The Comic Spot
"The Weird Western Hero"
by Chris Lambert
"Some days, you just can't get rid of a bomb!"
There was a time when all comic book westerns were "Kid" this or that and the "Something or other Kid." Then in the late 60s there was an experimental type western comic book called "Bat Lash." And believe me, this comic character was great! But sadly, this book did not last long and besides that, this column is not about good old Bat, but about another western character that went strictly for the more violent, anti-hero (not that Bat Lash wasn't) Clint Eastwood type. That character's name was Jonah Hex!
In the early 70s, DC Comics started a reprint western comic entitled…"All Star Western." But after a few issues, the book started featuring some new characters as well, such as "El Diablo" and "Billy the Kid." But it was in issue #10 that a mainline feature character was found…Jonah Hex!
He was good and violent and interesting enough that the comic book's name was changed to "Weird Western." And the title suited the bounty hunter with a scar running across both his eye and face on one whole side of his head leaving part of his mouth exposed also. Jonah was popular enough that he soon got his own comic title that ran almost 100 issues.
Now the cover of our issue was not meant to be a pure representation of the bounty hunter's comic, but it WAS meant to represent the fact that this was not a typical 50s or 60s cowboy comic cut from the cloth of Roy Rogers or Gene Autrey.
Jonah even had a few continuing villains (always the sign of an interesting comic title) such as the Man with the Cane as well as El Papagayo.
The disfigured bounty hunter has even gone on to star in his own DC cartoon as well as his own recent feature length film starring Josh Brolin.
Not bad for a cowboy that was not the most pleasant to look at.
My Favorite Panel
by Chris Lambert
This is one of my favorite panels from one of my most favorite comic books, not just from the Jonah Hex comic, but from all comics. This panel is from DC Special Series #16, Jonah Hex Spectacular, Fall 1978. It is located on page #21, panel #4 and is one of the most powerful scenes that you will ever see in a 70s comic book.
image © DC Comics