband's life, but they were assaulted by a Western memorabilia collector who demanded to have the corpse at any cost. The evil collector was shot in the back before he could murder them, and it is implied that Jonah Hex's vengeful spirit returned to protect his wife from beyond the grave.
Many years later, a supermodel and actress named Hex seemed to become possessed when her right eye was cut out by members of the Agenda. She assisted Superboy and displayed psionic powers when she repeatedly fired an unloaded energy weapon, but this change in consciousness seems to have been temporary. Eventually she decided to become a bounty hunter like her predecessor, riding Grokk the Living Gargoyle as her trusty steed.
Jonah Hex was reanimated during Blackest Night as a zombie member of the Black Lantern Corps, wielding a power ring. He returned to plague Quentin Turnbull's descendant, Joshua Turnbull. Joshua attacked Hex with a rocket launcher but failed to destroy him. The young man pleaded for his life to zombie versions of Jonah Hex and Quentin Turnbull, but his ancestor gunned him down in cold blood. Every zombie was restored to normal when Hal Jordan defeated Nekron.
The New 52
During the 1880s in The New 52, Amadeus Arkham is recruited by Detective Lofton of the Gotham City Police Department to help solve the case of the Gotham Butcher. Police Chief John Cromwell did not take kindly to Arkham's theories, nor to the eventual recruitment of bounty hunter Jonah Hex, who had recently caused a stir by coming to town. Even so, recognizing Hex's street smarts, Arkham suggests that the two of them join forces in performing a separate investigation into the case. Together, they uncovered Gotham City's sect of the Religion of Crime, and its relation to the Butcher case. The solution of the Butcher case (revealed to be a conspiracy by several prominent Gotham citizens belonging to the Religion Of Crime) was simply the first of many dangerous cases. During his time in Gotham, Hex runs afoul of the Court Of Owls, Vandal Savage and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He also rekindles his love affair with Tallulah Black, a fellow bounty hunter.
After leaving Gotham to return to the western territories, Hex encounters a semi-amnesiac Booster Gold and is accidentally thrown into the 21st century where he is initially put in Arkham Asylum, believed to be a delusional imposter who has adopted the identity of the historical Jonah Hex. After taking Dr Jeremiah Arkham hostage to escape the asylum, he convinces Jeremiah that he is indeed the same Jonah Hex who knew his great-grandfather, and after helping to take down a crazed gunman attacking a crowd of people, secures the legal assistance of Bruce Wayne to get released from custody. He also meets and forms a relationship with a young woman named Gina.
After several adventures where Hex encounters, among others, John Constantine, Swamp Thing and Superman during his mission to find a way back to the past, Hex is horrified when he and Gina find his own preserved corpse in a Wild West exhibition at the Metropolis Museum. Despodent and depressed, Hex is involved in a severe DUI accident that leaves him in a coma for over a month. Upon awakening, he finds that the doctors used 21st century medical technology to repair his ruined face and eye along with his accident injuries. Discharged from the hospital, Hex and Gina encounter Booster Gold, who has arrived to send Hex back to his own time. Although Hex tries to dissuade her, Gina insists on coming with him, but dies soon after they arrive in the 19th century while they are crossing the desert without water. Alone once again, Hex buries her and moves on.
Soon after, Hex once again meets Tellulah Black, and discovers that he has been missing for about a year, during which time another man with similar injuries to his own has taken on Hex's identity and has been using his notoriety to commit crimes and form his own gang. Realizing that it was this man whose preserved body he saw in the future, Hex adopts the identity of "George Barrow", the man who has been on record as Hex's killer, and kills the impostor, whose body is then stolen by a pair of carnival showmen. Hex and Tellulah ride off into the sunset together.
A robotic/alien version of Jonah Hex appears on a planet called Leone-5, modeled after the Wild West. He is introduced in the mini-series, Adventures of the Super Sons issue 9.
Jonah Hex made a brief appearance in the Batman Universe series.
He also is mentioned a few times by his great great granddaughter, Jinny Hex, who appears in Batman Universe and Young Justice.
Powers and abilities
In most of his stories, Jonah Hex displays no supernatural or superhuman powers; however, he does possess some exceptional abilities, acquired through a combination of talent and training.
Despite being blind in his right eye, Hex is an outstanding marksman who rarely misses his target. He is extremely fast on the draw and can be seen in many stories gunning down multiple foes before any of them can get off a shot. He can wield two guns, one in each hand, with equal proficiency. He is also a resourceful combatant, often relying on stealth, tricks, and improvised weapons and traps to defeat enemies akin to fellow DC Comics character Deathstroke (who is also blind in his right eye). Hex was taught to shoot by the legendary gunslinger Windy Taylor. His reflexes are strong enough that he has proven to be faster on the draw than both Wild Bill Hickok and Batman. Hex became an expert at driving various motor vehicles during his time in the 21st Century.
In the DC Universe, he is known as having almost superhuman ability and marksmanship with 19th-century weapons, mostly revolvers. After Jonah Hex is transported to the future in Hex, he acquires a pair of Ruger Blackhawk .357 Magnums. He chooses these because they are single action revolvers like the ones he used in the Wild West, but he still manages to outshoot everybody armed with more modern weaponry.
Hex is an exceptional tracker, able to follow trails several days old through rain and mud in spite of his quarry's best efforts to cover their tracks. Hex often displays a keen danger sense which warns him of ambushes and traps. This is not a supernatural ability: it is simply an instinct honed through years of experience in battle and hunting dangerous foes. Hex is also extremely tough and has been known to continue fighting even after suffering torture or severe injury.
Jonah Hex has a reputation throughout the West as a ruthless and prolific killer, but like Batman, he is bound by a personal code of honor to protect and avenge the innocent. On many occasions, his reputation by itself has proven enough to deter potential foes. Knowing that the infamous Jonah Hex is pursuing them often unnerves Hex's targets so badly that they make fatal mistakes, such as wasting ammunition, falling into traps, or turning and engaging Hex in a desperate stand-off.
In Superman/Batman No. 16 when the timeline of the DC Universe was changed by the Legion of Super-Villains, Batman & Superman ended up being catapulted to multiple alternate timelines to restore everything back in order. In one timeline, they end up in a modern-day Gotham City in which Western-themed superheroes act as law-enforcement. During the shootout as Superman attended to Batman's wounds, Jonah Hex ambushed and manages to kill him using Kryptonite bullets. Although Superman wasn't really killed, it was heavily implied because in that story arc, the only way for Superman and Batman to be transported to another timeline is for them to die.
Jonah Hex has, in many timelines, met and fought Batman. In Superman/Batman No. 16, Hex overpowered Batman in hand-to-hand combat (albeit Batman had been heavily wounded). In Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, Hex and Batman face off in a showdown. Even though being skilled in throwing batarangs and disarming gunmen, Batman was still outdrawn by Hex, and Hex shoots him in the stomach. However Batman at the time was suffering from amnesia and lacked most of his skills.
In the live-action movie, due to him being brought back from the brink of death after being hung on a cross and tortured by Quentin Turnbull, he was able to raise the dead for a few moments and force them to speak truthfully, a power he never possessed in the comics.
Being a "non-superhero", Jonah did not have a "Rogues gallery" comparable to costumed comic-book heroes, 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 at first as simply the man with the eagle-topped cane.
Turnbull was the father of Hex's best friend in the Confederate army, Jeb Turnbull. During the American Civil War, Jonah surrendered himself to the Union forces after the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation, but he refused to betray where his fellow soldiers were camped. A Union soldier was able to determine the 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 then later massacred most of them; Jonah's former allies mistakingly believed him to be a turncoat. Turnbull's son was one of those slaughtered, and Turnbull vowed his vengeance upon Jonah.
At one point, Turnbull hired an unnamed stage actor to impersonate Hex and help "destroy" him and his reputation. This actor, naming himself "the Chameleon", was eventually hideously scarred in a fire started by Hex, and he vowed vengeance.
El Papagayo was a Mexican bandit running guns. Hex was hired by the United States Secret Service (actually a man hired by Turnbull to pose as a Secret Service agent) to infiltrate El Papagayo's band and bring him to justice. Hex was unsuccessful, and he and Papagayo met several more times over the years.
Tallulah Black is a character introduced in 2007. As a young woman she was savagely raped and mutilated by the men who murdered her family. She was saved by Hex, who helped her gain vengeance. She would go on to become a bounty hunter herself and eventually Hex's lover. Tallulah eventually became pregnant by Hex. However the child, a girl, was killed before being born. (Jonah Hex vol. 2, #50).
Joshua Dazzleby is Jonah's half-brother and is introduced in the graphic novel Jonah Hex: No Way Back. (2010)
The following are publications in which Jonah Hex is the central character.
- All-Star Western (Vol. 2 #10–11; 1972)
- Weird Western Tales (#12–14, #16–38; 1972–1977)
- Jonah Hex (Vol. 1 #1–92; 1977–1985)
- DC Special Series #16 (1978/Fall)
- Hex (#1–18; 1985–1987)
- Secret Origins (Vol. 2 #21; 1987/12)
- Jonah Hex: Two Gun Mojo (#1–5; 1993)
- Jonah Hex: Riders of the Worm and Such (#1–5; 1995)
- Jonah Hex: Shadows West (#1–3; 1999)
- Jonah Hex (Vol. 2 #1–70; 2005–2011)
- Jonah Hex: No Way Back (June 2010)
- All-Star Western (Vol. 3 #1–34; 2011–2014)
- Batman (#237; 1971/12): Jonah shown in an advertisement for All Star Western comic (1st published appearance ... contains 2 comic strip panels that pre-date All-Star Western #10) *(full-page version of this ad in various DC war comics of the same month)
- Justice League of America (#159, 160, 198, 199; 1978–1982)
- Super Star Holiday Special: DC Special Series (Vol. 4 #21; 1980/Spring)
- Comic Reader (#194; 1981/09)
- Crisis on Infinite Earths (#3–5; 1985/06)
- Green Lantern (Vol. 2 #195–196; 1985)
- DC Challenge (#2–3, #11; 1985–1986)
- Swamp Thing (#46; 1986/03)
- Legion Of Super-Heroes (#23; 1986/06)
- Swamp Thing (#85; 1989/04)
- Time Masters (#2–3; 1990)
- Justice League Europe Annual (#2; 1991/01)
- Books of Magic (#4; 1991/02)
- Armageddon: Alien Agenda (#3; 1992/01)
- Zero Hour (#0; 1994/09)
- Kingdom Come (#4; 1997)
- Unlimited Access (#1; 1997)
- Superboy (#54–55, #71–75; 1998–2000)
- 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.
- Guns of the Dragon (#3; 1998/12)
- The Kingdom (#2; 1998)
- The Kents (#8, #10; 1998)
- Wild Times: Deathblow (1999/08)
- World's Funnest (2000)
- Hawkman (#7; 2002/11)
- Superman & Batman: Generations (Vol. 3 #8; 2003/10)
- The Legion (#29; 2004/03)
- Another Nail (#3; 2004/8)
- Superman/Batman (#16; 2004/12)
- Deadshot (#4; 2005/03)
- Superman/Batman (#18; 2005/02)
- Infinite Crisis (#6; 2006/04)
- Justice League Unlimited (#19; 2006/005)
- Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters (#3; 2006/11)
- 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)
- Weird Western Tales (#71; 2010/01): In the Weird Western Tales tie-in to the Blackest Night crossover, Jonah Hex was reanimated as a member of the Black Lanterns. Searching for a stolen Black Lantern Ring, he finds that the holder of such a prize is none other than the descendant of his old nemesis Quentin Turnbull. Alongside the resurrected Turnbull himself and a horde of angry Black Lanterns, he engages in a firefight against the younger Turnbull (who attempts to convince the elder to join forces with him to restore their power) until he is left between Hex and Quentin, at which point the elder Turnbull kills the younger.
- Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne (#3; 2010): Hex appears at the end of the story as a lead-in to the next issue.
- Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne (#4; 2010): Hex is hired to take down a mysterious stranger in 1800s Gotham.
- The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold (#11; 2011): Batman goes back in time to 1879 Gotham to stop an earthquake machine designed by Ra's Al Ghul. He teams up with Jonah who is trying to collect a bounty on Ubu.
Various trade paperback collections are being released, both of the ongoing second series and Jonah Hex' original appearances:
- Shadows West (written by Joe R. Lansdale; art by Timothy Truman and Sam Glanzman; collects the miniseries Jonah Hex: Two Gun Mojo #1–5, Jonah Hex: Shadows West #1–3, and Jonah Hex: Riders of the Worm and Such #1–5)
- Showcase Presents: Jonah Hex:
- Volume 1 (written by John Albano and Michael Fleisher; art by Tony DeZuniga, Doug Wildey, José Luís Garcia-López and others; 526 pages, collects All-Star Western #2–8 and #10–11, Weird Western Tales #12–14 and #16–33, November 2005, ISBN 1-4012-0760-X)
- Volume 2 (written Michael Fleisher; art by José Luís Garcia-López and others; 528 pages, collects Weird Western Tales #34–38 and Jonah Hex (vol. 1) #1–22, March 2014, ISBN 978-1-4012-4106-3)
- Jonah Hex: Welcome to Paradise (written by John Albano and Michael Fleisher; art by Tony DeZuniga, Dough Wildey, Noly Panaligan, George Moliterni, and Jose Louis Garcia-Lopez; 168 pages, collects All-Star Western #10; Weird Western Tales #14, 17, 22, 26, 29, 30; Jonah Hex #2 and 4, May 2010, ISBN 1-4012-2757-0)
- Jonah Hex (vol. 2):
- Face Full of Violence (written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti; art by Luke Ross, and Tony DeZuniga; 144 pages, collects Jonah Hex #1–6, Titan Books, December 2006, ISBN 1-84576-408-0, DC, September 2006, ISBN 1-4012-1095-3)
- 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 1-4012-1490-8)
- 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 978-1-4012-1960-4)
- 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 978-1-4012-2157-7)
- Lead Poisoning (written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti; art by Jordi Bernet, and David Michael Beck; 144 pages, collects Jonah Hex #37–42, DC, October 2009, ISBN 978-1-4012-2485-1)
- The Six Gun War (written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti; art by Cristiano Cucina; 144 pages, collects Jonah Hex #44–49, DC, April 2010, ISBN 978-1-4012-2587-2)
- Counting Corpses (written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti; art by Darwyn Cooke, Dick Giordano, Jordi Bernet, Paul Gulacy, and Billy Tucci; 160 pages, collects Jonah Hex No. 43, 50–54, DC, October 2010, ISBN 978-1-4012-2899-6)
- Tall Tales (written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti; art by Vicente Alcazar, Phil Winslade, Jordi Bernet, Giancarlo Caracuzzo, and Brian Stelfreeze; 144 pages; collects Jonah Hex # 55–60, DC, April 2011, ISBN 1-4012-3009-1)
- Bury Me in Hell (written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti; art by Jordi Bernet and Eduardo Risso; 224 pages; collects Jonah Hex # 61–70, DC, December 2011, ISBN 978-0-85768-863-7)
- Jonah Hex: No Way Back (original graphic novel), (June 14, 2011, ISBN 9781401225506)
In other media
- A very brief glimpse of Jonah Hex portrayed by Johnathon Schaech is seen in The Flash episode "Welcome to Earth-2". He is among the many images throughout time, space and the multiverse that can be seen by Barry, Harry and Cisco as they pass through the dimensional barrier to Earth-2.
- Schaech's Hex is a recurring character on the live action CW series DC's Legends of Tomorrow. He debuted in the first season episode "The Magnificent Eight," and returned in the season 2 episode "Outlaw Country" and season 3 episode "The Good, the Bad, and the Cuddly". This version is an old friend of Rip Hunter, who gave the Time Traveler one of his jackets.
- The Earth-18 version of Hex (also portrayed by Schaech), makes a cameo appearance in "Crisis on Infinite Earths". While he initially didn't have a scar, he was seen guarding a Lazarus Pit in a North Dakota mine before getting into a fight with Sara Lance, who scars his face prior to him allowing them to use the Lazarus Pit for their own use.
- Jonah Hex appeared in the DCAU.
- In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Showdown", voiced by William McKinney, Ra's al Ghul tells Batman the story of Jonah Hex hunting for Arkady Duvall (voiced by Malcolm McDowell), the son of Ra's al Ghul in the late 19th century.
- Jonah Hex makes an appearance in the Justice League Unlimited episode, "The Once and Future Thing Part 1: Weird Western Tales" voiced by Adam Baldwin. Jonah makes reference to his Hex-era adventures by guessing that Batman, Wonder Woman, and John Stewart are time travelers; when Batman asks why Hex thinks that, Jonah replies "Experience. I've had an interesting life." 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.
- Jonah Hex appears in the teaser of Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Return of the Fearsome Fangs" voiced by Phil Morris. He was caught by a western version of the Royal Flush Gang, who 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". He next appears in "Duel of the Double Crossers". In this episode, Jonah is kidnapped by Mongul to hunt down Batman for Mongul's Warworld while riding a robot horse. Jonah & Batman join forces to battle Mongul, but Mongul's time machine is destroyed and Jonah stays in the present day for now. He later rides off with Lashina riding behind him. He also appears in "The Siege of Starro! Part One". He and Cinnamon stop the Western Royal Flush Gang from robbing a bank in the flashback. Finally, he appears in a brief non-speaking cameo on a cinema screen in the episode "Revenge of the Reach!" Worthy of mention is the fact that he appears briefly in the opening sequence of the series, among other well-known heroes.
- Jonah Hex appears in the Justice League Action episode "All Aboard the Space Train," voiced by Trevor Devall. In the series, Jonah was depicted being frozen in a block of ice somewhere in the Rocky Mountains and is recovered by the Justice League. After the space train he was in was hijacked by Kanjar Ro, Space Cabbie freed Hex under Batman's orders and Cyborg's payment. The two of them managed to defeat Kanjar Ro and his minions. After landing the space train on a desert planet, Hex decided to live on it and explores the planet on a horse-like alien.
- 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 named Canaan, played by Armand Assante, as he travels across Mexico with a baby he has sworn to protect.
- A live action movie was released on June 18, 2010. It stars Josh Brolin as Jonah Hex and John Malkovich as Quentin Turnbull. It was produced by Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures, and Weed Road Pictures.
- Warner Bros are reporting development a new Jonah Hex movie that will be a reboot and part of the DC Extended Universe.
- DC Showcase: Jonah Hex, an animated short directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, was included on the Batman: Under the Red Hood
- Jonah Hex makes a brief appearance in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.
- "The Ballad of Jonah Hex" produced by Vimeo Motion Comics moderator Saint Frantic
- Jonah Hex was featured in the Jonah Hex: Motion Comics voiced by Jim Cummings.
- In 2006, "The Ballad of Jonah Hex" was written by American multi-instrumentalist musician & singer-songwriter Ian Frazier and later recorded at Elevator Studios in Long Beach, California. According to Frazier, the inspiration for the song came from reading Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray's take on the character in Jonah Hex vol. 2 and his own love for Sergio Leone's Man With No Name films. The song, which features Frazier on acoustic guitar and vocals, is in narrative form and contains a verse that relates Jonah's origin story as told by Palmiotti and Gray in their three part "Retribution" storyline that ran from issues #13–15. Frazier and fellow Long Beach musician Robert Conrad performed the song live on two guitars for Jimmy Palmiotti at the Inaugural Long Beach Comic Con in 2009. Due to copyright concerns Frazier removed the song from iTunes in 2011, however an early demo version can heard on YouTube
- The Texas band Ghoultown have a song titled "Death of Jonah Hex" on their "Tales from the Dead West" album.
- In 2012, the French-Canadian electro-rock band Judge Rock released Westerner, a nine-minutes song about the alien abduction of Jonah Hex, Johnny Thunder, Scalphunter, Bat Lash and Nighthawk, during issue three of Crisis on Infinite Earths. The track describes Hex as "the rider with the gash : the bounty hunter Jonah Hex whose guns shot two-by-two".
- In 2012, Nerdcore artist Dr. Awkward released an EP called New 52, which featured "By The Gun" a song about Jonah Hex.
Jonah Hex is one of several DC Comics western characters who appear in the novel "DC Universe: Trail of Time" by Jeff Mariotte, published by Warner Books in 2007.
In 1996, musicians Johnny and Edgar Winter filed suit against DC and the creators of the Jonah Hex: Riders of the Worm and Such limited series, claiming, amongst other things, defamation: two characters named the Autumn Brothers in the series strongly resemble the Winters. Writer Joe Lansdale said on the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund site:
It was our intent to use the Jonah Hex comic book series as a vehicle for satire and parody of musical genres, Texas music in particular, as well as old radio shows, movie serials and the like. We feel within our rights to parody music, stage personas, album personas, lyrics, and public figures.
The judge agreed and ruled in favor of the defendants, saying parody was covered by the First Amendment. The briefs were refiled in June 2002 through the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation and while the decision was upheld, the comic was deemed not to be "transformative" raising possible future problems for parody. In 2003, the Supreme Court of California sided with DC.
- All-Star Western #10 at the Grand Comics Database
- McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
The Western comic had all but ridden off into the sunset, until the arrival of Jonah Hex gave the genre a new face ... A tale by John Albano and drawn by Tony DeZuniga immediately presented the bounty hunter as a cold-blooded killer.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- Valmero, Anna (July 2, 2010). "'Jonah Hex' creator is a hero for Filipino comic book artists". loqal.ph. Filquest Media Concepts, Inc. Archived from the original on July 14, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
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- "The Chronicles of Jonah Hex (Part 2)". Scribd.com. January 31, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2011.
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- Hex No. 10
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- Hex No. 17
- Hex No. 18
- Jonah Hex: Two-Gun Mojo #1
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- Superboy Vol 4 No. 55
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- Blackest Night No. 8
- Adventures of the Super Sons No. 9
- Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4
- Who's Who (Volume 1)#11
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- Hex defeats Batman
- Goguen, Rachelle. Wednesday Interview: Jimmy Palmiotti, Living Between Wednesdays, April 1, 2009.
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