Two-Face in "Half An Evil", Batman #234, Aug. 1971
Jonah Hex in "The Killer's Last Wish", Weird Western Tales #13, Aug./Sept. 1972
When Jonah Hex first appeared Westerns were, as Don Markstein puts it, "already passe`." But Jonah lasted another 13 years (not counting the two years following, when DC Mad- Maximized him by plopping him in a dystopian future -- don't ask).
Jonah lasted because he was weird and unique. He was part Two-Face (his appearance and interesting moral viewpoint) and part Batman (legendarily spooky and expert in what he does; oh, and rude). In fact, in BTAS he was alleged to be an ancestor of Bruce Wayne.
Jonah weren't yer average singing cowboy, no ma'am. Betrayals, cruelty, disfigurement, biological warface, torture, and lots of Death By Irony. Genocide, civil war, emancipation. Broken hearts, broken promises, broken dreams and the broken people who had them. They didn't call it Weird WesternTales for nothing, folks.
Not having read Western comics as a child, I'm a new convert to Jonah fanhood. But, following the recommendation of Devon of Seven Hells (who, after all, erreth not), I took the risk of reading the first issue of the new Jonah Hex series. I'm hooked! I won't spoil it for you but it duplicates the old Hex magic, right down to the sententious narration boxes characteristic of Western and horror comics.
Weary of heroes who ring their hands over routine mindwiping? Have a huge dollop of Hex. He still wrestles with moral dilemmas, but while he's doing that he still finds plenty of time to kill just about anyone who seems to need it.
Bottom line for me is, I enjoy Jonah Hex as a character for the same reason I enjoy Two-Face: his struggle with right and wrong challenges my own moral viewpoints and makes me think.