Growing up, I thought one of the coolest places to hang out was with my grandparents. My grandpa taught me a number of things, from how to play solitaire and rummy to how to properly make a pizza. My time with my grandpa also led to a finer appreciation of things he enjoyed, including Westerns. I have no doubt that Grandpa Chet would dig the living heck out of this title.
I frequently marvel at the fact that creators can still find new stories to tell about characters like Batman, Spider-Man, and Superman given the characters lengthy publishing history. More incredible to me is the accomplishment Palmiotti and Gray revel in each and every month. Jonah Hex has been around since 1972 -– flung to the future, killed off, brought back as a Black Lantern, and returned to his roots in the Old West. Gunslinger tales have been around longer. Palmiotti and Gray, however, manage to find a compelling tale to tell month in and month out, attracting some amazing artists to collaborate with them on the way.
Billy Tucci joins them this month as Hex is setting up a surprise for some train robbers. He enlists the help of a dance hall girl who has aspirations of being an actress, much to the chagrin of the robbers, the Hager gang. Tucci brings his very best to this issue, with art that is gritty, but cleanly defined, clear, and sharp. Lana, the dance hall girl, is a stunner, and Tucci uses that to make Hex all the more rugged. Paul Mounts' colors are carefully considered, bright where they need to be and dark on demand. While Tucci's artwork would be able to carry this tale in black and white, Mounts sure makes the story sparkle.
I figured I was in for another enjoyable issue of "Jonah Hex" when I sat down to read it, and Gray and Palmiotti delivered. This issue seemed predictable at the outset, but the complexities delivered by the writing duo separate this title from all others. With the release of a feature film mere months away, "Jonah Hex" has never been in better hands. Every issue is a great jumping on point, and every issue gives me more reasons to continue on.