Thursday, April 18, 2013

Doll Collector: 7" Jonah Hex (2010)

Birds of a feather...
From the first leaked script review, I had a bad feeling about the movie Jonah Hex (2010). Despite having a strong lead, Josh Brolin, and a reliable (if too-obvious choice), villain in John Malkovich, there were rumors of mysticism being woven into Hex's story. For anyone who has actually ever read a Jonah Hex comic book (discounting the short lived series Hex in which Jonah was transported into a post-apocalyptic future), Hex has always been a fairly realistic Western action anti-hero without any need for special "powers" beyond good whiskey and a quick draw. 

Ready for action (unlike
mine--he's still in thebox)!
But Warner Bros. wanted a franchise in the vein of The Wild, Wild West, so they included steampunk-style weapons and an ability for Hex to "talk" with the dead. I never did see the movie in theaters and upon viewing the film on DVD can appreciate Brolin's performance, some costuming and little else. Truth is two of Hex's screenwriters, a duo billed as Neveldine/Taylor, eventually directed a much stronger modern Western homage (again including a touch of mysticism) with Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012).

As is often the case with expensive box office bombs (David Lynch's Dune (1984), anyone?) in the end, not much good came of the film, except for some high profile infamy for the filmmakers involved (comic book box office bomb) and, on occasion, a pretty cool action figure or two. While already in possession of the excellent DC Universe Classics Jonah Hex, when I came across the NECA Jonah Hex Series 1 Action Figure for a pittance online (about $3 with shipping), I figured it would make a nice complementary collectible for my office shelf.

Released in May 2010, a few months prior to the movie's opening, the Hex figure features an excellent mold bearing a strong likeness of Josh Brolin's characterization, one that is remarkably true to that presented in comic books. The detailing is extremely solid, including appropriate scarification of the hero's face and the "CS" Confederate belt buckle, and brass jacket buttons. Collectors are chided to "Catch Them All" on the back of the packaging, but I'm unsure who the larger market would be except fanboys or really bizarre teens (who are not fanboys) that want a smaller dimension Megan Fox doll. Hex was one of only three character's from the film (along with Fox as "Lilah", and Malkovich as "Turnbull"), though it's being labeled online as "Series 1" suggests that had sales of figures or movie tickets been stronger there may have been more planned.

It's probably not necessarily a bad thing that more characters or accouterments weren't released as the Jonah Hex Horse with Machine Gun Saddle Guns would just have been another reminder that Jonah Hex has likely derailed any hope of there ever being a quality adaptation of this beloved Western anti-hero.

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