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Abandoned Love: Jonah Hex Is Stuck in the Future!

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer while still acknowledging that the abandoned story DID still happen. Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of Abandoned Love. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

This week works as sort of a tie-in with this week’s Line it is Drawn, whose theme was post-apocalypse. Today, based on a suggestion from reader Richard B., we take a look at how Michael Fleisher reconciled the post-apocalyptic Hex series with Jonah Hex’s regular stories.

In 1985, Hex began, which told the tale of Jonah Hex trapped in a post-apocalyptic future.

When the series ended in 1987, Hex was still stuck in the future.

Later that year, though, Fleisher used Secret Origins #21 to have Hex’s second wife (who is now a very old woman) explain that yeah, Hex came back.

As Richard noted in his suggestion to me, Fleisher simple approach (“Yeah, he came back”) helps to get Hex back into the past for future Hex stories without other writers feeling the need to address the future stories but it also doesn’t mock the future stories for those readers who enjoyed Hex.

This is an unusual example since Fleisher wrote both Hex and the Secret Origins story, but enough time passed between the end of Hex and Secret Origins #21 (ten months) that I think it still works.

If you have a suggestion for a future installment, let me know at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

18 Comments

I believe that before the Gray/Palmiotti Jonah Hex series started, they claimed that it would include stories from numerous periods of Hex’s life, including the post-apoc period. I don’t believe they followed through with that, though.

I like that Hex series. Not great comics, but they’re good comics. And you can pick it up pretty easily in bargain bins.

The last issue of Hex also made it clear that Jonah would eventually return to his own time, as it ended with him finding his own stuffed and mounted corpse (as seen in the 1978 Jonah Hex Spectacular).

The last issue of Hex also made it clear that Jonah would eventually return to his own time, as it ended with him finding his own stuffed and mounted corpse (as seen in the 1978 Jonah Hex Spectacular).

Oh true, but as you note, that was already established. So he’s still stuck in the future at the end of Hex.

I really enjoyed the Hex series, especially Giffen’s art. 18 issues isn’t too bad either.

More specifically, Jonah had to return to the past in order for Fleisher’s last Jonah Hex story (which tells the story of Hex’s death and how he ended up stuffed in a Wild West show) to occur. And the Secret Origins story was heavily based around that tale (with the stuffed corpse being the focus).

Was there an explanation about how Jonah Hex ended up in the future?

Because I remember from the second Access mini-series, that when Jonah Hex crossed paths with Two Gun Kid, Access tried to fix the problem. Two Gun was sent back to the Marvel past, while for some reason, Jonah was zapped elsewhere, and Access never go around to fixing the problem. I often wondered about this lose thread.

Speaking of “Access”, was any of that any good? I was exactly the right age to think “Marvel VS DC” was about the coolest thing ever, but am now old and cynical enough to look back and realize how stupid a concept it is story-wise. Did they pull off any of the stuff afterward, or is it just goofy fanboy garbage?

“Was there an explanation about how Jonah Hex ended up in the future?

Because I remember from the second Access mini-series, that when Jonah Hex crossed paths with Two Gun Kid, Access tried to fix the problem. Two Gun was sent back to the Marvel past, while for some reason, Jonah was zapped elsewhere, and Access never go around to fixing the problem. I often wondered about this lose thread.”

The writers and editors of that series really didn’t do their homework. At the end if the first Jonah Hex series, Hex disappears and in the first issue of the Hex series we learn that he’s been abducted by the main villain of the Hex series, Reinhold Borsten, who hoped to use Hex as a pawn; Hex had other ideas.

The irony is, I think that scene in the Access series was meant to mock the concept of the Hex series, but since that’s not how Hex wound up in the future in the first place, for the scene to work, it must show Hex taking a *second* trip to the future.

That Hex series gets a lot of hate and ridicule, but it’s really a solid book if you just avoid getting hung up on the premise, which is honestly no sillier than that of pretty much any superhero book..

Hacksaw the Terrible

February 17, 2013 at 8:38 pm

According to all pre-New 52 sources he was stuffed and put on display in Coney Island. The even made a reference to Jonah’s time traveling experiences in the JLU animated series,

There was an episode of Justice League Unlimited where the League is sent back in time to the old DC west and they meet Hex (and other western characters). During the course of the story Hex guesses that these strangers are from the future. When Wonder Woman (I think) askes him how he could Know that, his reply was “I’ve led an interesting life.”

Bah, you guys beat me to the punch with the JLU reference. A fine example of why that show was just amazing.

In Jonah Hex #92 , the 1st volume , Hex is suddenly transported due to the Crisis going on at the time. He ends up in the future as we saw. Its pretty funny. I always wanted that last issue of Jonah Hex vol.1 for that. To see how they wrote him out lol. I also have a few issues of Hex and in #18 he basically realizes he will someday return to his right time period.

Nope, as I noted above, Hex was brought to the future due to Reinhold Borsten. He fades out in the final issue of Jonah Hex and then Hex #1 explains it was Borsten’s doing. While Crisis #12 does show Hex in the future, that was just to promote the new series. The Crisis had nothing to do with transporting him to the future.

I recall an issue of Legion that had a quick glimpse of Hex as Superboy pushed the Legion through that timeline in a Time Bubble. The same scene was shown (in the Hex series, IIRC) from Jonah’s point of view.

Between 1987′s Hex #18 & Secret Origins #21 and 1993′s Jonah Hex: Two-Gun Mojo #1, Mr. H had a few DCU of appearances:

In 1989′s Swamp Thing #85, 1990′s Time Masters #3, and 1992′s Armageddon: The Alien Agenda #3, Mr. H appeared in his original western timeline alongside other characters like Bat Lash.

However in 1991′s Justice League Europe Annual #2, Mr. H is still shown in his futuristic dystopia when Metamorpho is shunted to his timeline.

My theory always was that when the Justice League picked up Metamorpho to bring him back to his correct time, they likewise returned Jonah back to his proper western era. Although my theory was never confirmed in the comics, it was never contradicted either.

I think part of the distaste for the Hex series (certainly mine) was that post-Crisis DC was emphatic about there being only one timeline, and HEX (IIRC) had the world falling apart in the relatively near future (whereas the multiple World Wars in LSH were centuries down the road). So that gave it a kind of bleak.
This was also the period when you couldn’t use one time-travel method more than once, so that time travel would be harder. THe possibility of multiple timelines returning was a real boogeyman at the time.

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