50 Years Ago This Year Jonah Hex's Troubles Really Began
Weird Western Tales issue twenty nine tells the story of the 'Breakout at Fort Charlotte', a pivotal moment in Jonah Hex's history.
Hex rides into Red Rock, Texas in 1875. As he's tying up his horse, he's confronted by a kid who accuses him of being a traitor. Before he can settle that, the kid shoots at him which spooks Hex's horse and causes Hex to go down from a hoof blow.
Hex is taken to the doctor's office where he's treated, but in a fevered delirium he remembers the events of the 1860s. The story flashes back to 1861 and we learn that Jonah Hex was in fact a Confederate Soldier during the war. However, as the war continues he becomes more convinced of the wrongness of slavery, and soon after the emancipation proclamation, he decides he can no longer fight for the South. Since he can't fight his own friends either, he chooses to surrender and wait out the rest of the war as a Union prisoner. Hex doesn't find the treatment of blacks to be wonderful in the North either, and then things take an ugly turn when the Union soldiers at Fort Charlotte discover the location of the rebel camp due to a clue Hex unwittingly gives away. The entire unit is captured, and everyone thinks Hex turned traitor. But that's just the beginning, things get worse from there...
While I've said I'm not a fan of revealing too much back story about a character like Jonah Hex, this story was pretty well done - and it still left some things to the imagination (we still don't know how Hex got his scars). But we do know why Mr. Turnbull, the so-called 'man with the eagle-topped cane' seeks his death.