Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Jonah Hex #67 "Deadman's Hand!"
Jonah Hex #67 Dec 1982
Michael Fleisher, story - Dick Ayers & Tony DeZuniga, art - Ross Andru (?) , cover
We start the new year with Deadman's Hand, a story where Jonah Hex cuts off the appendage of Boston Brand and then goes and kicks the ass of Rama Kushna just for grins. No, wait, that's wrong.
We start the new year with "Deadman's Hand", the third installment in the Cassie Wainwright saga. The splash page displays a newspaper from Friday, October 5th, stating that Jonah Hex has thwarted the Willow Bend bank robbery. Hmmm, Friday, October 5th. That would be 1872? No, that was a leap year so Oct 5th was on a Saturday. Well, it looks like it would be 1877 or 1866 (nope) or 1883 for this paper to be correct. But we all know this is 1874, right? Riiiiiiight!
Anyways, Said newspaper is being read by one Mr. Croy, a slick gamblin' man who is amazed at the headline, because HE was also involved in the terrible robbery that led to the death of Cassie Wainwright. Needless to say, he gets spooked, thinking that Hex will be on his trail soon. But, he does have time for a game of poker so he can get some traveling money.
During the game, Croy recalls that it has his idea to rob the Fort payroll so his cohorts in crime could pay off their gambling debts to him. During the card game, however, he is caught using a holdout to cheat. The other players start demanding their money and when things get ugly, Croy produces a pistol using another holdout, killing a man. He leaves the saloon, stealing a horse and killing the owner.
A week later and two hundred miles away in Careysburg, New Mexico Jonah rides up to a saloon and finds three smelly cowhands harassing a saloon girl. Jonah walks in and asks the barkeep if the chairs are solid oak. The barkeep affirms that they are and Jonah busts one upside the head of cowpoke #1. Cowpoke #2 gets a beatdown with a chair leg and cowpoke #3 gets thrown into a wonderful upright piano.
The saloon girl, Lisa, tells Jonah that she is fine and would love to have Hex buy her a drink...in another saloon.
Much later that night in Jonah's hotel room, Lisa is admiring Jonah's exploits and saying that if SHE were a man, she would be just like Jonah. She grabs his hat and puts it on, strutting around the room in her undies and then
DIES OF A BULLET RIGHT THROUGH THE HEART!!!!!
Yup, seems the heartless bastard Croy has tracked Jonah down and was across the street in a loft with a rifle. He saw a shadowy figure with a cowboy hat in Jonah's window and let fly with the led.
Back in the room, Jonah grabs his pistols and heads across the street to find absolutely nothing. The next morning, Jonah is seeing to Lisa at the undertaker's when the cowpokes 3 come in, looking for revenge. Jonah calls them scum for killing Lisa and guns down all three confused looking men.
Jonah heads outside and as he is walking down the street, Croy, stationed on a rooftop, shoots Jonah, this time for real. However, it is just a scalp wound and Jonah is taken to the local doctor office where, for 72 hours, he is in a delirium which leads us to..
1859. A corporal comes in to Col. Wainwright's office to announce that the paymaster wagon is overdue. Jonah mounts up with several cavalry with him and heads out looking for wagon. Jonah is able to pick up on the tracks and they find the burnt remains of the wagon as well as...
END OF FLASHBACK!!!
Jonah almost snaps out of it but is still weak.
Down the street, the town crier enters the saloon, announcing that Hex will live. Croy, soaking the locals in poker is stupified, but decides to finish the job later that night.
After dark, he makes his way to the doc's and sneaks in Hex's window. He pulls a knife and stabs the form in the bed, only to find Jonah standing in the shadows. Croy drops the knife and starts fast-talking Hex. Jonah hesitates for a moment and Croy uses the holdout to get a pistol into his hand, but misses his only shot at point-blank range. Jonah returns fire, using two bullets, since lead was cheap back in the day.
Statistics for This Issue
Men Killed By Jonah: 4
Running Total: 374
Jonah's Injuries: Bullet wound to the head.
Timeline: This one covers 10 days in 1874, but the newspaper was from 1877. We won't let a little thing like that bother us, will we? Just remember, 1874, before the wedding to Mei Ling. No mention of her, we are pre-wedding. UPDATE: looks like the newspaper was correct and this was Oct. 1877.
The story itself was pretty good, another small chapter in the Cassie saga. I didn't care for the holdout showing up again, but it had been several years since we last saw one so I guess it is okay to reuse that device. I hated that Lisa bought the farm, getting shot for just wearing Jonah's hat (You listening SallyP & Sea? Don't be playing with men-folk clothes).
Next Issue: Moose hunting, more tragedy visits the Wainwrights and Jonah becomes a lawman!