Friday, February 23, 2007

Jonah Hex #5 & All Star Western #10 "Welcome to Paradise"

If you came here wanting to read All-Star Western #10, just scroll down a little....
Jonah Hex #5 Oct 1977
no title
Michael Fleisher, story - Jose Luis Garcia Lopez & Romeo Tanghal, art - Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, cover

A dreaded deadline must have caught Fleisher & company in a lurch (not unlike myself) and they decided to reprint All-Star Western #10 with a new page of art in front & a new page of art behind. Our story starts with Jonah's horse being shot out from under him by a pursuing sheriff & posse. As they round the bend, Jonah is nowhere to be found. Shortly they come upon Mrs. Thornton riding in her buckboard. The sheriff explains about Jonah Hex being wanted and she says that she hasn't seen Hex in more than 5 years. She says that she remembers him coming into Paradise Corners like it was yesterday.... flashback to.....

All-Star Western #10 Feb-Mar 1972
"Welcome to Paradise"
John Albano, story - Tony DeZuniga, art

Jonah comes riding into town, dragging two dead bodies behind his horse, causing quite a stir through the town. He walks into a store (bank?) and speaking to three businessman states that they owe him $100 each for the bodies. As they pay him off, they explain that three more of the gang they hired Hex to find have just ridden into town. They are across the street in the saloon & have undoubtedly seen Hex ride into town.

Jonah climbs into a second floor window in the saloon, frightening a dance-hall girl, but managing to keep her quiet. As Hex exits her room, he sees the gang on either side of the entrance to the saloon, waiting to ambush him. He gets the drop on two of them, killing them quickly. The third runs out & Jonah jumps the rail and heads out the door, slamming into a young boy walking in the road. The young boy gives Jonah a good chewing out and then walks off. Everyone in the street is staring and Jonah shouts out a threat & they all run off.

The three businessmen come out & offer Jonah $200 for the two he shot. Jonah tells them he'll collect later, he is going to the blacksmith, get his horse and hunt down Big Jim himself. When Jonah gets to the blacksmith, he finds the smithy getting ready to whip Jonah's horse to correct him from rearing up. Jonah grabs the whip and knocks the smithy cold with one punch.

Later... in a cabin several miles from town (& that's EXACTLY what the caption box says) the escaped gang member, Cody, is talking to Lee Marvin, uh, Big Jim. Big Jim tells Cody to fetch some water from the well and Cody is very hesitant, but he goes out anyway. At the well he is drawing water and Jonah appears out of the shadows. Jonah strikes a match and for the first time ever, we get to see the right half of Jonah's face. Remember, through the whole story his face has been in shadow & they have only spoken of his scars. Cody reaches for his pistol and is gunned down before he knows what hits him. Big Jim hears Cody dying and then another shot stops Cody's begging.

Jim panics and crawls out the back window and when he sees a shadow he empties his pistol into it, but it is only a tree stump. He jumps on his horse and rides off, mile after mile after mile. Finally he stops to walk his horse and there on a hilltop, backlit by the full moon is Jonah Hex.

Jim takes off running in a panic for hour after hour. Finally he comes upon a farmhouse but Jonah is close behind, Cody's corpse on the back of the horse. Finally Jim comes out of the farmhouse, holding a gun to a young woman's head. Jonah asks why Jim thinks Jonah cares what happens to that woman when the young boy from town starts begging Jonah not to hurt his mom. Jonah drops his gunbelt and Jim throws the woman to the ground. He jumps onto Jonah's horse and starts to ride off but jonah pulls his knife and throws it right into Jim's back.

Jonah carries the fainted woman into the farmhouse. The boy is gushing admiration for Jonah and explains that he ain't got a pa. As Jonah gets ready to ride off, the boy asks if he will come back to visit. Jonah asks what for and the boy stammers about his mom's apple dumplings. Jonah hauls the two corpses off and says he might come back.

In town, Jonah collects his $400 and asks what happened to the boy's pa. The businessmen explain that he was killed in an indian raid years ago and that the woman is going to lose the farm due to $300 in back taxes. Jonah pays her back taxes and then asks about buying a house on the outskirts of town. The businessmen stammer that the house is sold and then they tell him that there isn't a house for sale in the whole territory. Jonah chortles that they think he would ever think about living in their stinking desert hole. As Jonah rides off, the three men thank their lucky stars that Jonah is moving on.

Jonah rides out to the farmhouse to get some of those apple dumplings. A shot knocks his hat off and he jumps off his horse, circles around and manages to get the drop on the gunman. It's the widow. She tells Jonah that Jonah has become a hero to her son and that she doesn't want Jonah anywhere around. Jonah rides off saying that he doesn't like either one of them. A few minutes later Jonah meets the young boy, obviously running away and he has intentions of leaving with Jonah. Jonah tells the boy that he hates him, hates him like poison. Riding further on, Jonah comes to the sign reading "Welcome to Paradise Corners". With one swift punch, he levels the sign & rides off.

End of Flashback.

The sheriff tells Mrs. Thronton all that happened five years ago, but now Hex is a wanted killer. The sheriff & the posse ride off. A few minutes later Jonah crawls out from under the canvas in the back of the buckboard. Mrs. Thornton says that she has paid Jonah back for saving her farm five years ago and that Jonah needs to do is ride off and never coming back to Paradise Corners. Jonah heads out on horseback.

Statistics for this issue
Men killed by Jonah - 2 are dead at the beginning & he kills 4 more. We'll count it at 6. Running Total: (as of ASW 10) 6, (as of JH 5) 125
Jonah's injuries - none
Timeline - The flashback takes place five years prior to our current "Jonah - Wanted Man" arc. But we'll have to place this one in the timeline sometime later.

All in all a great story. Placing the Albano Hex up against the Fleisher Hex is somewhat jarring. Albano's Hex worked in a west where life was cheap, $100 was enough to hire a man to hunt you down, shoot you & drag your corpse back to town. In Fleisher's west it took $5,000 for someone to risk their life to kill you. It also seemed that Albano's Hex used fear a lot more than Fleisher's Hex did. That's saying a lot, since Fleisher wrote almost 100 stories for Jonah and Albano wrote about a dozen. Maybe Fleisher thought that the fear angle had been played up too much and I have to admit, the title of the book that carried most of Albano's stories was Weird Western Tales.

Fleisher worked very hard making Jonah more of a man & less of a demon & at times I wonder if it was for the better. But then I look at El Diablo and realize that Fleisher made the right choice.

I also wanted to go on record saying that this cover always confused me. I thought that Lee m
Marvin was showing Jonah how tough he was by shooting Jonah's hat. Oh well.

Jonah Hex #6: (on time, I promise) White water rafting, dynamite, and the return of Noly Panaligan (at least on inks)
All-Star Western #11: Jonah fights off buzzards & gets suckered by a woman

Ringside #5 - CONTEST

Okay, we are going to sweeten the pot for RINGSIDE!!! The first person to correctly guess who this is:
Will win a copy of Jonah Hex #4 vol 1. Of course, this copy is missing a cover, but with the fantastic Jose Luis Garcia Lopez artwork & it being free, what do you care?

To start with: no hints! I'll add hints as I see fit.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Up & Atom

Looks like someone at Ivy University has been busy. Look at the entry titled "Rocket Explosion". Ray even copyrighted the photo. Found at

Monday, February 19, 2007

Jonah Hex #4 "The Day of the Chameleon!"

Jonah Hex #4 Sept 1977
"The Day of the Chameleon!"
Michael Fleisher, story - Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, art - Luis Domiguez, cover

Jonah Hex goes monthly!! No more bi-monthly or eight times a year schedule. Monthly!!!! And we wade right into the continuing arc of the framed Hex. The story begins with a stagecoach roaring across west Texas. Inside is a couple on their honeymoon, a banker and an artist from a New York newspaper. Suddenly a masked gunman comes down the hill on horseback, shouting for the stage to stop. He steals everyone's wallets & jewelry and as he is getting ready to leave, his bandana slips. The banker shouts out that he knows this man, it's ..... BDOW BDOW!! He is gunned down in cold blood. The gunman rides off and the dying banker gasps with his dying breath "Jonah Hex......*"

Needless to say, there is some explaining to do and the story jumps right into that. There is a flashback to earlier that morning. We see a man in the woods applying makeup to his face so that he resembles Jonah Hex and he has a long running monologue about how he is an Adonis, the greatest actor of all, how he was jeered from the stage but know he shall only be known as ..... The Chameleon!! The Chameleon is lying in wait with a rifle and as Jonah comes around a bend, The Chameleon notes that the man from Virginia must have agents everywhere to be able to predict Jonah's whereabouts with such accuracy. Then he calmly pumps a rifle round into Jonah, knocking Hex off of his horse & into a shallow creek.

The Chameleon checks Jonah and notes that everything is going as planned and now he must make his appointment with the stage .... coach. The day passes and vultures gather around Jonah. A beautiful barefoot woman with a waterpail happens along and chases the vultures away. She finds that Jonah is still alive and she is able to help him walk to her cabin.

Later, after Jonah has been patched up (He currently has 3 bullet wounds), she introduces herself as Joanna Mosby. She tells Hex that she knows who he is, the papers all over Texas are full of the story of the murders. Jonah starts to tell her that he is innocent but she tells him that they shouldn't have any lies between them and them she starts putting the severe moves on the injured man. A knock on the door interrupts them.

Joanna hides Jonah behind a wooden screen before answering the door.

Outside is a wounded Confederate soldier, missing one leg and an eye, he asks for some bread & water to help him on his way. Joanna invites him in and as she is gathering some food for the old soldier, the vet pulls a flour sack from his coat and hides it in a wood bin. Joanna gives the man the food and some whiskey which he takes with relish and then he leaves. Once outside the old man throws away his crutch, unties his leg, throws down his clothes and runs off. He was the Chameleon!!!

A little while later in town at the sheriff's office and old prospector comes sauntering in and explains that he was out by the Mosby place and saw a scar faced man in her cabin. The sheriff tells the prospector to stick around, he could get part of the reward but the old coot takes off because he is The Chameleon!

Back at the Mosby cabin we are treated to this scene as Jonah gets ready to head out. Joanna begs Hex to stay for his own good. When he won't listen to reason, she asks to be taken with him. A shout from outside signals the sheriff's intent to take Hex in. Joanna opens the door & tells the sheriff that she is by herself. The sheriff & his men barge in, one of them searching the woodbox to find the stolen loot from the stagecoach. One of the men notices a pair of boots sticking out from behind a wooden screen. The sheriff opens fire through the screen and we are treated to an outside shot of the cabin where Jonah is pulling himself up through the chimney onto the roof. He then jumps off, delivering a massive kick to the head of the deputy assigned to guard the outside of the cabin.

Jonah ends up riding off once again to save his hide. For six days & nights Jonah continues his search for Ned Landon until he finally finds his way to a deserted barn on the outskirts of Wyandott, Texas. He kicks the door open and sees Landon hanging from the rafters. A voice from the darkness causes Jonah to wheel around to confront Quentin Turnbull who had obviously recovered from the pitchfork accident the last time they met.

Turnbull assures Hex that Landon is only being hung in effigy for effect. He then outlines his plan to destroy Jonah for revenge for the death of his son. He hired Landon to trick Jonah to go to Mexico to face El Papagayo and Landon also commited the murders that Jonah is accused of. Turnbull had to kill Landon because he knew that Jonah would have hunted him down & made him talk. But now, Turnbull has hired the Chameleon and he is like having 100 men. Jonah is confused about Turnbull's ramblings.

Turnbull ignores him and notes that he wishes he could see Hex & The Chameleon!!! battle it out and it is such a pity that the flozzy will also have to die. Jonah leaps at Turnbull but the faithfull butler Solomon steps behind Hex and cranks him in the skull with a shovel. Hours pass and Jonah finally comes to, but Turnbull & Solomon are gone.

MEANWHILE!!! in town, the artist that was on the stagecoach is showing a sketch that he made of the man who held up the stage. The sheriff remarks that something strange is going on.

Jonah makes his way back to the Mosby cabin and as he is trying to get Joanna to leave with him, The Chameleon!!!, dress as Jonah steps from behind the wooden screen, with his pistol drawn. Jonah throws a water pitcher at him and knocks him out. As he crouches to pull off the makeup, Joanna smashes Jonah over the head with a large platter. Jonah comes to and Joanna has just finished tying him up. The Chameleon states that since Joanna has seen his real face she must die as well and ties her to a chair next to Jonah. The Chameleon!!! proceeds to set the cabin on fire and what happens next is one of the most bad-@$$ things I have ever seen in a comic. To explain would take to much & not do it justice. Just look & marvel. Surely this deserves the notice of the High Connoisseur of Head Kicking.

Joanna manages to get the knife from Jonah's collar and they burst out of the cabin as it collapses in flames. Joanna begs Jonah for forgiveness because she didn't know she would fall in love with him. She wraps her arms around his neck and reaches up to kiss Jonah and Jonah responds.

God, how I love this comic!!!!!

Jonah rides off and later the sheriff arrives, wondering what happened to the cabin. Joanna explains that it was a bacon grease fire. The sheriff wanted to tell Joanna that Hex didn't commit the robbery. The artist sketch showed that the scars on the bandit's face were on the left side of the face but Jonah's are on the right, so Jonah was framed. Joanna tells them that the man who robbed the stage is in the smoldering remains of her cabin, obviously dead.

Statistics for this issue
Men killed by Jonah: Are you ready? Zero.

Running Total - 125
Jonah's Injuries: Shot in the right shoulder, hit with a shovel, hit with a metal platter.
Timeline: ooooo, I'll actually have to come back to this & write a whole disertation on this.

Growing up I loved this issue and I think it had everything to do with Lopez and his rendition of Joanna Mosby. I remember hoping beyond hope that I would one day encounter a woman that looked like Joanna. I never did and it's probably a good thing too, because I don't go much for getting hit with things on my head. I also enjoyed the story thirty years ago. Now?

The things that are wrong with this story are the omnipresence that Turnbull has with "agents everywhere", the super-villian basis of The Chameleon!!!, the hokey wording of the monologues, Turnbull wanting to destroy Hex (why not just kill him), The Chameleon dressing up to hide the loot in the Mosby cabin when Joanna could have done it herself. There were tons of logic flaws that were only there to heighten the suspense & the drama.

The good things? Jonah responses to Joanna, all of his responses. I think that this was one of the most sensuous comics I have ever owned. The Lopez art and the colors really were top notch, heck I want to scan the whole book for you but I think that you should go buy it. Tell ya what, I have an extra copy (without cover) that I will GIVE to the first person to correctly guess the person shown in the next RINGSIDE!!!

NEXT ISSUE: A deadline missed, A flashback, & Jonah Hex vs Lee Marvin!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Last week, Rosiland Carter was enjoying the fight, But who is it this week? She is an actress & you shouldn't even need that help!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Jonah was a heck of a ladies man, but only one woman held his heart as tightly as Mei Ling.
It was a fine wedding and only 4 men got shot at the reception, right before the townsfolk voted to run the newlyweds out of town.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Happy Lincoln's Birthday!!

And the great thing is that this actually appears in the comic. Oh, and they end in a draw.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


You guessed it, last week was Johnny Carson (Reed Richards???)

This week will be a little harder. Sure it's Superman vs. Muhammad Ali and everyone who is anyone is there. This lovely lady in the front row is associated with the world of
politics. Let me know if you need some hints through the week.

Remember it's the late 70's and you are RINGSIDE!!!!!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jonah Hex #3 "The Fugitive!"

Jonah Hex #3 July-Aug 1977
"The Fugitive!"
Michael Fleisher, story - Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, art & cover

Jonah Hex, a $10,000 bounty on his head, is riding hard & fast from the sheriff & the posse pursuing him across Texas. Jonah manages to get a slight lead on them as he rides over a bridge on a river. The posse thunders across the bridge and moments later Jonah pops up under the bridge, gasping for breath. It appears that he abandoned his horse as a decoy for the posse to follow. On foot, he staggers across the countryside until night falls and he finds a cabin. Realizing that one of the shots nicked him in the neck, he knows that he will need some help.

He goes to the door and knocks. The gentleman inside puts down his Braille Bible and answers the door and lets Jonah in. Mr. Jacobs is a pacifist, a Quaker, and completely sightless. He tends to Jonah wounds and notices the scar on Jonah's face. Jonah tells Jacobs that his name is Wilson and that his horse was spooked by a rattler. During dinner, Jacobs tells Jonah that his daughter is in town buying supplies & should be back tomorrow.

Suddenly there is a knock on the door, Jonah rushes into the back room as Jacobs opens the door to the sheriff. The sheriff explains about Hex being wanted for three murders and leaves a wanted poster for Jacobs to show his daughter. After the sheriff leaves, Jonah asks why Jacobs didn't turn him in, since he matched the description that the sheriff gave. Jacobs replies "Maybe you've sinned, but vengeance is the Lord's domain."

Jacobs continues to tell Jonah of his pacifist ways when a lit bottle of kerosene smashes through the window. Jonah looks outside & sees about seven men. Jacobs says that they might be Matt Henson's men. Henson has been wanting to buy the Jacobs place and has been making threats when Jacobs refuses to sell. Jonah gets the flames put out and then asks Jacobs where he keeps his Bible.

Outside, seven of Henson's men are standing waiting and as a Bible toting figure leaves the cabin, they start laughing & taunting Jacobs. They ask what Jacobs is reading in that good book. The figure raises it's head and quotes:

As they try to draw on Jonah, he opens fire and kills 5 of them before the other two ride off.

Back at Henson's place, he is furious with the two survivors. They explain about the hideous scarred man that run them off. Henson reaches into his desk & pulls out a wanted poster of Hex and asks his lackeys if that was the man. When they acknowledge that it was, Henson orders one of them to get the sheriff in the morning while Henson & the other one will round up some more men and they will all ride to the Quaker's place.

Early the next morning Jonah is riding around Jacob's land, trying to determine why Henson would want it. It's then that he finds several bluish colored rocks. He gathers a few & takes them back to the cabin. When Jonah walks in to the cabin, he is greated by the lovely, dark-haired Faith Jacobs. Jonah explains his discovery to them both, pointing out that the land has a lot of turquoise on it & folks back east are paying top dollar for it. Faith starts getting breakfast ready when she suddenly sees the wanted poster & tells her father that Hex is a wanted murderer. Jacobs explains that he is aware of it, but he won't turn Jonah in. Faith, not sharing her pappy's pacifist ways, storms out of the cabin to get the sheriff. However, she is nabbed by Henson's men and held hostage.

Henson shouts into the cabin that if Hex surrenders and Jacobs turns over his land, Faith will be unharmed. Jonah looks out the window, counting 5 men, including Henson. He gives Jacobs a psitol and instructions to shoot out the window as a distraction while Jonah tries to get behind the men. Jacobs refuses to use any form of violence, even to save his daughter. Jonah, disgusted, runs out the back door and circles around behind the men. Four of them are on horseback and one is holding a gun to Faith's head. He is the one (even though he has only one eye) that spots Jonah. Fat lot of good it did them.

Jonah kills the four on horseback and before one-eyed Joe can shoot Faith, she bites his hand, gets away & Jonah plugs him a good one. Faith shouts a warning to Jonah that another one is on the roof of the cabin. He gets shot in the left shoulder & in his right ribcage before he picks the gunman off the roof. With bodies everywhere, Faith runs to Jonah and helps him get into the cabin where her father starts tending Jonah's wounds.

As sudden pounding at the door and the Sheriff shouting to come in interrupts them. The sheriff shoves his way in only to find Jonah gone. The last two panels show Jonah barely being able to stay in the sadlle due to loss of blood, unaware that someone is pointing a rifle at him. Someone in Confederate greys with a huge scar on his face!!

Statistics for this issue
Men killed by Jonah: 11 men, making this one of the bloodiest issues yet.

Running Total - 125
Jonah's Injuries: A bullet graze in the neck, shot in the left shoulder & right ribcage.
Timeline: Part of the Jonah Hex murderer arc, I haven't determined YET a timeline for this one. I'm having trouble pinpointing the first printing of the first American Braille Bible, one source points to 1838, another 1881 and another is 1911. This looks like it will be no help in putting this story in the timeline, so I think we'll have to wait until a later story for some clues.

I really enjoyed this story, lots of shooting, pacifist vs. gunfighter, cute Lopez women, what more could you ask for?

Next Issue: Jonah vs. the Actor's Studio and argueabbly the most bad-ass kick to the head you have EVER seen!!!.

Escort to Hell Ch 10

You & Elana climb into the hovo. You sit there for a minute looking at the instruments, trying to compare it to the guages & dials you have seen on the cycles & cars. Elana quickly explains the altimeter, the thrust, and the horizon-line. After a few minutes, you grunt "Whutever.." and fire the hovo to life.

Pushing the vertical thrust, the hovo lifts off the rocks high enough so you can see a way through the mountains. Mashing the pedal, the hovo starts moving forward through the mountains, heading north.

The ground passes quickly beneath you at your cruising speed of 120 mph. You're thinking about what plan you'll use once you get to Sisco but after about 30 minutes your thoughts are disrupted by a loud BANG from behind you.

"Whut in thunder..?"

Elana looks back and sees flames shooting through the skin of the hovo, "Looks like a lateral stabilizer went. Throttle down and get this on the ground before we spiral!" You start dropping speed and lowering the hovo, trying to steer away from the mountains. Through a pass you see some trees. You would have preferred the desert, less to hit out there, but beggers take what's tossed to them.

The stick is shaking in your hands as you try to keep the hovo from rotating and slamming you into the ground upside down. "Hang on, sweetheart! It's gonna be a rough row to hoe!"
Elana looks at you, shouting "WHAT?!" but just then the stick slips from your hand and the hovo pitches to left and starts spiraling. You're grabbing for the stick, trying to bring the hovo under control, fully aware that if you gain control while you're upside down, you're both dead. You manage to halt the stick's gyrations while the hovo is on it's left side. You try to jerk it to the right, but you have already started snapping the tops of trees, then into the canopy of the forest.

The hovo is cutting a gash through the trees when it decides it has had enough and starts splintering into pieces. Chunk after chunk of the hovo falls away and you start wishing the ground would get here sooner than later. The cockpit manages to hold together when the remains of the hovo finally come to a stop in the woods.

A few kicks remove the stuck cockpit cover and you and Elana both climb out. Bruised and shaken, you're both intact. Looking back at the path the hovo left you shake your head, "Never should have gotten into thet damn fool machine. Looks lahk we're awalkin' to Sisco."
Elana takes your hand, "God, you are a piece of work, Hex. A real piece of work." You both head Northeast.

After walking for several hours you're still in the forest and it is getting dark. You decide to bunk down for the night. As the fire crackles you notice something odd. You haven't seen hide nor hair of any animals since the hovo crash. Come to think of it, you haven't even heard a bird, frog, or bug all day or night.

What kind of world is this? You hunker down by the fire and fall asleep.

Next morning you decide to head out. Which way do you go?

NE, staying in the woods.

East, into & over the mountains

NE, Head for the pass through the mountains

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I'm strong to the Finnish cuz I eats my Spinach

Had a huge rash of folks from Finland reading my detailed account of Jonah Hex #8. To them I bid a hearty Mieluinen jokainen! (I hope I didn't say something wrong there). It appears that they have a Finnish forum for Jonah over there. I'll add them to my regular readers from Brazil, Portugaul, and Korea.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Jonah Hex #2 Vol 1 "The Lair of the Parrot"

Jonah Hex #2 May-June 1977
"The Lair of the Parrot"
Michael Fleisher, story - Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, art & cover

Wyandott, Texas, a small town on the Mexican border marks a turning point in the saga of Jonah Hex. Hex had pretty much been a "done in one" type guy except for a few story arcs here & there (The Point Pyhrrus story, the Fort Charlotte Massacre with Mr. Turnbull, the two stories with Joe Bigfoot). For the most part you read a Hex story & not really need to read any of the others to get the flavor of the man. I'm not sure what initaied or allowed the change to an ongoing story line. I'm assuming that since Jonah had his own book, DC was trying to increase sales.

Anyway, the story begins with Jonah minding his own business in a bar in Wyandott. A store owner leads Sherifff Baxter and two deputies into the bar & accuses Jonah of holding up his store. Baxter tells Jonah to unhook his gunbelt and come along quietly. Jonah tells the sheriff that he just got into town 15 minutes ago and then "Tiny", the deputy punches Jonah in the face, punches him in the gut, breaks a chair over his head and then drags him out of the bar & into the jail. Jonah gets awakened in jail with a bucket of cold water and is surrounded by Baxter, his two deputies and Ned Landon, a special agent for the U.S. Secret Service.

Landon explains that the US government needs Jonah's help & they are willing to drop the fake charges they drummed up to get him into the sheriff's office. Jonah turns down the big-hearted offer and then the negotiating commences:

Landon explains that a Mexican bandit leader, El Papagayo, is holed up in the canyons around Villa Rojo. For three years his band has been robbing everything in sight and has convinced the Mexican people that he is interested in overthrowing President Porfirio Diaz . The US has to stop him, but can't do it openly. Landon wants Hex to join El Papyago's gang, learn what his plans are and then report back. Hex will be taking two cases of "the U.S.Army's most modern repeating rifles" to sell to the bandit. Landon will put out a story that the rifles were stolen, lending credence to Hex's story. Hex takes the job, telling Landon to keep the $10 g's warm.

After Jonah leaves, Landon walks back into the sheriff's office and thanks everyone for their help, pulls a pistol and shoots all three of the men dead. Quietly walking out into the night, Landon tips his hat & leaves.

Ten days later, the buckboard that Landon gave Jonah is winding it's way through the Villa Rojo canyon. Two of El Papyago's guards spy the buckboard & fill the driver with lead. Running down the canyon they discover that all they shot was Jonah's clothes tuffed with straw & Jonah is standing behind them in his longjohns, both guns drawn. Shortly thereafter, Jonah drives the buckboard right into the camp of El Papagayo.

Papagayo congratulates Jonah for finding his hideout without developing "lead poisoning". Jonah mentions that he had good guides and uncovers the two guards who are under the tarp in the back of the buckboard. The guards start pleading with the bandit, saying that they were tricked. Papagayo admits that everyone makes mistakes and then shoots the first guard, stating that he must save his bullets for the upcoming revolution, he knifes the other guard in the chest. Papagayo turns his attention to Jonah and questions why Jonah is there.

Jonah breaks open a case of rifles, Winchester 74's, and tells Papagayo that he will sell them for $5 each. Papagayo mentions that is a good price, but Jonah has forgotten that he is surrounded by men. Papagayo orders his men to kill Jonah, but Hex quickly draws and guns down four men before they can return his fire. Papagayo has the dead men dragged away and then says that he & Hex can deal over dinner since the bandit is ready to pay $4 for each rifle. Jonah corrects Papagayo and says that he was asking for $7.50 from the start.

Later during dinner involving a lot of music, liquor, dancing & roast goat, one of Papagayo's men comes running up, explaining that the rifles are worthless, the firing pins have been removed. Papagayo pulls his pistol to kill Hex, but Jonah grabs a rifle and slams the rifle butt right into Papagayo's maracas. Then in one of the most badass things I have ever seen, he.. well, just look:

He throws the bandit leader into his own men and takes off. To get away he has to:
  1. Stab the bandit guarding the horses. Check!
  2. Steal the first horse he can find. Check!
  3. Jump the horse over a nearby canyon while everyone shoots at him. Check!
Hex decides he needs to speak with Landon regarding those missing firing pins, so he heads back to Wyandott Texas.

About a week later, Jonah is riding back into town and everyone is whispering about how crazy he is to come back. Jonah goes to the sheriff's office & asks where Sheriff Baxter is. The new sheriff is holding Jonah at gunpoint and tells Jonah to remove his guns, he is wanted for the murder of Baxter & the two deputies. Suddenly a lynch mob bursts through the front door and Jonah, seeing the writing on the wall, jumps through a window, grabs his horse and rides out of town under a volley of gunfire. It's not for several hours that Jonah can stop and water his horse, but when he does he tries to figure out how to track down Landon.

The epilogue shows Landon riding up to a broken down barn. He walks into the darkened barn. A voice in the dark asks if the plan worked. Landon reports that it did, that hex bought everything, including the part about the Secret Service. The voice tells Landon that he has served his purpose and a gunshot drops Landon to the ground, dead. The last panel hints at the identity of the plots mastermind.

Statistics for this issue
Men killed by Jonah: 5 total (1 stabbed, 4 shot)
Running Total - 115
Jonah's injuries: Punched in the face, punched in the groin, & a chair over the head
Timeline - There are several things to consider:
  1. Since Ned Landon states that he came all the way from Washington, that means that this story does NOT take place between 1870 & 1874, when the Secret Service HQ was located in New York City.
  2. The mention of President Diaz would place this between November of 1876 & Nov of 1880, or between Nov 1884 & 1911. The later rule of Diaz would too late for this to be a Jonah hex tale, so we will place this between 1876 & 1880 (until we find out more later).
  3. There is also the reference to Winchester '74s, presumable made in 1874 ,the '76 would have been the newest rifle available when Diaz was president. We can only assume that the DC universe was starting to deviate from our real history by this point.
This is another great story from Fleisher & Lopez with the beginning of an arc that will last for several issues. Introducing El Papagayo in a way that showed the bandit as ruthless was very well done. One real surprise this issue was a letter from Fred G Hembeck. I kid you not!

Next Week: The blind leading the blind & them damn pacifists!!!

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Last week was Sergio Aragones!!! This week is a Show-Biz personality that managed to get a seat right up front!!

Who is sitting RINGSIDE??????

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Pitchman-A-Go-Go #17

Yet another ad with strong rippling muscles straight from Joe Louis & Mickey Mantle