I was sitting around thinking a little bit about Jonah Hex V1 and how it stands up to the newer, grittier V2. So, here we go with a head to head comparison of "Vengeance for a Fallen Gladiator" against "Giving the Devil His Due".
VFG: Hex is hired by a wealthy man to find a missing boy. Boy has been kidnapped and is used in a boy-fighting ring. Boy dies, Hex causes the kidnappers to fight each other and kidnappers fall off a cliff. Hex returns boys body but father has passed away and leave coffin with grieving mother.
GDHD: Hex is hired by a wealthy man to find a missing boy. Boy has been kidnapped and is used in a boy/dog fighting ring. Hex forces kidnapper to 'fight' vicious dogs and kidnapper is eaten. Boy has rabies and Hex smothers the boy. Hex returns boys body to the family.
Winner? Well, it's a tie. They both have the same plot and in both Hex refuses payment.
VFG: Jose Luis Garcia Lopez. There are not four bigger words in the world of comic book art than those. Lopez has a clean style, a sense of space, and a strong handle on the art of cinema and all of that comes through the page. The only downside of the whole book was the cartoonish face of LeClerc.
GDHD: Luke Ross is probably one of three artists today that could take on Lopez stroke for stroke. Ross has a wonderful clean, almost photographic quality. Again, Ross shows great skill in handling the 'camera' especially on the opening sequence.
Winner? Damn, it's a tie again!
VFG: Fleisher has a good handle on Hex and where he wants to go with him. However, he hasn't delved very deeply into the mind of the bounty hunter. The bulk of the story is action and the dialogue keeps it clipping along.
GDHD: Palmiotti and Gray have a chore in front of them. Introduce this bounty hunter to the new readers, don't piss off the old hardcore fans, and cleanse the pallet of the Vertigo imprint. They do a great homage to Fleisher by using the original plot, but more than that, they let us see that Jonah is a little bloodier, a little uglier, and the inner spiritual turmoil between Hex and God is laid out there from the get-go.
Winner? I would have to give this one to Palmiotti and Gray, but just by a hair.
VFG: A Lopez cover with a great perspective showing Hex being drug towards a waiting coffin. We don't get a good look at Hex, but readers of WWT were waiting for this issue and didn't need to see Hex's mug. To new readers it promised danger and excitement.
GDHD: A Quitely cover that is lovingly rendered in great detail. That horrible scarred face fills up the entire cover.
Winner? I think I have to go with the Lopez cover on this one. A cover is to get people to pick up the book and I think VFG does it a lot better than GDHD.
So we have tie, tie, V2, V1. I would call that a tie overall.
Next time "Lair of the Parrot" faces off against "Dia De Los Santos Reyes".
Update: Just for grins I thought I would throw in the body count.. VFG had 1 and GDHD had 2. Should I use that as a tie breaker?