“Ah can’t do it anymore, Jeb! Ah can’t go on killin’ yankees when they’s fightin’ tuh give th’ black folks their freedom, an’ we’s fightin’ to preserve a world whut’s prob’ly better off dead an’ done with!”
In our third episode, Mike and Casey we dive into possibly the most controversial and politically relevant aspect of Jonah Hex’s character: his Confederate uniform and his time fighting in the Civil War.
First, we dig into an issue of classic Hex in 1975’s Weird Western Tales #29. In a story by Michael Fleisher and artist Noly Panaligan. In “The Breakout at Fort Charlotte,” wounded after a duel with an angry young man, Hex remembers his time fighting in the Confederate Army and the decisions that lead him to ultimately deserting it. After surrendering to a cruel Union officer, he finds himself framed for collaborating in a massacre of prisoners.
Then we dig into 2008’s Jonah Hex (vol.2) #36 by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Rafa Garres, titled, “Seven Graves Six Feet Deep.” Why did Jonah Hex continue to wear his Confederate grays for decades after the war ended? Framed by the writing of a historian who grapples with the controversial historical figure of Jonah Hex and that very question, Hex rides home from the war in 1866 in a gray uniform being the only clothing he owns. After a misunderstanding ends in the death of a freed slave woman, Jonah finds himself rescued by a violent racist mob who mistake his uniform for him sharing their loathsome views and goals.
JONAH HEX CONFIRMED KILL COUNT: 41 (+9 this episode)
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“Johnny Appleseed with corpses” … *snort*.
Really enjoyed your conversation in this one, guys, especially the deep dive into Hex’s Confederate duds. Like Casey, back in the late ’70s/early ’80s, when I would occasionally read a Jonah Hex story, I never realized he was wearing what remained of a Confederate uniform. It was only when I was an adult that I took a closer look and had one of those two-note “ooooh!” moments.
And I like the fact that we don’t know too much about his past, so we only get little snippets here and there. I’m glad that – as far as I know anyway – he remained mostly mysterious (which is how a certain surly, clawed Canadian mutant should have stayed).