Demythify: A Classic Alan Moore Superman Villain Makes Its DC Comics New 52 Debut & Why Is Jonah Hex Still Stuck In 2013? (All Star Western #25 Spoilers)

Following up on last month’s All-Star Western #24 where Jonah Hex’s modern day super powers were revealed and Batman was glimpsed, in this month’s All-Star Western #25 we see how he neutralizes a major threat alongside John Constantine.

Spoilers follow.

We see that Constantine plays a large role in defeating the big bad from last issue’s cliffhanger and dispersing his demon troops.

We know that Jonah Hex is stuck 2013 due to Booster Gold after they got separated in the timestream. We also learn why Jonah Hex is still in 2013. Something or someone is keeping him there. And I have no clue as to who or what. Do you have any thoughts on that?

It would appear that DC has plans for Jonah Hex. The book is entertaining and I’d like to see him pop up in Forever Evil.

However there may be one way to get Hex home…

…via the House of Secrets (not to be confused with the House of Mystery which is the home of the Justice League Dark). The House of Secrets has appeared in the pages of Justice League Dark already and appears to be located at the crossroads of space and time. However, the dialogue in All Star Western #25 by Constantine doesn’t appear to make the House of Secrets a guarantee to get Hex back into the past of the DC Comics New 52.

Constantine puts Jonah Hex in contact with the one person who can help him find the House of Secrets. However, even his involvement isn’t any kind of guarantee because an alien menace complicates things.

Swamp Thing can help our hero, maybe, but Jonah Hex cannot catch any breaks as Swamp Thing gets infected by the Black Mercy! This “villain” or weapon is is the alien plant that writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons created and debuted in his classic 1980’s story in Superman Annual #11 called “For the Man Who has Everything” involving Superman’s birthday.

In its previous iteration, the plant puts you in a coma of sorts where you live out via dream out your heart’s most desired fantasy. The only way Superman set himself free from its grip was by realizing in his “dream” that his heart’s desired world couldn’t be real. As such, Superman’s dream-life on Krypton as a father was to end and the Black Mercy infected the villain behind tricking Wonder Woman and Batman into giving it to Superman as a birthday day gift: Mongul. His fantasy is not a surprise and ends the issue.

So, is that how the Black Mercy works in the DC Comics New 52? And how did it get to be on Earth? Plus who is throwing obstacles in Jonah Hex’s way to keep him in 2013?

Writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray make All Star Western a must-read monthly read. Plus Moritat’s interior art is amazing. All Star Western #25 also got a nice cover treatment by Justice League 3000 artist Howard Porter.

Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome. 🙂

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