No doubt you’ve already seen internet chatter about the latest comic book to movie adaption, Jonah Hex. As usual, people are complaining to the high heavens! This happens with every adaption, doesn’t it? People don’t like Captain America’s costume, they changed the ending in History of Violence, there wasn’t enough action in Iron Man, there was too much blue penis in Watchmen, people didn’t like Bruce Willis’ hairpiece in Surrogates, Two-Face was wasted in Dark Knight… it’s endless. I don’t always agree with all of it but I definitely find myself right there with the rest of the fans, complaining about silly emo-ized heroes, movies dedicated to just fighting a big ass island, and the “oh look, a jetpack” endings Hollywood gives us.
I can totally understand being upset when Hollywood does a crummy adaptation of one of your most beloved characters, (cough) Daredevil (cough)… but with a comic like Jonah Hex, are there really this many actual fans of the comic out there? Or are people just complaining for the sake of complaining? I’m of the opinion that if even half of the people who complain about Jonah Hex adaption actually read the comic the world would be 100% better place.
I consider myself a big fan of Hex, first discovering him in Archie-style digests at the Buy & Sell junkshop as a youngster. I pretty much followed the character through all his (mostly excellent, a few pretty horrible) appearances from there. I am loving the current comic and think anyone who likes Red Dead Redemption would probably really like seeing how kick ass a western story can really be. Because there is some seriously great writing going on in the Jonah Hex comic these days.
The movie on the other hand, well… the writing is fairly clunky, the characters are kind of cardboard, the out of nowhere explosions are laughable, and the gizmos just make you shake your head. But I gotta tell you, even at it’s worst it’s still all pretty Jonah Hex. The supernatural elements, which I expected to be completely goofy, didn’t bother me at all. In fact I kind of appreciate the tip of the hat to seven years of Jonah Hex excellence by horror-occult-western god Joe R. Lansdale. And my least favorite part of the flick, the steampunk-y superweapon technology, harkens back to his (rather painful) 1985 science fiction series, Hex in appropriately groan-worthy fashion. Thankfully while the westerntech made me cringe, it doesn’t get to the proportions of ridiculousness of a certain wild, wild western movie (which shall not be named ’round these parts). Whatever the case, Hex is Hex. And the film-makers were clearly trying to make something for Hex fans and for the summer movie season too.
And in complete seriousness, I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to see comic legend Tony DeZuniga’s name in the credits. That stuff always really makes me happy beyond belief.
Still I would have preferred just a straight-up western. Like the current comics by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and amigos. And more of that Mastodon soundtrack too.
My solution? I’m re-reading the trades and cranking up all the Mastodon I want.
You should do the same.