GRAPHIC NOVEL
Jonah Hex
Face Full of Violence

Authors: Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti
Artists: Luke Ross and Tony Dezuniga
Titan Books
RRP: 8.99, US $12.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 8457 6408 1
ISBN-10: 1 84576 408 0
Available 22 December 2006


Raised by the Apache, former Confederate soldier turned bounty hunter, Jonah Hex has taken it upon himself to dispatch as many sinners, thieves and killers as hell can accommodate. You'll encounter greed, corruption, vengeance and deadly gunfighters as you ride alongside the greatest bounty hunter in the Old West as he doles out justice the only way he knows how: one bullet at a time...

Face Full of Violence contains six stories of wild west action as Jonah Hex takes on a number of jobs to bring the guilty to justice. To be honest you don't have to be a fan of wild west movies to appreciate this collection - it's more a bounty hunter based series. It could just have easily been set in the present day or the future.

All tales collected here have their own merits and are quite diverse - from Hex's quest for a missing boy who may have been kidnapped, to his holy quest to retrieve a stolen religious artefact (which also happens to be made of pure gold). For me the most moving was The Plague of Salvation, a tale that sees Hex find an old flame as well as an old enemy.

This collection also tells one tale, Chako Must Die, where the guilt of the man with the bounty on his head is questionable. However, this doesn't concern Hex - well, would you take the word of a man who is obviously begging for his life? But, just when you think that Hex is an unfeeling monster, just doing his job for the money and walking off into the sunset, we get to see his real side. He does care for more than the bounty on the head of each job. Truth, justice and the American way shines through all of these tales - there's no apple pie though.

The writers also have fun at their main character's expense. Chako Must Die sees Hex's bounty annoying him by constantly talking to him - trying to befriend him and prove that his is a misunderstood and loveable rogue, but certainly not guilty of the crime he is accused of. Hex can't stand the man's chattering, but he can't very well shoot a man for being annoying can he?

This is an interesting collection that will leave you want more of the mysterious Hex.

Nick Smithson

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