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  • Dave B

Favorite Comics from Yesteryear 2

“But compassion was in short supply after the holocaust, while the desire to find scapegoats seemed to have no end. One organization of crazed fanatics, the National Reconstruction Alliance, focused their hatred on two groups: advocates for arms control and Jews… my parents... God help them... were both.”

-Batman (2050 A.D.)

Hex #11 (1986)

Writer/ Editor: Michael Fleisher

Art: Mark Texeira (pencils), Jose Garzon & Pablo Marcos (inks), Mas (letters), and Le Rose (colors)

If you want to read a comic book today it’s so much easier and convenient than when I was a kid in the 80’s. My love of Hex #11 can be attributed to the “struggle” to read Batman in the neighborhood where I grew up. I was a big Batman fan and I primarily bought my comics at either the Penny Pantry or 7 Eleven that was within walking distance from my house. The company that stocked the two spinner racks hardly ever stocked Batman books. I repeatedly asked the clerks to have them put Batman comics on the racks. And one lucky day I walked into the 7 Eleven and the clerk said, “Hey kid! We have Batman comics this week.”

I ran over to the spinner rack and furiously searched until I found this week’s comic:

I will be honest I almost put it back after a quick flip through but I didn’t. It was Batman. So I bought it and the latest issue of Firestorm and headed home. I read the Firestorm comic first. But This Hex comic really made an impression. Chances are you have never heard about this series. Here’s the basic pitch. It’s Jonah Hex in a dystopian future following the events of a nuclear holocaust. I’ve collected many of the comics over the years from this run. And in my opinion, this issue and the one that follows are the two to check out if this interests you. The writing and the art is good but the printing on comics from this era can be pretty horrible.

The main thing that sets this apart is this totally new Batman in the book. Hex is the same western hero from his earlier series and has been transported to this time. The set-up for the series reminds me of John Carter of Mars but through a 1980's punk rock lens. Jonah Hex’s story is very much a fish out of water type but in this particular issue he is recruited to kill the Batman by a government organization. They have a snuff film of Bat’s killing Hex’s on and then off again love interest Stiletta.

This shady group needs Hex’s help because they have had no luck in eliminating this Batman. And they need him gone from New York because of his one rule… no guns in New York. I knew what this issue was about but it had a whole new resonance for me revisiting it all these years later. Especially given all the gun violence and the current political climate in the U.S. If you run across this comic while rummaging through a .50 bin or at a thrift store, pick it up and give it a read. It’s an interesting comic in my opinion. In closing I don’t know which is crazier… the fact that I didn’t find the conclusion to this story until two decades later… or the fact that Jonah Hex makes a quick off-handed comment in Batman: The Animated Series that suggests this all might have "actually" happened in the DC Animated Universe continuity…

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