Thursday, August 31, 2006

Reasons to buy the new Jonah Hex #1

Yeah, around here we are slowly wading through all the past goodness of Jonah Hex, but why should buy the new series? Here is reason #1

He has a personal code of ethics that is murky at best.

He's a bounty hunter that kills for a living, kills in self defense, sometimes kills just to get some peace & quiet. But when an innocent is killed it weighs heavily on him. In a shootout, a small girl standing nearby is struck down & Jonah is unable to save her. For years afterward he visits her grave and for years her mother tries to kill Jonah in revenge. How does Jonah handle it all? He beds the woman & then to appease her thirst for vengence he fakes his own capture & eventual death.
How's THAT for a murky set of personal ethics?


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Weird Western Tales #24 "The Point Pyrrhus Aftermath"

Weird Western Tales #24 Sept/Oct 1974
"The Point Pyrrhus Aftermath"
Michael Fleischer, story - Noly Panaligan, art

Taking place two months after the attempt on President Grant's life we find Russ Cranston riding into town, looking for Jonah Hex. Russ finds Jonah lounging in a porch swing at the local Doc's. He draws on Jonah, only to have Jonah get the drop on him while commenting on the entire Cranston clan. When Jonah rolls out of the swing we see that his eyes are bandaged!

Local townsfolk gather and start complaining about how many men Jonah has killed since he has been in town and they decide to run him out of town. The Doc tells them that Jonah is gonna be blind for a least another week, they can't turn a blind man out on his own. They decide to send along a traveling actor that has been panhandling in town & amongst the crowd. The Doc tells Jonah to keep the bandages on at least another week or he'll traumatize the optic nerve & may be permanently blind.

As they leave town, Jonah tells the actor that two of the Cranston boys will probably come after them so they decide to work out a method of having the actor be Jonah's eyes. They practice for days until they come upon a ferry crossing a river.

They put their horses on the ferry and start across. The Cranston boys are hiding up in the hills and shoot both ferrymen. With the actor's help, Jonah returns fire, killing one of the Cranstons, with the other running off. Jonah & the actor now attempt to ferry across the river, but the ferry has drifted in the current and is now heading for some rapids.

When the ferry hits some rocks, the actor is tossed overboard. Jonah leaves his guns on the ferry, ties a rope around his waist and jumps into the river to save the actor. Once he reaches the actor and starts pulling himself back, the rope snaps. The horses jump from the ferry and the ferry goes over a waterfall. Jonah manages to grab a horse as it swims by and they are pulled to safety. Now with all of their supplies and weapons gone, except what was in the saddle bags, Jonah & the actor set up camp.

The next morning, Jonah starts to remove his bandages and tries to determine what they are going to do about the remaining Cranston, who will obviously be on their trail. The actor mentions that he has a plan. While Jonah's eyes are adjusting to the light, the actor strikes him in the head with a rock. Meanwhile, the last Cranston is waiting for them to leave the valley they are in. Jonah comes riding out and Cranston guns him down. Cranston walks over to the body and finds that the dead man's face is covered with colored grease. Just then Jonah walks out and throws a knife into Cranston's chest.

Jonah kneels by the dying actor who impersonated him to distract Cranston. The actor starts quoting Shakespeare, and attempts to tell Jonah what play the quote is from. Jonah stops him and answers that it is from Hamlet. The actor dies and as Jonah rides off, he confesses that when he said Hamlet he was just guessing.
And before someone asks, the guy laying off to the left has a knife sticking out of his gut. Gutterminds!!!!
Statistics for the issue
Men killed by Jonah - Shot & killed 3 Cranston brothers

Running Total - 68
Jonah's injuries - Still suffering temporary blindness from the previous issue and gets hit on the head with a rock
Timeline - 1873, two months after issue #23

I have always enjoyed this issue. Noly's artwork is gritty in all the right places. There are a few panels that look rushed but the panel where the actor is dying, Noly uses silhouette wonderfully as a foreshadowing of the actor's death. I always thought that the cover was weird. If Jonah is blind, why bother having him step on a pit of spikes. Just shoot him. But this is Weird Western and the covers have to be really dramatic.

Next issue - tollroads, quicksand, and a hanging. Sounds like a normal day in Oklahoma.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Weekly Wonderous Moment in Comics #6

Six is such a happy happy number it deserves a happy happy moment in comics. How about this?
What can be making the Batman so happy happy? Has he been hit with Joker venom? Did Killer Croc get hit in the crotch with one of Penguin's umbrellas? Is he happy he's about to get jabbed in the eye? Did he hear the latest excuse for the late shipment of Civil War? Nope, it was this:
Yup, it was Bat-Hound biting a make-up man in the arse! But I'm sure you guys can do better than this. How about you fill in the blanks here:

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Weird Western Tales #19 "Demon on my Trail"

Yup, a bonus this week. I located issue #19!! (This is not the issue with ACTING!!)

Weird Western Tales #19 Sept/Oct, 1973
"Demon on my Trail"
John Albano - story, Tony DeZuniga - art

This story starts out in a 'Western State Penitentiary' in 1867. There are a bunch of convicts busting rocks. The prisoner in charge of water, Teddy Chandler, warns the other cons not to drink it and it turns out he has poisoned the guards. When the guards fall sick, the cons make a break for it. Several of them are shot (& presumably die, this IS WWT after all) with only Chandler, "The Gentleman Killer", getting away with the help of a black friend, Orion.

As they away, the Chandler poisons all the water holes along the way in case they are followed. At one point they stop and finally notice a rider that has been following them. The rider is Jonah Hex, still wearing the black hat with the striped band. Jonah draws on them & shoots the Chandler. While taking both of them back for the reward, they come upon a wagon that has been destroyed by a Comanche raid. Everyone is slaughtered except for one little boy. While Jonah is getting the boy out of the wagon, the Chandler gets a pistol & pulls it on Jonah.

Chandler & Orion leave Jonah and the boy out in the desert to die, except Orion has compassion & drops a canteen for them. Carrying the boy, Jonah starts off on foot. A few days later Jonah wakes up in a cabin being tended to by a lovely woman. He had appeared, almost dead, on their doorstep. The boy had a fever but since Jonah gave him all the water, taking none for himself, the boy is now well. Jonah recovers from his dehydration, purchases a horse & pistols from the woman's father & takes off after the escapee & his buddy, but not before the woman takes note that Jonah is so gentle & kind.

Meanwhile, the Chandler & Orion are taking inventory of their water supply. Chandler learns that they have 'lost' a canteen & now there is only enough water for one man to make it out of the desert. He turns and shoots Orion & leaves him to die. Jonah continues after them & notices vultures circling over the dying friend. Jonah gives him water & attempts to help him, but he dies anyway. Jonah covers the body with stones & continues in his search.

While tracking Chandler on con into the coming darkness, Jonah notes that his prey is a 'wily cuss, doubling back on me' when suddenly a bullet hits the ground in front of his horse. Jonah jumps off the horse and fires up into the hills after the Chandler. Sometime later, Jonah finally comes upon Chandler laying next to a waterhole, laughing. It turns out that Jonah had accidentally pierced Chandler's canteen and in the darkness he didn't recognize one of the waterholes that he had poisoned earlier and has taken several drinks of the poisoned water.

Chandler dies & Jonah notes that at least he had a sense of humor.

Statistics for this issue
Men killed by Jonah - Can you believe zero? The official scorecard would read:
Guards - 3
Indians - 2
Chandler - 3, including himself.
Running Total: 39
Jonah's Injuries - Dehydration
Timeline - Blatantly stated, 1867, which would place the other issues with the black hat in roughly the same year or so. Chronologically, this is one of the earliest stories of Jonah Hex as a bounty hunter since he was scarred in 1866.This was my first comic that featured Jonah Hex & I bought it for the cover alone. I bought a lot of the 'scary books' and the picture of Jonah on the front looked creepy enough for me to buy it. I was also purchasing Weird War Tales at the time& I figured this would be ghost stories & such in the old west. It turned out to be better. A good issue, with circumstances playing a large part & Jonah just reacting to them, rather than causing things to happen. I felt that the story focused more on the con than on Jonah, but that made us see Jonah through the eyes of the people around him. The artwork was incredible, often with the art spilling out of the frames all over the page, even with word balloons stretching across two frames. Almost perfect work.

Next Issue: Indians attack a fort and Jonah gets personal with Eileen.

Pitchman-A-Go-Go #5

How incredibly awesome was the awesomeness of Trik-Trak? If Chuck Norris was a toy car in 1965, he would have been Trik-Trak, except he would have killed all the monsters in the basement that tried to eat him. Or if Trik-Trak was Chuck Norris, he would have two beards, one in front on his face and the other on the back of his head. Anyway, here is some more Trik-Trak.
And this came from, of all places, Bob Hope #96, 1965

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Weird Western Tales #23 "The Point Pyrrhus Massacre"

Weird Western Tales #23 - July/Aug 1974

"The Point Pyrrhus Massacre"

Michael Fleisher, story - Tony DeZuniga, art - Luis Dominguez, cover

The story opens with two outlaws getting ready to bushwhack Jonah Hex after being pursued by him for three weeks. They lie in wait on opposite sides of a canyon. Eventually, Jonah comes riding along and one of the outlaws guns him down. When the corpse is examined, it isn't Jonah, but the other outlaw wearing Jonah's coat & hat. Hex steps out from behind a rock and convinces the first outlaw to drop his gun. Jonah then takes both men into nearby Point Pyrrhus.

While in town, Jonah drops the men off with the sheriff and says that he'll be staying in town for a few days until his reward money arrives from the state capital. The sheriff mentions that the end of the week, President Grant will be stopping in town during his tour of the West.

Meanwhile in Washington, D.C. at a meeting of the President's advisors we see the man with the eagle-topped cane. The man chairing the meeting explains that Grant will be touring the west to make a firsthand evaluation of the possibilities the west has to offer. The men at the table, captains of commerce they are called, will be on the trip as well to be able to advise Grant afterward.

Back in Point Pyrrhus, a man inquires at the hotel as to which room Jonah is in. He walks in & finds Jonah fast asleep. Jonah quickly pulls a pistol on the man, demanding to know his business. The man is Michael Fenton of the Secret Service. He has learned of a plot to murder Grant in retaliation of his gentle handling of the South after the war. Fenton wants Jonah's help. Hex will have no part of it until Fenton makes an offer of $500.

In Virginia, Solomon, the butler, brings a telegram to the man with the eagle-topped cane, informing him that their operative is in Point Pyrrhus & will murder Hex at the first opportunity.

Things are uneventful in town until the end of the week. Fenton has tracked some men to an abandoned warehouse. He will bust in the front while Jonah storms the back. Jonah smashes his way into the back and finds Fenton being held by four men. The men explain that they are going to kill Grant because of his "cozyin' up" to the South. They have two men hiding in a hay wagon by the station and another two in the water tower with a gatling gun.

Fenton quickly grabs one man while Jonah snatches a nearby axe, throws it, killing one of the men. During the fight, Fenton is killed and Jonah guns down the remaining three men. He grabs some dynamite in order to take out the others. As Jonah leaves the warehouse he encounters the sheriff. The sheriff pulls a shotgun & explains that he is going to kill Hex because he is being paid to.

Jonah tries to reason with the sheriff but just then the train whistle is heard. The sheriff glances away and Jonah leaps forward, busting the sheriff in the jaw & then takes off running. As Jonah heads for the hay wagon he grabs a lantern and lights it. The sheriff appears and tells Jonah to freeze. The men in the hay wagon think that the sheriff is onto their plan and gun him down. Jonah then sets the hay wagon on fire and shoots the two men as they try to escape. Jonah lights the dynamite and runs across the tracks to the water tower but he is cut down by the Gatling gun.

As Jonah crawls closer to the tower he manages to throw the dynamite into the tower so it explodes, killing the two men in it, just before the train arrives. Onboard the train, the President's advisor explains that they won't be stopping because the President is needed back in D.C. & the smaller towns are being dropped from the itinerary. As the train roars through town, the man with the eagle-topped cane sees the body of Hex and assumes he is dead.

The townspeople appear and realize that Hex is barely alive. The town doctor orders them to get Hex to his house where he probably will die anyway. The issue closes with folks seeing the dead sheriff, assuming he killed all the men and that Hex only got caught in the crossfire. A couple of kids try to get souvenirs.

Statistics for the issue

Men killed by Jonah - 9 shot

Running Total - 65

Injuries - shot with Gatling gun

Timeline - Obviously took place during the Grant presidency (1869-1877) . I can't find any record of Grant touring the West, so we can't pin this one down exactly. UPDATE - This took place in 1873 (Thanks, Brandon)

This issue was on of the best. I had assumed that Fenton would be the operative to kill Hex & was pleasantly fooled. Hex is seen as being motivated by money initially, but doesn’t back down once Fenton is dead. There are a few pieces of comedy with a waiter urging Hex to leave a table so "gentlemen" can use it. Jonah quickly finishes his dessert & leaves. I also enjoyed the townspeople misunderstanding what had transpired. Makes me wonder how much of history is misunderstood.

On a final note, in a letter David DeWitt asks when we will see a team up of Hex & El Diablo. 32 years later in an upcoming issue of the second Jonah Hex series, that's when. I hope David is still reading.

Next issue? ACTING!! THANK YOU!!!

Also, Saturday, I'll post WWT #19, the first Hex book I ever purchased.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Weekly Wonderous Moment in Comics #5

Everyone has heard the legend of how Indians could hear people & things a long way off by placing their ears to the ground. Is it true? Well according to comics, THIS is what they do.

They stab a knife into the ground and then bite it? Well according to The Lone Ranger #25 from 1950 they do. This looks like something from an old EC book. Just too freaky.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Pitchman-A-Go-Go #4

Okay, you're a kid & ya love cars. I'm not sure if Hot Wheels were invented yet, but you're too little for slot cars. What is the answer? TRIK-TRAK!!

Yup, Trik-Trak, it's the cross country road rally that goes everywhere!! The idea is a battery operated car that has no steering. You turn the car on, set it down & aim it at pieces of track. The tracks are curved allowing to 'steer' the car. It even came with a nice cardboard tunnel and scenery for the curves.

You had better be good with your layout, cuz if that car ever got away from you it went careening off the leg of the couch, under the end table, off the edge of the kitchen wall, nicked the kicthen table, hit the fridge and then rocketed down the stairs into the darkness to be eaten by monsters.

It was almost impossible to catch once you got it going. Also, since you set it up on linoleum or hardwood floors, the pieces of track would slip slightly whenever the car it them and then it would miss the next piece of track and then it went careening off the leg of the couch, under the end table, off the edge of the kitchen wall, nicked the kicthen table, hit the fridge and then rocketed down the stairs into the darkness to be eaten by monsters.

This was probably the coolest toy in 1965 that got eaten by monsters. And the car was solid blue, not the cool two-tone job pictured above.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Weird Western Tales #22 "Showdown at Hard Times"

Weird Western Tales #22 -May/Jun 1974
"Showdown at Hard Times"
Michael Fleisher - story, Tony DeZuniga - art

This story starts off with two outlaws caught in a downpour coming up on a prospector in a lean-to. They decide to rob the prospector, but they learn (too late) that it's Jonah Hex in disguise. During the shootout both outlaws are killed, Jonah's horse is killed and the outlaw's horses run off. Jonah is now on foot.

In a scene straight out of Stagecoach, the next day Jonah flags down a passing stage and hitches a ride. In the stage are a spinster, a deputy sheriff (Fred Caro), a black prisoner in handcuffs (Blackjack Jorgis), & and another man in black. During the ride, Jonah takes a swig from a bottle he is carrying. The spinster acts offended. In a nice bit of comedy, Jonah apologizes for being rude and not offering her any. She is even MORE offended. Jonah realizes his mistake and wipes off the top of the bottle to sterilize it and offers it to her again. She tells Jonah off and Jonah replies "Jonah, boy, ah'm thinkin' it's about time tuh keep yore mouth shut, an' enjoy the scenery." (Side note: How did Fleisher write like this? Did he get paid by the apostrophe? Did he write in normal English and then run it through a Hex-ifier?)The man in black (aka Lee Van Cleef) takes notice of Jonah's name and pulls out a photo of Jonah, unscarred, standing next to a Confederate flag. Cleef pencils in the scars on Jonah's face and makes a positive ID. Just then, burning tumbleweeds roll down a hill, spooking the horses. A couple of shots ring out and the driver & the guard are both killed.

The horses are running wild & Jonah climbs out of the stage to stop them, but the stage takes a sharp turn and the whole thing tips over. When Jonah gets up, he is being held at riflepoint by a couple of Mexicans and an Indian that are trying to free Blackjack. Blackjack kills the deputy and offers the spinster to one of the Mexicans. Jonah attempts to defend the lady, insults the Mexican and then Blackjack notices Jonah's Confederate jacket.

Blackjack then decides to show the 'Johnny Reb' some 'courtesy & respect' by beating the tar out of Jonah before he & his gang escapes. Jonah recovers and then takes the stagecoach on into the nearby town, Hard Times.
In town, Jonah meets the sheriff, Hank Brewster. Hank hasn't seen Jonah in 15 years and makes mention of hearing how fast Jonah is with a gun, figuring it was some of the things that Hank had taught Jonah that made him so fast. Jonah says that Hank taught him everything he knows. The next morning Hank & Jonah are talking. Hank states that he heard about Jonah's scars & is sorry about that. He then asks "How's yore paw? Is the old coot still..." "thet's right, Hank. He still is." replies Jonah.

In that quick little 3 panel exchange we get some nice early glimpses into Jonah's past. Here is someone that taught him about shooting, knew him before his scars, and knows his family (& his father is still alive.)

Jonah & Hank continue drinking & then Jonah decides to track down Blackjack. Meanwhile, Cleef has ridden to a cabin full of men that appear to be associated with the Confederacy. He tells of finding Jonah and they state that they must now find Jonah & kill him.
Later that day, Jonah tracks down Blackjack & his gang. He breaks into their cabin, but one of the gang gets the drop on Jonah. They drag him outside to kill him, but they are suddenly cut down in a blaze of gunfire. Jonah thanks the men, but they are the men that Cleef contacted. They prepare to lynch Hex, but Sheriff Brewster shows up with a posse. Brewster observes how much the bounty will be for the dead Blackjack gang, but Jonah points out that it should go to Cleef's men.

Everybody heads back to town where Jonah is begged by the village idiot for his autograph. Jonah complies and the man is elated to get the autograph of Buffalo Bill. Later that evening, Brewster interrupts Jonah's dinner to tell him that the four men from earlier in the day have told Brewster to give Jonah the altered photo. Brewster offers his help but Jonah declines.

The men are waiting by the stockyards. As Jonah prepares to meet them he comments that he doesn't mind going up against four men wanting to kill him, that sorta thing builds character. It's a cerftain fifth man that gnaws on him. Jonah climbs to a second floor balcony of a nearby building and ambushes two of the men. A third is preparing to shoot Hex when the cattle his is hiding among get spooked and trample him to death.

In the gathering darkness a fourth man comes up behind Jonah and calls his name. Jonah turns and shoots. While he is reloading, he is shot twice in the left shoulder by the fourth gunman. As the man prepares to kill Jonah, Hex grabs his pistol and kills the fourth gunman. Jonah then discovers that the man he shot in the darkness was Sheriff Brewster coming to Jonah's aid. Brewster dies in Jonah's arms. The townsfolk gather around, acknowledging the accidental shooting of the shreiff, but wondering why those men were gunning for Hex. One person commenting on Jonah asks "did you see them scars? I've heard it said it was the devil's own pitchfork what done it". Another comments, "Look at him, will you? Five men dead and he rides outta here like a parson going on a picnic." It's at that point we witness a tear rolling down Hex's scarred cheek.
The very end of the book happens two days later as a black butler, Solomon, tells a man with an eagle-topped cane that Jonah is still alive and the other men are dead. The mystery man mentions to his dog, Caesar, that they will have to try again.

Stats for the issue
Men killed by Jonah - 6 shot, 1 trampled
Running Total - 56
Jonah's injuries - Beaten twice, shot twice in the left shoulder.
Timeline - This is the start of the Turnbull saga and the only time clue we have is the reference to Buffalo Bill. Bill had gained some prominence by 1872 when he was awarded Medal of Honor while being a civilian scout for the Army, but he had not yet started his Wild West touring show by this time. I would place this between 1868 (when Buffalo Bill started working for the Army) & 1875, but it could probably be narrowed down more to take place after 1872.
This was a pretty graphic tale with 7 men dying by Jonah's hand , 6 others getting shot during the story, and an implied impending rape. The most disturbing part of the story has to be Blackjack's dialogue. I can understand wanting to portray people as uneducated, but allowing the ongoing use of the term "watermelly" by Blackjack (a black man weilding a watermelon like a weapon) was pretty offensive to me even back in 1974 at the age of 13. I'm just wondering if DC changed the text in the recent Showcase Trade of Jonah Hex.

This story also set the stage for so much more that was to follow, Jonah's scarring by a tomahawk, the Fort Charolette massacre, Quentin Turnbull, Jonah's father, and it also showed a compassionate side of Hex that he even denies to himself, when a good friend is killed. I would place this in the better half of Hex tales.

Next week: Jonah, President Grant, and the town gets blown to hell.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Weekly Wonderous Moment in Comics #4

Okay, to set this up is waaay to complex, so let me sum up. A humanoid robot from the 1880's has been found in Gotham and it is claiming the fortune of it's creator. Aided by a local billionairess, Ruby Ryder, the humanoid goes to court to stake it's claim via a long-lost will.

The judge just ain't too sure about the human standing of a humanoid, soooo, Ruby offers this evidence...

After THAT wonderful piece of evidence, the judge does what any sane & righteous judge that represents the people would do...
All I know is that I want to be sitting in court the day a large robotic neanderthal gets the holy living $h!t slapped out of him by a really hot redhead with a very severe hairdo. ( I would have loved to have seen Johnny Cochran pull this one with O.J.) And then to have the judge agree is just completely wacko...

unless of course 3 things are true:
  1. It's 1977
  2. It's in The Brave & The Bold
  3. It's written by Bob Haney.
Ladies & gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Pitchman-A-Go-Go #3

ASTROFORCE!!!! Space Soldiers of the Future! Space Soldiers that are so damn tough, they don't need a spacecraft to repel the hideous Martian Horde.

OK, the ad doesn't say that, but that's what I thought when I saw it. The Martians don't have a spaceship, they just came zooming at us on their jetpacks.

With your order, you got
  • 80 figures (in four colors)
  • 16 Radi-activator guns
  • 16 Disintigrator ray pistols
  • 16 astro helmets
  • 16 Oxi-radar flight packs with cosmic propulsion belts
  • 16 Galactic receivers and senders
  • 4 Interplanetary communicators
I'm trying to decide if the best part is the fella that is 'actual size' or the fact that West Virginia, Mobile Alabama, the panhandles of Oklahoma & Texas, and Brownsville Texas are getting nuked. That'll cripple the U.S for sure!!

All this for $1.98 (or 2 sets for $3.49 "MOM I save 47 cents if I order 2") way back in 1970.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Weird Western Tales #21 "The Gunfighter"

Weird Western Tales #21 - Jan-Feb 1974
"The Gunfighter "
John Albano, story - Tony DeZuniga, art
Jonah goes after a gang that has robbed a stage coach & killed it's passengers. He gets the drop on them while they sit around the campfire. He shoots and kills one and shoots another then kicks him in the face. Later, while taking the surviving 3 back to the law, the injured Jaspar dies from his wounds.

A snowstorm starts and Jonah & his three charges take shelter with an elderly woman & her daughter, Valerie. The next morning, one of the men comes down with a fever. While Jonah is talking to the woman of the house, Valerie (in her 20's) frees the remaining robber (Roy), who then grabs a fireplace poker and beats Jonah to the ground.

Roy & Valerie take off. Jonah is left with the old woman to take care of him & he has fever dreams of the Civil War. After a few weeks, he is better and leaves. As he rides off, we see the last robber holding a knife & sneaking up on the old woman.

Two days later, Jonah catches up with Roy & Valerie. He manages to lasso Roy around the neck & strangle him until Roy is dead. Jonah is then taking Valerie & Roy's body back to town for the reward. During the night Valerie tries to sneak away & gets captured by three man. They suggest that they intend to rape her but Jonah finds her and strangles one & shoots the other two dead. Jonah & Valerie arrive back at the farmhouse to find the old woman stabbed. Jonah fetches the doc and the old woman pulls through. The doc mentions that Jonah has donated $400 to the children's hospital.

4 days later, Jonah tracks down the last of the stage robbers and shoots him square between the eyes.

Stats for the issue:
Killed by Jonah:
Shot - 5
Strangled - 2
Running Total - 49
Jonah's injuries: Beat with a poker.
Timeline: Nothing to indicate any particular year. I would not place this during or immediately after his marriage to Mei Ling.

A fairly enjoyable issue. Jonah & Valerie bicker back & forth and Jonah pretends that he doesn't care much for people, but the truth gets out when he is worried about the old woman and then donates to the children's hospital. DeZungia's art is fierce and sometimes creepy, but nothing is weirder than this panel where Jonah strangles the would-be rapist as Valerie does some weird Voodoo dance of death.

Next Issue: Lee Van Cleef and a black man eats watermelon.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Movin up in Google

Well, I haven't gotten any liknage from other comic blogs, but I have moved up into the top twenty for a google search of Jonah Hex and I do have two regular readers, one in Canada and the other in Brazil.

Don't be shy guys, feel free to comment.

Also, this week, we'll have two reviews of Weird Western Tales, one on Tuesday & one on Saturday. Stay tuned!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Weekly Wonderous Moment in Comics #3

So let's see if I can sum up what has happened so far.
Scientist develops ray gun that will allow airbreathing creatures to live underwater, but has never tested it at full strength. Lois Lane discovers a enemy spy is going to steal the ray gun. The spy shoots Lois with the gun at full strength & ... ... She turns into snow. (instead of water , DUH!!!)
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, so Superman discovers Snow-Lois at a winter carnival and saves her, then rushes to rescue the scientist, but encounters the villians who open fire at him...

So he uses the frozen dying form of the woman he loves as a shield even allowing some thug in a purple robe to shoot her right in the head!! BUT WAIT!!!! they decide to shoot Superman with the ray-gun and .... IT WORKS!! (This is 1971 when all Kryptonite was gone but Superman was suffering from strange weaknesses).

Now Snow-perman holding Snow Lois gets a great idea, he'll thaw himself out using his heat vision reflected off a steel door. Of course, he wisely uses only his left eye, cuz the right eye doesn't go VROOOSH, but ZZZZKKKKZZAAKKK.

This clever plan results in Snow-perman becoming Superman and Lois becoming a small puddle of water. HAR HAR HAR! I Fooled YOU! This is a Lois Lane comic, so NOTHING happens that follows any laws of physics, Lois is fine, still snow, but fine! Superman, reverses the ray-gun and shoots Lois & she becomes flesh & blood once again. However, Superman does mention that she is a cold beyotch and she gets mad and tears up a photograph of him just to teach him a lesson.

That's what you missed by not buying Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #107 Jan 1971.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pitchman-A-Go-Go #2

This week - A Real Mobile Tank (1959) Dear God in heaven, I don't think it gets any better than this. A tank for $4.98 ($31.81 in today's $$) is a deal that even the Russians wouldn't give Castro on his deathbed.

Check out the text for this beastie. I like the "real periscope permits you to see the enemy without exposing yourself". hmmm. Maybe Micheal Jackson should have purchased this.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Weird Western Tales #20 "Blood Brothers"

Weird Western Tales #20 Nov-Dec 1973

"Blood Brothers"

Arnold Drake, Story - Tony DeZuniga, Art.

Jonah Hex comes riding into an unnamed town when a man is suddenly thrown out of a saloon & into the street. Another man comes out of the saloon & threatens to shoot the first man. Jonah shoots the pistol out of his hand. The man wonders why Hex doesn't want a 'redskin' shot. Jonah explains that this is an AWOL Cavalry scout with a $50 bounty on his head.

Later we learn that Jonah's bounty is John Running Wolf, one of Chief Machana's sons. Since he is the younger son & can't be chief, he decided to join the Army as a scout. Jonah is taking him back to Fort Lang when they come upon an Indian raiding party attacking the fort. One of the Indians fires a flaming arrow at Jonah & he shoots the indian dead. Jonah then turns John in to the Major at the fort.

In a sudden unexplained transition, Jonah is riding into town (a different town, I assume) and tries to get a room at Widow Lacey's boarding house. He has an altercation with a man who tells Jonah that he stinks (Jonah smashes the door into the man).Inside Jonah meets the mayor (the man he hit with the door) and Eileen, a old friend. Eileen introduces Jonah to William Vandermeer, who works for the railroad and offers Jonah a job.

Eileen's niece, Muriel, was kidnapped by Red Horse. Jonah is offered $100 to return Muriel, $200 if he brings in Red Horse as well. Jonah takes the job, has a brief romantic interlude with Eileen and then goes looking for Muriel. Jonah locates the Indian camp, knocks out the Indian lookout and then spots Muriel.

However, he is then ambushed by Red Horse. During the fight, Jonah kicks him unconscious but then is threatened by Muriel pointing a rifle at him. Turns out Muriel loves Red Horse & doesn't want to go back. Jonah grabs the rifle out of her hands and pulls his pistol.

Jonah is taking Muriel & Red Horse back to town when Red Horse reveals that he is not responsible for the raids on the Fort. Suddenly, Red Horse is gunned down from above. Jonah shoots and kills two of the three attackers, but Red Horse is dead.

Back in town, Jonah dumps the dead indian in the parlor of Eileen's, at the feet of the Mayor, Eileen, & Vandermeer. He also introduces Muriel and tells everyone about the idea that white men hired the Indians to attack the Fort so that the Indians would be run off &the railroad could get their land. Vandermeer reaches for his wallet to pay Jonah, but Jonah instructs Muriel to search Vandermeer's pocket for weapons.

At that moment, John Running Wolf tries to sneak up behind Jonah. Jonah turns and pulls a gun on him, but John throws his knife, hitting Jonah in the shoulder, causing him to drop his pistol. The mayor dives for the gun, but Eileen stomps his hand & grabs the pistol. Jonah & John duke it out, but Jonah knocks him outside & beats him unconscious. Jonah takes what is owed him ($200) and then goes to the Fort to report the scheme to the Army.

This issue had some nice moments such as Jonah actually shooting a gun from somebody's hand, dumping the body in the parlor, and beating the crap out of a man left-handed. This issue was unusual since it was scripted by Arnold Drake instead of John Albano or Micheal Fleisher, who started with the next issue. It may one of the few original Hex stories not by either of those two men.

There was also a backup story called Turnabout with art by Gil Kane & script by E. Nelson Bridwell from a plot by Sergio Argones.

Stats in this Issue

Men killed by Jonah - 3 shot

Running Total: 42

Jonah's Injuries - Right shoulder stabbed

Timeline - No reference to anything in a prior issue, so this story could have taken place at any time. Jonah has his gray hat, but nothing else is new or different.

Next Issue: A voodoo dance of death and Jonah chokes a fat man.