Some spoilers below. Like it matters.
I am becoming increasingly disenchanted with the current incarnations of two of my favorite comic characters from DC. One is the Warlord (which is incomprehensible in both art and scripting) and the other is Jonah Hex. The latest issue reads to me like nothing more than an unpublished Preacher fill-in issue with the main character changed from Jesse to Jonah.
In issue #10, Jonah acts again as an agent of revenge, this time taking a trip down south to hand out some retribution on a family of evil, inbred swamp folk. Jonah is of course the only person bad enough to take on the family, which has the local town folk and law enforcement scared into ineffectiveness for some unfathomable reason. Not one member of this family is a credible threat. The evil clan's chief enforcers seem to consist only of an old man with a knife and a shoeless guy with a shotgun and yet they manage to intimidate an entire region of tough frontier folks into submission. The sub-plots of interracial relationships and child murder fail mostly because they are shallow attempts to manipulate the reader.
Observe how easily Jonah takes out the two leaders of the clan.
The rest of the family is either gacked by misadventure or by Jonah himself off panel, in spite of them having guns and everything and Jonah being unarmed.
I am unable to decide if the book's creative team is just lazy or is actively treating their audience with contempt at this point. I have not seen sales figures* so for all I know this book may be jumping from the shelves. But as a fan I'd have to say that DC is keeping the book going only by counting on sales from completists (like myself) who are compelled to collect the monthlies and against possible future trade sales. I foresee this title getting cancelled once there are enough issues to fill a few trade volumes and justify the movie/cartoon/toys licensing deal.
My dissatisfaction with the current Hex series began with issue #1, which was little more than a re-telling of the 1977 series premiere issue and should have been much better than it was. Next month with issue #11 we see the bounty hunter meeting up with El Diablo, who hasn't been seen in the DCU for a while. Thus far in the series Jonah is depicted as almost supernatural in his acts of vengeance (he gets around the country pretty quickly for a guy who doesn't have a Hexmobile or Hexplane), so it might be interesting to see him in a story with Lazarus Lane, assuming that El Diablo hasn't been re-imagined as a mundane character.
* Commenter Dr. Obvious was kind enough to do some actual research on sales figures for Jonah Hex instead of winging it like I usually do. Here is what he found:
Found it:Thanks, Doc!
(96) JONAH HEX
11/2005: Jonah Hex #1 — 33,771
12/2005: Jonah Hex #2 — 26,227 (-22.3%)
01/2006: Jonah Hex #3 — 24,671 (- 5.9%)
02/2006: Jonah Hex #4 — 23,569 (- 4.5%)
03/2006: Jonah Hex #5 — 23,496 (- 0.3%)
04/2006: Jonah Hex #6 — 22,763 (- 3.1%)
05/2006: Jonah Hex #7 — 21,910 (- 3.8%)
06/2006: Jonah Hex #8 — 21,006 (- 4.1%)
6 months: -19.9%
The decline accelerates.