Review: Jonah Hex No Way Back

Published on June 21st, 2011

I hope you all had a good Father’s Day, but today is not Father’s Day, it’s Tuesday and at this point I’m sure you all know what that means. For this week’s Trade Tuesday I decided to go with Jonah Hex: No Way Back which was written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Tony DeZuniga. Gray and Palmiotti have been writing Jonah Hex since 2006 and DeZuniga was the original artist and co-creator of the character.

jonahhex-nowaybackThis story was published specifically as an original graphic novel and initially came out when the movie, Jonah Hex was released last year. Even though that movie was one of the worst comic book movies ever made, this graphic novel was pretty awesome.

After collecting his latest bounty, Jonah Hex is greeted by a couple of Marshals who show Hex a wanted poster for his mother who is now wanted for murder. Hex then goes to track down his mother. He finds out that she was kidnapped by a Mexican gang led by El Papagayo, who is obsessed with killing Jonah Hex and has used his mother as means of finding Hex. Eventually, Jonah finds his mother, who he hasn’t seen since she abandoned him as a child. She is dying from tuberculosis and has lost her mind, but she tells Hex that she has another son. After taking care of the gang, Jonah discovers his mother has died.

Hex decides to take her body to her other son, who he learns is a preacher and sheriff of a town called Heaven’s Gate. Jonah meets his brother and takes an immediate disliking to his pious way of life. After the funeral, Jonah leaves, but he discovers that El Papagayo is bringing an army’s worth of gunfighters to Heaven’s Gate. Jonah then has to return to the town and convince his half-brother and the townspeople that they have to fight the outlaws to protect themselves and their home.

This book is pretty much everything you would expect or want in a Jonah Hex story. It’s a good Western story that shows just how bad-ass Jonah Hex is. Hex is the kind of guy that’s willing to do what should be done to bad guys and it doesn’t matter how bad the odds are, Jonah Hex will find a way to kill them.

As awesome as the action is in this book, there’s a lot more going for it. This story gives you a lot of Jonah’s back story through flashbacks put intermittently throughout the story. While reading this, you can really get a good understanding of what kind of person Jonah Hex is. If you’ve never read a Jonah Hex book, this graphic novel will give you everything you need to know about the character.

Gray and Palmiotti have been writing Jonah Hex for quite some time now and I don’t think anyone writes Jonah Hex as well as these guys. It’s a real shame that this book was only used to coincide with the movie. If this story was used as the basis for the movie, we might have gotten something that was worthy of the Jonah Hex character. In any case, go on over to Amazon and pick up this book. If you like good Western stories, you’ll like this.

Ken Zeider