The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week that we each take turns selecting. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse’s News Stand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate in.
After last week's insurmountable craziness, this week we mellowed a bit. Really good comics will do that.
Review by House of J
Well, that's a tidily-written, nicely-illustrated Westerny story. Wikipedia claims Hex's stuffed corpse will someday be owned by Booster Gold and displayed in a Planet Krypton restaurant. Confused Karma is a bitch.
It's not something I'd read on a monthly basis, but I'm glad the Western is still represented in the market for fans of the genre. Sometimes Hex stories push the boundaries more than this, this was a solid if sad chapter of the bounty hunter's life.
Review by john lewis hawk
While Darwyn Cooke's art may give Punchy boners, it gives me feelings that I only experience when I see a half-naked Salma Hayek wet from, what I can presume, showering in slow-mo. I got more than just a boner. I got a boner, orgasm, and premature ejaculation ('cause I read too quickly). Kleenax please.
Seriously, though, a comic book only succeeds when the story is great. The art, while an integral part of the story, only goes so far when the writer has no skills. Not the case with Jonah Hex #50. In a perfectly crafted story, Palmiotti and Gray cover Jonah Hex and Tallulah Black's life over a brief amount of time with much of the focus on Tallulah. While Jonah does his bounty hunter thing, Tallulah retires and lives a fairly normal life until Jonah's problem becomes hers and her problem becomes his.
Palmiotti and Gray tell a complete and satisfying story in less than 50 pages while there are graphic novels and trades out there that cannot even make that claim in 200. Story-wise, it doesn't get better.
As for the art, I'm a big fan of Cooke's and his art has become more detailed and more suited for this story. The panel of Jonah Hex killing a man while the man leaves an outhouse is an instant classic.
This was the best comic book story I’ve read in awhile and deserves the grade it gets big time.
Review by Chubbles
This was a pleasant surprise. This was my first Jonah Hex book and I must say I am a little curious why I never picked this up before. I love Westerns and comics are my hobby so they'd make a perfect match. The only thing is it seems this Jonah Hex character is almost supernatural in his abilities so I’d probably get bored with him just killing everyone with ease after awhile. If it were slightly more believable this would become a favorite of mine. I was glad the story was a nice done in one issue and Darwyn Cooke is fucking brilliant. There are those styles that I just love, JRjr, Bachalo, Ramos and Cooke. All different but all equally awesome imo. This was a very touching book at times and the story flowed nicely. I may look up some old trades to see if I like those before deciding to add this to my pull but there is some potential here to be something I could enjoy monthly.
Review by starlord
Now this is how I like my comics. Great story, amazing art with colors and inks that both accent the piece, yet still stand on their own as an amazing piece of art.
And that's what this comic is, actually... art. A masterful tale of love, loss, and tragedy. I've yet to find anything that these writers do that I don't enjoy, and the fact that they have such a diverse range of books out, says a lot.
As for Mr. Cooke - the man is right up there near the top for me. Not since my first days gazing upon the work of George Perez in New Teen Titans have I really found myself mesmerized more with the art of a comic than I am the story.
Anything else I could say would just be fanboy gushing so I'll stop here. An absolute brilliant piece of work. BRILLIANT!!! Thank you for this read. I really need to buy this in trades now.
My Score: 10
Review by Punchy
Story - I used to read Jonah Hex, but I dropped it. I initially picked up the series with a lot of excitement, I loved Westerns, and the Frank Quitely cover to #1 was absolutely brilliant, but the series itself... there was something missing, I felt that the 'done in one' nature of the issues meant that the endings of each story were too rushed, and hurt the series overall, I thought Palmiotti and Gray should have tried their hand at longer storylines. So I dropped it with #7, and never looked back.
Until I looked back, with #33, an issue which featured artwork by the incomparable Darwyn Cooke (more on him later). I enjoyed that issue a lot, but mostly for the art, and didn't carry on with the series beyond that. But now Cooke is back, for the big 5-0, and wow, hey, Graymiotti have really stepped up their game, this was a fantastic single issue (albeit over-sized) which packed a real punch, and added a new dimension to the usually character-less Hex.
For me, the issue started off oddly, Hex and his girlfriend, Tallulah kill a bunch of Varmints in a pretty exciting fight scene, they go back to a Saloon and fuck, and then Tallulah leaves. Just like that. I was kind of confused as to why, there was a disconnect, and I think Jonah felt it too, if only for a little while, because he's back, hired to kill 50 men (a clever thematic tie-in to the issue's number) for some reason, and he does so in some very witty and funny ways, the panel with Jonah pointing a Cannon at a man on the toilet is an all-time classic. So I thought this was going to be a fun Western romp with Jonah, an all-action issue. But boy, I was wrong.
We catch up with Tallulah and see why she left, she's Pregnant with Jonah's child, and has moved to a peaceful town in order to raise this child. Her story and Jonah's entertwine and come together in a way that shocked and hit me in a way I wasn't expecting from a Jonah Hex book. I don't want to spoil it, because it's a shocker. I just hope no religious readers get offended by how they are portrayed!
Luckily, we and Jonah get our vengeance, and it's particularly brutal, but unlike the other Westernish comic we've reviewed lately (Giant-Size Old Man Logan) this revenge isn't cathartic and enjoyable, it's empty, and Graymiotti and Cooke perfectly convey this.
I was really surprised by how good this issue was, my previous experience with Hex was that it was a decent, if somewhat inconsequential book which had a strict status quo, but this issue... it has changed my perception of the character, and makes me interested into where he's going in the future. Highly recommended.
Art - As my avatar will attest (for those reading the front page article, it's from The Hunter), I am a huge fan of Darwyn Cooke, ever since New Frontier, his style has just clicked with me, it's just what I want from comics. In this issue, he adjusts his style slightly to fit the Western milieu and it really works. In many ways, Jonah is simply a Cowboy version of the Parker character Cooke is currently working on, both are driven and taciturn, it's an interesting comparison to make. The art here is scratchier than his usual style, with more hatching, it's more Kubert, more Russ Heath. It's dusty and expressive, I can't think of anyone better in the industry right now, and it's amazing how well he can adjust his style. I hope he does more Hex, because I'd definitely be up for it. I also loved how he managed to tell the story when Graymiotti choose not to use words, that final page in particular, or when Jonah and the Sherriff are in a stand-off at the Jail.
Best Line - 'Fifty'
Review by 48THRiLLS
I think I have now read 3 issues of this book and dammit it is good every single time. This one was another great one and done comic, I know Cooke is gonna get tons of praise (deservedly so) but Gray and Palmiotti have written a great story here. Truly a perfectly written comic... tragic, bittersweet, and funny when it needed to be. Cooke's art tells the story superbly, with a wide screen panoramic view it feels like you are watching a movie and his attention to detail is impressive as hell. More often than not I will re-read the review group pick for my review, this I re-read because I wanted to. I really need to add this title to my pull list, I am not sure why I haven't already.
STORY - 10
ART - 9
OVERALL - 9.5
Review by Kerny
I don't know the character at all. He seems to be a bounty hunter gruff cowboy type with an ugly face. Works for me.
And it works for me because A) This is a simple yet touching and remarkable story in the life of Jonah Hex and I assume his female counterpart. I don't think I was impressed by it as the others here, but it's still very good.
And B) The artwork is wonderful. Darwyn Cooke when he gets overly cartoony, gets on my nerves, but this, this was just fun to look at. Can't say enough about the art. Odd we went from Rob Liefeld and co to Darwyn Cooke, heh.
Review by guitarsmashley
Oh my god what an amazing comic. Jonah Hex is the comic I wished I didn't drop. I still have the first 12 issues but at this point I'd rather own the trades but I never feel right buying trades of books I already own like Ex Machina. The art in this issue is easy to review, it's damn near perfect I only had problems with Cooke's Horses. Beyond that he is a superstar who can do no wrong. The story is a very touching one and powerful and just visceral. I loved this issue to death and it maybe the issue that makes start buying Jonah Hex again.
Review by MrBlack
Jonah Hex, both the man and the book, are an enigma. As for the latter, this title is made up almost entirely of "done in one" stories, with the exception of one or two longer arcs. I started reading the current series with issue #1 and loved it. After reading so many comics that attempt to tell a two or three issue story over the course of six months, this felt like a breath of fresh air.
Unfortunately, the feeling did not last. After twenty issues or so, the format started to feel a bit tired. The stories certainly did not decline in quality, but the title lacked some of the epic feel of the great westerns when all the stories concluded in the course of 22 pages. I eventually dropped the title, reluctantly, because I did not feel that I was getting anything new.
Now we turn to the complications of Jonah Hex the man, which underlies this story. The story begins with a brutal encounter between a group of bounties, Hex, and his sometimes lover, Tallulah Black. We then get a rare tender moment between Hex and Black. Black flees the next day, and Hex falls right back into old patterns, taking a job to bring in fifty bounties.
Meanwhile, we find out that Black is pregnant with Hex's baby, and has opted to give up the bounty hunting life to raise her child in peace. These scenes are contrasted by scenes of Hex brutally taking down his fifty bounties, including a priest that he drags out in the middle of a church service. Hex's actions eventually catch up to him, as the remaining bounties decide to band together in the very town where Black resides.
This story is an excellent example of the inherent tragedy in Hex's life. Underneath his grim exterior, Hex is ultimately a good man. His sense of honor earned him his disfigurement, and anything good that comes into his life eventually turns sour, usually because of his inherent sense of right and wrong. Here, Hex allows himself to open up to a person, which ultimately leads to betrayal and tragedy. At the same time, it is hard not to think that Black was right not to tell Hex about his daughter. Hex lives and breathes trouble, and even without trying he inadvertently led to his daughter's death. Still, despite the pain of this tragedy, Hex remains a decent person. He gets his revenge on the person who ultimately killed his daughter, and gives some closure to Black despite her betrayal. One wonders if Hex's declaration that it is over between him and Black was less to shield himself and more to protect her from the life he leads.
Darwyn Cooke was, as always, brilliant, although he is far from my favorite artist on this title. His pencils are beautiful, but they lack some of the grittiness that should be inherent to this sort of title. Still, Cooke is hard to beat.
This was a great issue, and may have been enough alone to get me back on the Jonah Hex bandwagon. At the very least, I will pick up one or two trades of the issues I do not already have.
That gives Jonah Hex #50 a group score of 9.33. At the time of this posting, that makes this our second highest scoring book ever.
For further discussion of this book or to witness the lamest nerd fight ever over Cooke's Spirit run, join us in this week's thread (http://www.theouthousers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=33277) found in the News Stand forum where you are also invited to post your own review.
Old Man has the pick for December 9th and he has selected Invincible Iron Man #21 from Marvel Comics. Look for the new thread after it becomes available Thursday morning to post your own review. King Impulse will no doubt be showing up to give the issue a 10 and I know you don't want to miss that.
Invincible Iron Man #21
WRITER: Matt Fraction
PENCILS: Salvador Larroca
THE STORY: Tony's closest friends and lovers have gathered to try and help the man rebuild his shattered consciousness, body, life and legacy...but when Tony gets the call, does he WANT to come back? CAN he...even with Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, bridging the gap between the two worlds? And you didn't think the bad guys were going to just sit back and let Tony rest and recuperate, did you? Rated A …$2.99