By etragedy 6 Comments
Don't lean on me, man, 'cause you can't afford the ticket!
In Weird Western Tales #27, Jonah Hex is in Kansas where he becomes involved in the women's suffrage movement when he's hired to protect the outspoken Mary Ellen Todd.
The problem is, a local cattle baron, Thraxton, doesn't want women to get the vote in Kansas because the same gubernatorial candidate that supports national female suffrage also supports a state's water-rights policy that would end Thraxton's control over the region's water supply.
One of the great things about this issue is that Noly is back on art. His artwork is definitely notable for its cinematic quality - he often chooses interesting angles on the action - something that was not yet common in comics in the early 70s.
But what's really notable here is the story. Writer Michael Fleisher creates a story that balances action with moments of humor in a story that also gives a lot of insight into the character of Jonah Hex. Not only do we learn he's a chauvinist, but that, while he's a hired gun, he stay's bought. In one conversation with Thraxton, Hex admits that he thinks women having the right to vote is "downright ridiculous", but he refuses to switch sides, even when Thraxton offers to double the amount Miss Todd is paying him (which would mean $1,000 - a large sum for the late 19th Century), saying, "In muh whole life ah've only switched sides once in th' middle of a fight... ...an' after thet once, ah swore ah'd never do it again, no matter whut!" This seems to reveal a lot about Hex's character. The likely supposition is that he's referring to something that happened during the war - possibly connected to the reason he still wears his Confederate uniform, or why certain Southern loyalists want him dead... but that's a story for another time.
Jonah Hex's views on women really aren't that out of touch with what most western gunfighters would've thought, and by not choosing to make him the heroic crusader for women's rights that most comic heroes would be at the time this was written is another way Jonah Hex was depicted as a complex character at a time, just post Silver Age, when such multi-dimensionality was pretty rare.
(please recommend this mostly spoiler free review here)