GRAPHIC NOVEL
Jonah Hex
Origins

Authors: Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti
Artists: Jordi Bernet, Phil Noto and Val Semeiks
Titan Books
RRP: 8.99, US $12.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 629 0
ISBN-10: 1 84576 629 6
Available 21 December 2007


Jonah Hex travelled a long and brutal trail to become the most feared bounty hunter in the Old West. Now, for the first time, the legendary tales of Hex's early days can be told. Follow the saga from the beginning as Hex, the son of a drunkard, is sold into slavery to be raised by Apache Indians before fighting in the Civil War and ultimately becoming the West's most feared bounty hunter. From his tortured childhood to the events that gave him his trademark scars, ride along with Jonah Hex as he dispenses his unique form of justice in the world where right and wrong are marked with bullets and bravery...

Origins sees the back story of Jonah Hex revealed. This collection kicks off with Retribution, which helps to flesh out the character a lot more. No longer is Hex such a mysterious and dark character. Now fans have the origins of the character to help slot everything in place. Here we see Hex who, as a small boy, was sold into slavery to the Apache Indians - sold by his father to gain safe passage through the Indians' land. Growing up as a slave, a twist of fate turns him from a slave into a member of the Indian community, but when he and the chief's daughter become romantically involved, one member of the tribe makes it his duty to discredit Hex.

Next up is The Ballad of Tallulah Black. Here a woman, Tallulah Black, seeks revenge against a group of men who wiped out her entire village and left her for dead. Then, not long afterwards when Tallulah is working as a prostitute, one of the men recognises her and decides to disfigure her. Recovering from her attack, she sets off on a mission to hunt down Hex and buy his services in her bid for revenge.

While not my favourite story, the one that caught me off guard was the final tale, I Walk Alone. This sees Hex being disturbed by a domestic dispute. A woman tells him that the men chasing her have held her captive and will kill her. Reluctantly, Hex makes a stand against the men, but nothing is what it seems.

Origins is a pretty essential collection if you've being following the series. And if you haven't bought the two previous collections, then you won't feel out in the cold if you buy this.

Nick Smithson

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