Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Weird Western Halloween

Sure, Chris can get away with showing Jonah being attacked by guys in skeleton outfits, but what does Jonah Hex really do on Halloween?

Well, first off, he does a little grave robbing...He'll check on the local pile of rotting corpses....
He might swing by and look at the local caged werewolf....

He'll dress up to scare some of the trick-or-treaters...Then when THIS shows up at his door....

He'll deal with it in an appropriate manner,by throwing a little something into his goodie bag

Monday, October 29, 2007

Jonah Hex #28 "Night of the Savage!"

Jonah Hex #28 Sept. 1979
"Night of the Savage!"
Michael Fleisher, story - E.R.Cruz, art - Luis Dominguez, cover

The story starts off with Jonah caught in a nighttime downpour and he's complaining about being a whole day late getting to Bartonsville. Jonah is responding to a telegram he received from 4 men; Stults, Marshall, Gabler, & Jenkins.

Thity five miles away we find Mr. Stults in his cabin with bodyguards. Stults is wondering what is keeping Hex and is afraid that the death threat he has in his hand will come to pass before midnight.

We see a huge Indian brave climbing on the roof, carrying a blanket. The Indian places the blanket over the chimney and when the smoke gets too intense in the cabin, Stults & the bodyguards run out. When Stults stumbles off the proch, the Indian is there, mounted on his horse, a bow & arrow drawn taught. The Indian sends the arrow straight into Stults, killing him, and then rides off with the bodyguards firing their pistols after him.

The next day Jonah Hex has located Marshall, Gabler, & Jenkins, all three at the cemetery, having just buried Stults. Jonah apologizes for being late and the three men explain their problem. They purchased a parcel of land from this Indian so that the town could use it for the reailraod coming through. The Indian then decided that he wasn't paid enough and has refused renegotiations and has vowed to kill all four men.

Jonah clarifies that Stults received a note prior to being murdered and Marshall shows the one that he received that morning, attached to an arrow that was shot through his window. Jonah decides to stick close to Marshall for the rest of the day. As they ride along, Jonah spies a deadfall covered with loose branches and leaves. Jonah dismounts and pulls back to expose the pit, filled with sharpened stakes. When Jonah stand up and turns he finds that the Indian has managed to drop a rope from a nearby tree and lynch Marshall.

Back in town Jonah explains Jenkins & Gabler what has happened to Marshall. While they are standing there arguing over Jonah's methods, an arrow comes crashing through the window. It has a note with Jenkins name on it.

That night, at Jenkins house, it nears midnight when gunfire rips through a window. Jonah knocks Jenkins to the floor and peers out the window. He can tell that the gunfire is coming from a nearby hill. Jonah tells Jenkins to keep low as he runs out the back. Heading up the hill, Jonah thinks it odd that the Indian, whose past attacks have been very close & personal, would choose a rifle this time.

Jonah tops the hill to find a campfire into which the Indian has thrown several rifle cartridges. Just then a loud scream pierces the darkness and Jonah realizes that he had been hoodwinked as he sees the Indian riding off on his horse. Jonah manages to track the Indian most of the night, seeing through the Indian's attempts to throw Jonah off the track.

Finally Jonah sees the Indian sitting by a campfire. He slowly sneaks up behind the Indian and just as he jumps the figure, he realizes that it is a dummy made of straw and at that moment the Indian steps out of the darkness and cranks Jonah a good one on the noggin with the backside of a tomahawk.

Jonah awakens bound hand and foot with the huge Indian standing over him. The Indian starts communicating with Jonah via sign language. He relates how last month the four men rode to the Indian's land to attempt to buy him out so the railroad could come in. He invited the men into his hogan and they smoked for some time. Then one of the white men brought out some liquor and in no time the Indian was blind drunk. The four men convinced the drunken Indian to sign away his property and after the Indian passed out the white men killed the Indian's wife (rape is possibly implied here). The Indian awoke some time later, realized what happened and went into the forest for a week long fast, asking the great spirit for guidance. Following the request of the great spirit, the Indian cut out his own tongue as a sacrifice and then murder the four men.

The Indian leaves Jonah in order to kill Gabler. Jonah, alone, manages to get his knife from his shirt and cut himself loose. Hex realizes the men are getting what he deserves, but Jonah has his reputation to think of and takes off after the Indian.

At Gabler's house the Indian smashes through the front door with a tree and as Gabler falls to his knees before the tomahawk wielding Indian, Jonah walks in with a rifle. Jonah tells the Indian that Gabler will stand trial and will probably hang but the Indian swiftly swings his weapon and smashes the only lamp in the room and jumps out the window. Jonah fires after him, but the Indian makes it to his horse and rides off. Gabler rants at Jonah for missing but Jonah tells him that he never misses, just sometimes he doesn't hit what he's aiming at, besides, Jonah won't rest until he brings that Indian in so the law can deal with him.

Statistics for this issue
Men killed by Jonah - zero
Running Total - 233
Jonah's Injuries - Cranked on the head with a tomahawk.
Timeline - Nothing in the story to indicate a timeline except that Jonah starts off in a rain storm, more than likely NOT the one he finished last issue in.

I'm really really torn on this issue. Jonah gets completely schooled by this Indian, falling for tricks that Jonah has used time and again, so this was more out of character than almost every other Hex story. Also, we never see this Indian again, even though Jonah vowed to hunt him down. Aaaaand, the cover gives away the whole story (on the plus side, SallyP gets a partial Indian butt-shot)

The other side likes to see Jonah fail once in awhile but this was excessive. I guess I can't give this issue a thumbs up.

Next Issue: Jonah tries to help a little girl and ends up in a pine box!

"A whut-kinda box?"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pitchman-A-Go-Go #19

Yup, "like O.J., kids too need the extra step when they're on the spot. " and "There's a pair that's priced right and made right to fit every kind of O.J."

From 1979

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Jonah Hex #27 "The Wooden Sixgun!"

Jonah Hex #27 Aug 1979
"The Wooden Sixgun!"
Michael Fleisher, story - Vicente Alcazar, art - Luis Dominguez, cover

Yup, I'm back. I've been repairing and painting my house myself (with the help of friends) so that explains my absence, but we're back in the saddle and Jonah is in the thick of it. We start with Jonah facing down 3 men who, of course, end up dead. As Jonah rides out of town a young boy talks to his dad about Jonah Hex being the fastest gun ever. The dad says that there ain't no happiness in a life like that.

Late that night, Jonah is sitting by his campfire when he hears someone trying to sneak up on him. He pulls his pistol and almost plugs the young boy, Timothy Walker, right between the eyes. Tim has snuck out and is hoping that Jonah can teach him how to be a gunfighter. Jonah sees that the boy has a holster with a wooden sixgun in it. Tim shows Jonah his fast draw and Jonah says that with practice the kid could be good.

As Jonah pours Tim some coffee, he relates a story of a similar wooden gun that he had as a boy. "It wuz the spring of 1849 and ah'd just turned eleven..."

Jonah, as a boy, is running around playing with his wooden sixshooter when his paw calls for him. Jonah comes running but he is not fast enough for Woodson and receives a strong stroke across the chops for it and falls to the ground. Woodson has some moonshine running to do and wants Jonah to have the firewood chopped and the fence mended before he gets back that night. Woodson rides off and Jonah gets right to work...shooting rocks and jackrabbits with his toy gun.

He hears someone call to him and he finds a man, shot, lying in tall grass. Jonah takes the man back to his cabin and helps bandage him up. The man gives Jonah $10 and Jonah lets it slip that he recognizes the man as Bart Mallory, a stagecoach robber. Mallory comments on Jonah's wooden gun and gives Jonah a few pointers on being a gunfighter (keep your thumb level & forward, don't wear you holster high...) when they are interrupted by a knock on the door.

Jonah answers the door to find Sheriff Harper and a posse looking for Mallory. They leave a wanted poster with Jonah saying that they'll give him $5 of the $5,000 reward if he helps them catch Mallory. He couldn't have gone far since they managed to shoot him earlier. They ride off and Jonah goes back inside.

Mallory thanks Jonah and offers him $5,000 all for himself, if only Jonah will help Mallory rob the Haverville bank. Jonah is astounded because nobody had robbed a bank in daylight before. Jonah says that he will help Mallory so they both saddle up & head out. On the way to Haverville, they stop at Lily's house so Mallory can get some 'recreation' while Jonah stays outside with the horses.

When they ride off, they are spotted by some of the sheriff's men that were staking out Lily's place. Later the Sheriff and the posse show up, demanding to know where Mallory is at. Lily says she doesn't know so, in a chilling sequence, they drag her out of her house, put her on a horse, drop a noose over her neck, and as she shouts out that Mallory mentioned the Haverville bank, they lynch her. The Sheriff and the posse decide that they can take a shortcut and beat Mallory to the bank.

Jonah & Mallory ride up in front of the bank and after the dismount, Mallory gives Jonah a real pistol and tells him to watch the horses. If anyone heads for the bank, Jonah is to fire two warning shots in the air. Mallory walks into the bank, pulls his pistol and demands all of the greenbacks, saying that he has fifty men outside. Sheriff Harper and his men jump up from behind the counters and blow Mallory clean away. Harper heads outside, finding Jonah holding the horses. He hauls Jonah inside and demands to know if Jonah is an accomplice. Mallory gasps out that he kidnapped Jonah and forced him into it, Jonah is innocent.

Harper gives Jonah a stern warning and Jonah hightails it home. He gets there just before dark and barely has time to hide the pistol Mallory gave him before his dad comes home. Woodson, drunk, sees that nothing has been done around the cabin, slaps Jonah to the ground and sends him to bed with no supper. In his room, Jonah practices his quick draw with is new genuine pistol.

Back in the present, Tim has fallen asleep and as it starts to rain, Jonah scoops Tim up and takes him back into town to his folks. The last panel shows Jonah riding alone in the rain.

Statistics for this issue
Men killed by Jonah - 3
Running Total - 233
Jonah's Injuries - slapped around as a child
Timeline - The flashback takes place in the spring of 1849, Jonah has just turned 11. In later issues, in at least two, Jonah's birthday is mentioned as being in November (by Mei Ling & Jonah himself). When this is all over I will probably have to compile how many times the November birthday is mentioned versus the spring birthday and also take into considerate how many times the 1838 birth is mentioned to determine which facts are correct.

Or I could take a chill pill.

I did enjoy this issue, I usually do like the flashbacks, because of getting to see a vulnerable young Jonah interact with someone other than his dad. The end of the story, with Jonah carrying Tim home, was a nice contrast to the opening with the gunning down of the three men. Also, with Harper hanging Lily just for harboring a thief, that was pretty harsh, but it also set us up for fearing for Jonah when Harper found out he was involved in the robbery. It was a nice touch. This was one of the better issues.

Next Issue: One of Jonah's greatest failures and the mystery of the mute Indian.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Big Bang Theory

Usually a comedy starts off slow and you have to invest time before it gets better. If The Big Bang Theory gets any better, I may be needing some oxygen. Sure, there is a slow spot or two but the timing, the writing, the characters are all spot on.

And the geek references... the pilot had the normal Stephen Hawking reference along with quantum physics and a guy in a Flash tshirt. Tonight's episode had a wonderful exploration into how to get an Ikea box up four flights of stairs.
The winning idea contained a green lantern and a power ring
And then there was the light saber...

All I can say is watch this, watch it now, watch it on Mondays. They have the pilot on the web.