Tuesday, January 19, 2016

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW Casts Johnathan Schaech as Jonah Hex

Jonah Hex is ready to claim his bounty.

Deadline has revealed that the upcoming CW series Legends of Tomorrow has cast Johnathan Schaech in the role of DC Comics western antihero Jonah Hex.  According to the article, Hex will appear in the series' eleventh episode and the role has a possibility to be recurring.

Schaech, 46, has recently appeared on the television series Quantico as Michael Parrish and on Sleepy Hollow as Solomon Kent.  He's also had roles on the series Star-Crossed, The Client List, Ray Donovan, CSI: Miami, Cold Case, and Arrested Development.  He's also appeared in the films Hercules: The Legend Begins, Phantom, Quarantine, Prom Night (2008), Road House 2, Judas, Houdini, Finding Graceland, That Thing You Do!, and Poison Ivy II: Lily.

Created in 1972 by John Albano and Tony DeZuniga, Jonah Hex first appeared in All-Star Western (vol.1) #10.  Raised by his alcoholic father Woodson Hex, Jonah was a regular victim of physical abuse as a child.  His father eventually stopped supporting him and sold him into slavery with an Apache tribe at the age of 13, in 1851. They worked him constantly until one day when he saved their chieftain from a puma, and he was welcomed as a full-fledged member of the tribe.  The chief took Jonah in as his own son, but his adopted brother Noh-Tante grew jealous.  Noh-Tante shared Jonah's affections for a young girl named White Fawn, so he betrayed his brother during their manhood rite at the age of 16 and left Jonah for dead with their enemies the Kiowa.  He was rescued by a Cavalry patrol, although they shot him in the gut when he tried to stop their slaughter.  Left for dead a second time, he was nursed back to health by an old trapper in the woods.  Returning to his tribe's camp, he found them long since gone.

Eventually returning to his village in 1866, Jonah found that Noh-Tante had since married White Fawn.  He declared Noh-Tante's betrayal to the chieftain, but the accusations were denied and it was decided that they would deliberate through trial by combat.  Noh-Tante sabotaged Jonah's tomahawk, forcing him to cheat and end the fight with his knife.  For breaking the rules of combat and killing his son, the chieftain declared that Jonah would be branded with the mark of the demon and exiled under penalty of death.  Years later when he returned again to rescue a kidnapped white woman, Jonah was captured and White Fawn was shot dead by the chieftain for trying to help him escape.  Jonah killed his adopted father in return, and gunned down half the tribe who went after him with the help of Henri d'Aubergnon.

Jonah Hex was inspired to become a bounty hunter after murdering his first criminal, the outlaw Lucas "Mad Dog" McGill.  He gunned down Mad Dog while the man was beating his wife outside of a saloon.  In his inebriated stupor, Hex believed him to be his own father, Woodson Hex, abusing his mother, Virginia Hex.  The local deputy insisted that even drunk it was the fastest draw he'd ever seen, and gave him the massive bounty on McGill's head. Hex accepted the money and scattered it on the streets as he left town by horseback.  His first bounty poster was in 1866 on an old army buddy named Eddie Cantwell.  The manhunter Arbee Stoneham stole Hex's reward by murdering Cantwell and then humiliated him by taking his guns.  Eight years later they met again while Hex was bringing down the Jason Crowley gang, and he intended to take revenge on Stoneham but found him wheelchair-ridden, so the two men went for a drink instead.

The Lord of Time assembled a team known as the Five Warriors from Forever when he believed that his time machine the Eternity Brain would end all existence.  This team included Jonah Hex alongside Black Pirate, Enemy Ace, Miss Liberty and the Viking Prince; to make them powerful enough to become a threat, they were each energized with a special force.  Their purpose was to fight the Justice League and Justice Society to strengthen their resolve through defeat, which they succeeded in doing.  Eventually the Five Warriors rebelled against their master and assaulted the Palace of Eternity.  Hex got into a gunfight with a T-Rex, but they were defeated and eventually returned to their own times using the Cosmic Treadmill.

He later encountered the Justice League separately, with several other Western heroes including Bat Lash, Cinnamon and Scalphunter.  The Lord of Time sent members of the League back to the 19th Century in an absurd plot to rule the world.  Jonah met an amnesiac Hal Jordan in the desert and nursed him back to health.  They teamed up with Elongated Man, Flash and Zatanna to take down some robotic gunfighters while the League dealt with an anti-matter asteroid that threatened to destroy the Earth.  In the present, Superman defeated the Time Lord and restored things to normal.

Schaech will be the second actor to portray Jonah Hex in live action, after Josh Brolin in the 2010 film Jonah Hex.  The character also appeared in the animated short DC Showcase: Jonah Hex, voiced by Thomas Jane.

Legends of Tomorrow premieres on The CW on Thursday, January 21st at 8 p.m. EST.

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