Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Comic Book Shop has had a batch of sales lately, and while I replaced my lost Green Lantern #200 and Thor #356? (the Hercules issue, I might be wrong on the number, but moving on!), I've been spoiled on the quarter books. I read a ton of new Catwoman issues, and they were very good. I got the new Warlord and Man-Bat issues, and they were so terrible they stained the old issues I liked. (I've harshed on Bruce Jones' Warlord before, and I probably will again.) I got some books I had as a kid, with an added bonus this time, that we'll look at tomorrow. And, I got a complete run of Hex! That and a few issues of the new series ("The Ballad of Tallulah Black" among others) for under six bucks. Awesome.
Stop, drop, and roll isn't just for fires anymore.
(Panel from Hex #8, "The Shooting Gallery" Written by Fleisher, art by Wagner and Garzon.)

I'm not going to get all in depth, Dwayne at Matching Dragoons will take care of that (and his writeup of the Jonah Hex Spectacular was especially great!) For the price, I really enjoyed the series, in particular the last issue (#18, I had thought it was #20), which I had read on the racks when it came out and still think is one of the saddest single issues ever; but I have to admit I don't know that I would've loved it at full price, month to month.

Since I mentioned it the other day, let's look at the post-apocalyptic future poor Jonah found himself stuck in: it's very Road Warrior with just enough science-fiction touches, like the time-travel Macguffin that brings Hex to the future or the anti-radiation pills that keep enough of the populace alive to shoot at Hex. Towards the end of the series, the time-travel is tied to a scientist fighting an alien invasion in the even further future, which doesn't work great with Hex's usual milieu.

But, and this was probably more a sign of the times than anything, Hex and it's apocalypse was set in the DC Universe proper. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes have a cameo in Hex #10, and a future Batman appears in #11. Both could be merely attempts to hype up sales, but they give the impression of utter doom; that no matter what Superman or Batman or whoever does, millions are going to die and civilization is going to collapse and fashion is going to be really shoddy for about a millennium or so. And this is like the third post-apocalypse future in DC that I can think of: there was another great one with time travel in the old, good issues of Warlord (post-Grell but before Fleisher, who wasn't great there) and then the Great Disaster of Kamandi.

I know I'm misremembering, but it's like the idea of a nuclear holocaust was a given, bound to happen. As a kid, I was horrified about the possibility of nuclear war for years, until eventually I accepted the idea that I may or may not be nuked or irradiated at any moment, and if I didn't die, I could get a crappy haircut and drive around the wasteland screaming a lot. Just like Hex!

One thing that I don't think Jonah's old book had was a lot of supporting cast, with the exception of his wife towards the end of the book. Still, I'm not sure Fleisher either knew what do to with them, or perhaps hadn't expected any to get popular enough to return.This Stiletta was actually a robot, which makes sense issues later, but is WTF territory when it happens.
Then again, others get a ton of page time, and:
Escaping from deathtraps should've been the first thing a Batman learns, yeah.
The future Batman never returns, but I'm not sure if that's because of the cancellation, or if editorial realized what was going on.
Giffen art, which I like but I'm not sure was right for this book.
And this guy looked like he was going to be a big bad, but his end foreshadows the last issue. (Texiera art on the other two panels.)

Depressing. Anyway, tomorrow we'll look at another apocalypse, maybe just as bleak, but shinier! That's something, right?

1 comment:

SallyP said...

Urrghh. I never could quite figure out the idea behind putting a character from the Old West into a dystopian apocalyptic future. I tried reading a future Hex issue, and when they told him to FLY an aircraft, I just starting giggling uncontrollably, and it was all over.