Saturday, August 5, 2017

DC Showcase Presents Jonah Hex Volume 2

Showcase Presents: Jonah Hex Vol. 2

DC Showcase Presents: Jonah Hex Volume 2 (544 pp) was published in 2014. It compiles - in black and white - issues 34 - 38 of Weird Western Tales, and issues 1 - 22 of Jonah Hex, covering the collective interval from May-June 1976 to March, 1979

Most of the 27 issues in this compilation were written by Michael Fleisher, with David Michelinie providing plots for several issues in 1978. The majority of the artist chores are handled by the well-known Spanish artist Vincente Alcazar, with George Moliterni, Bill Draut, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Rich Buckler, and Ernie Chan also filling in.

Some of the stories Fleisher wrote later were 'recycled' by Justin Grey and Jimmy Palmiotti in their revival of the Jonah Hex comic for DC's Vertigo imprint in 2006 - 2011.

Almost every issue in this collection is a standalone episode, which means that the plots often have a contrived note as the writer tries to wrap things up in the last page or so. That said, there are some decent episodes here, many with a gritty edge and acts of violence that are a bit surprising in light of the fact that all of these issues were subjected to the Comics Code.

As far as the artwork goes, Vincente Alcazar is certainly one of the most capable artists ever assigned to the Hex franchise. He had a talent for Western illustration, rendering gunfighters, saloons, landscapes, horses, trains, and Indians all with necessary authenticity and verve.

It's fair to say that Alcazar was to Jonah Hex as Moebius was to Blueberry.

Copies of DC Showcase Presents: Jonah Hex Volume 2 can be purchased from the usual online bookstores for reasonable prices. However, as with a lot of these 'Showcase' volumes, prices will shoot up with the passage of time, so if you are a fan of the Jonah Hex character or of Western comics in general, getting a copy sooner - rather than later - is recommended.

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