Why Jonah Hex Coming to ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Is a Big Deal

The western antihero has famously killed two of DC's biggest superheroes. So will he be a friend or a foe to the Legends of Tomorrow?
Courtesy of DC Comics

Legends of Tomorrow has added another DC Comics character to its upcoming freshman run, proving that there is no corner of the DC universe that will be left untouched. 

The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that the Arrow/The Flash spin-off series will introduce the western antihero Jonah Hex. While the character has yet to be cast, he is slated to appear in the Old West-set episode 11, with the possibility to recur after that.

"Ever since we decided that Legends would involve time-travel, we were eager to do a story set in the Old West," executive producer Marc Guggenheim says in a statement. "But if you’re going to do a story set in the DC Universe version of the Old West, you simply must include Jonah Hex in it. We’re thrilled about bringing another well known, beloved DC character to television."

Created by writer John Albano and artist Tony DeZuniga, Jonah Hex is an infamous Civil War veteran turned bounty hunter whose face is badly branded and scarred, bearing "the mark of the demon." Although he's described as cynical and surly, he's bound by his own moral code to protect and avenge the innocent due to his own dark history of abuse at the hands of his father. He was actually inspired to become a bounty hunter after drunkenly killing his first criminal. Even though Jonah was drunk during the murder, the local deputy said it was the fastest draw he had ever seen, and so the legend of Jonah Hex, deadliest man alive, was born.

In pop culture, the only time this DC Comics character was brought to life was in the 2010 Warner Bros. film Jonah Hex. Played by Josh Brolin, Jonah was given supernatural powers (the ability to raise the dead and force them to speak truthfully), but in most of the comics, he only possesses amazing fighting and shooting abilities through years of training and inherent talent. This will be the first time Jonah Hex will appear in the live-action DC television universe. 

While the Legends of Tomorrow creative team has previously stated that this new series will be "bonkers" and "crazy," adding in the character of Jonah Hex is taking that one step further. Although he stands by his own moral code in the comics, Hex has famously killed both fan-favorite superheroes Superman and Batman in Superman/Batman #16 and Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne.

With a resume like that, there's no telling what kind of damage he might inflict on the Legends team-up of The Atom (Brandon Routh), Firestorm (Victor Garber and Franz Drameh), White Canary (Caity Lotz), Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Heatwave (Dominic Purcell), Hawkgirl (Ciara Renée), Hawkman (Falk Hentschel) and Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill).

Will Jonah be introduced as an ally to the team, or will he be their nemesis when they travel to the Old West? That remains to be seen. As if they didn't have enough on their plate already with the immortal villain Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) causing trouble throughout the past and future. 

It's also interesting to note that there seems to be no limit to what time period the new CW series will jump to. The series premiere takes place mostly in the 1970s, and future episodes will deal with the 1950s as well as flashes to the post-apocalyptic future when Vandal finally achieves world domination. Add in this jaunt to the Old West, and it's clear that Legends of Tomorrow is really going all over the place ... or rather, all over the timeline. 

What do you think of the newest addition to the Legends lineup? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section below.

Legends of Tomorrow premieres Thursday, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. on The CW.