Sunday, August 21, 2011

Run Reader: Jonah Hex, Vol. 2

If you've payed even the slightest bit of attention to the news this past summer, especially the USA Today newspaper, you probably heard that the DC Comic "universe" will be undergoing a "reboot" this coming September. (Even my wife mentioned having read about this!)  One of the supposed boons to the comic book industry will be the re-numbering of all existing titles at number 1--a move intended to increase sales--the notion being that more potential collectors (the desired demographic being the 21 and under crowd) will jump on board as it will be perceived as a new beginning stripped of decades of comic book continuity.

For old school comic book collectors, this move is more than likely seen as the sales gimmick it is intended to be, the largest impact being the insertion of a new volume tab into our long boxes to maintain a semblance of chronological order. Another result will the drawing to conclusion of what had previously been "long runs" of numerous titles that will now magically become a "full or complete run."

In the past 10+ years, runs have ended with a greater degree of regularity as number ones continue to pop up whenever a bump is need... at least that's how it has looked to me. What DC is attempting to a complete reboot (do over) where  every comic title they publish starts again--including those which to this point had had nearly nothing to do with the world of Superman, Batman and Winder Woman.

One title that I collect for which this is the case is the most recent volume of the Western bounty hunter Jonah Hex, an anti-hero who (despite having been the focus of last summer's eponymous box-office bomb) has been fairly successful, especially given the book's Western-theme.

Though previously not thought of as part of the main line DC comic book "universe," Hex will be brought into the fold (sort of) in a new incarnation of the character (that will fortunately still be written by the team of by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti) that will move away from single issue stories with little narrative connectivity and into--wait for it--the Gotham City of the "Old West." Given the popularity (i.e. $ale$) of most things associated with the Bat, this was probably inevitable.

But this post is a quick farewell to Hex in the old Old West... or the one that ended with issue 70 in August (the cover to the right). Up until a few weeks ago, I had been unable to complete my full run of this volume thanks to a couple tricky, rare issues that I had been unable to track down locally. Fortunately, provided me a way to fill in the gaps in a ridiculously low cost manner. Now the run of seventy issues, starting back 2006, is finally complete and stored away neatly bagged and backboarded in a short box for future revisiting.

Now I can eagerly await the next genesis of Jonah Hex, which despite my reservations of it moving away from single issue stories to a more serialized story telling tact, does at least promises the addition of other classic DC Western characters that have only occasionally popped up in supporting roles in Jonah Hex. Thankfully the creative team which made the last 70 issues so enjoyable (and highly rereadable), Gray and Palmiotti, will also be returning to the fold to continue writing Hex's new adventures beginning with issue 1 of DC's All-Star Western in September.

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