Face of a Franchise: The Brothers Metal

[face of a franchise presents individuals that’ve fulfilled the same role. your task — choose the better of the options at hand and defend your choice in the rancor pit that is the comments section]

Speaking from personal experience, I can say without hesitation that there is no relationship on the planet comparable to brotherhood. Friendships, business partnerships, and marriages are all pretty cool, but the connections between their members don’t carry the same weight as those between brothers. After all, we’re talkin’ about dudes bonded by BLOOD! And hell, I know that there’re some cool sisterhoods out there, but sorority members don’t have anything that fraternity members don’t have as well.

And yes, that includes slumber-party conversations about periods and boys’ dinkies.

In fact, the only relationship more inherently powerful than brotherhood is that of the METAL BROTHERHOOD! When you take two dudes that share genetic material, give them musical instruments, and encourage their bad ideas, then you’re bound to get something diabolically beautiful. Brothers – dudes that’ve spent their formative years hanging out, watching movies together, beating the shit out of each other, stealing nudie mags for one another – are more adept at collaborating on solos and breakdowns and subversive lyrics than anyone else.

With that in mind, we must now ask – who are most deserving of being known as The Brothers Metal?

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Images & Words – Jonah Hex #56

Jonah Hex

[images & words is the comic book pick-of-the-week at OL. equal parts review and diatribe, the post highlights the most memorable/infuriating/entertaining book released that wednesday]

For the second time in less than a week, Jonah Hex’s ugly mug has popped up on OL. I assure you, the decision to give Jonah Hex the weekly comics spotlight isn’t rooted in the fact that I tried to pimp out a promotion for the movie. (By the way, if you are still interested, the contest is still on! Rock a submission and get free stuff!). No, this issue has been deemed the best collection of panels and prose, the most bang-for-your-buck on the racks.

For the first time since its inception, Images & Words is proud to present a Western!

[Cue this shit up]

With your first glimpse at the cover, you know this comic means business. The always fantastic Darwyn Cooke offers an interpretation of Hex that draws heavily on Clint Eastwood’s most infamous character. Of course, he then disfigures Eastwood’s beautiful face, adding the scarring for which the titular character is best known. Cooke also presents his artistic license in adding a heart to Jonah Hex’s shirt; cleverly, this shape is actually a hole in the fabric, which can either suggest that he has no heart at all or that he has one but it is empty.

Looking to spruce up an apartment on the cheap? Buy Jonah Hex #56 and toss the cover on a wall. Your friends will think it’s super kawaii.

But if you like reading comic books, you’re still in luck! In fact, this issue offers two self-contained shorts — a welcome change considering the fact that most comics are incomplete sections of storylines that stretch over months. Any time that the format is fiddled with, I can’t help but allot some points. Fuck it, I have no qualms about rewarding novelty, a running against the grain that helps open minds. Two stories? I’m sold.

Fortunately, both of the tales presented in Jonah Hex #56 are rad.

In the More than Enough, we first see Jonah Hex’s loyalty being purchased by an elderly Native American trying to retain ownership of her land. Then, J. Hex’s services are sold to the three neighbors harassing the old woman. It’s impossible to figure out where the antihero’s morals lay, which is far more preferable for such a figure. I assure you, the resolution is just and ironic

First True Love takes the reader through a crash course of Jonah Hex’s history. His time being raised within an Apache tribe is chronicled, as are his first trials and tender sentiments. We see a potentially blameless youth crafted into a dark, cynical gun-for-hire. Love, in a number of forms, is given and then taken away. And at the conclusion, we see what happens when a man who has spent his entire existence fighting for his life and watching people die is threatened by hapless fools.

Jonah Hex kicks ass. Writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti know how to take the archetypal Western-antihero and then succeed purely in terms of narrative execution.   The team proves that well-worn character-types don’t have to be boring, but sloppy storytelling usually makes them so.

Everyone should read this comic book — whether they are dead or alive.