Friday, February 26, 2010

Hex #3 "The Lotus Eaters!"

Hex #3 Nov 1985
"The Lotus Eaters!"
Michael Fleisher, story - Mark Texeira and Carlos Garzon, art - Denys Cowan and Klaus Janson, cover

Jonah has stolen a motorcycle in his escape from the Needle and is currently being pursued by a hovercraft and two other motorcycles. Jonah bravely guns the bike and jumps across a gorge and his two cycle pursuers are unable to make the leap. The hovercraft is closing in and the pilot is reporting his status to Needle HQ when Jonah unlimbers his pistol and with two shots quickly dispatches the pilot into the great beyond.

Jonah rides for quite some time across the desert wasteland of Washington state and finally comes across a town (if you can call it that). There are several people in the street and on the sidewalks who have set up charcoal grills and are sitting next to them in a state of stupor. However, there are a few thugs of sound mind who realize that Jonah's bike would be worth several thousand soames. Three of them decide to take on Hex and steal the bike.

A fight ensues but we are able to watch the fisticuffs not only from our vantage point, but also that of the folks laying in the street. Through their drug induces stupor the fight appears to be either two large rams butting heads or clowns boxing in a circus ring. Jonah knocks out the last of the crooks just as a hovercraft lands. A slightly overweight man in a horrendous yellow shirt jumps out, introduces himself as Barnaby Blossom and offers to help Jonah escape from the gathering crowd.

Jonah takes him up on his offer and Blossom explains that he deals in lotus blossom.

Suddenly we are in a swamp with Germans and Frenchmen from WWI facing off. The French open up with their cannons, blowing the Germans to smithereens. We are then treated to a wide angle view where we see a large glass dome on a nearby mountain. The dome contains Reinhold Borsten and several of his guests who are betting on the outcome of the battle below. The Germans retaliate with poison gas and the French don their gasmasks (and put masks on their horses) and charge back into battle.

One of the men, Conroy, identifies himself as the chief of the Conglomerate's chemical entertainment division and he is wondering why the promised attraction, Jonah Hex, is absent. Borsten explains that there has been some technical difficulties. I should also note here, that all of the guests are high ranking administrators for the Conglomerate.(more on that later)

Meanwhile, Hex and Blossom are making tracks across the skies. Blossom says that he could use someone to ride shotgun to help him get his shipments through. Blossom explains that he peddles Lotus-Blossom Pacifier, it has these incredible powers to make folks forget their troubles for a little while.

Suddenly several large grappling hooks fly up in front of the hovercraft, attempting to pull it from the sky. It's a band of roving hijackers, looking to take the shipment. A net gets shot over the hovercraft and Blossom hands a shotgun to Jonah. A couple of quick rounds later and the winches on the hijacker's trucks and shot to hell and Blossom and Hex escape.

Back at the Needle, Borsten is ranting and raving about trying to complete his soames project while surrounded by idiots. Suddenly he collapses and the doctor orders that Borsten be taken to the rejuvenation bubble, stat. The doc says that Borsten's ongoing travels require that he spend more and more time in the bubble.

Some time later, Blossom and Hex land in another town. Blossom says that he's gonna show Hex the ropes and he hands Hex an air breather, while donning his own. They tote several bags of lotus out of the hovercraft and start a fire, tossing the lotus into the growing blaze. Several locals show up and stand in the rolling smoke. Blossom says that the best way to expand his territory is to give away the first few bags of lotus and he's forced to do it because the Conglomerate is always upping his quotas.

Jonah notices a young boy wandering off, muttering that he is the birdman. The boy is heading for a huge pit. Jonah yells a warning, but  the boy pays no heed. Jonah pulls out his knife, cuts a nearby rope, fashions a lariat, lassos a girder and swinging, grabs the boy just as he topples over the edge.

Once Jonah gets the boy to safety he has determined that Blossom is a dangerous man. Hex grabs a huge tarp from a junkpile and tosses it on the fire, extinquishing it. Blossom goes nuts with rage, ripping Jonah's mask off and then making a run for the hovercraft. As Blossom takes off, Jonah starts suffering the effects of the Lotus smoke but is able to jump onto the top of the craft as it lifts off.

Blossom tries to shake Hex off, but Jonah ends up crashing through the sunroof. Blossom pulls out a crossbow, but Hex delivers a right hook. Blossom hands back an uppercut and Jonah pulls some quick ISB-Fu (aka kick to the head). Blossom staggers backwards into the hovercraft controls, causing the craft to flip, throwing Blossom out the busted sun roof.

Blossom plummets to his death, but slams into a building girder. He manages to hang on, screaming for help from the drug addled crowd below. However, they are having delusions and are of no help at all. Blossom slips and falls to his death.

Meanwhile, Jonah is still in the hovercraft and the whole thing is completely out of control, with the ground rushing upwards....

Statistics for This Issue
Men killed by Jonah - 4
Running Total - 445 (428 past, 17 future)
Jonah's Injuries - Just a fistfight or two, no big deal
Timeline - Looks like this is day two of Jonah's time in the future.

I wasn't all that thrilled with this issue. We learn what Borsten is doing with all the armies from the past, however that are still several things unexplained: soames, why Borsten needs the rejuvenation bubble, what is the Conglomerate, what happened to Harris? This advanced the story (via mysteries) enough to keep you coming back for the next issue, but as far as action, it was kinda lame and limping along.

Next Issue: (Mr. Fleisher, will you do the honors?) The Worms crawl in, The Worms crawl out, The Worms eat your guts and spit them out!! (Yup, that was at the bottom of the last page)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jonah Hex script review

Nope, I don't have a copy, but I did see that the Latino Review posted a quick comment about the script. There's not a whole lot to it, basically talks about the opening scene and some stuff shortly after that. However, this is from March of 2008, so I'm sure a lot of this has been changed, especially since they went into reshoots and gave Megan Fox more screen time. I'll go ahead and say it... "SPOILER ALERT." (not really, but how am I to know what qualifies as a SPOILER to you?)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hex #2 "Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?"

HEX #2 Oct 1985
"Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?"
Michael Fleisher, story - Mark Texeira, art - Mark Texeira and Klaus Janson, cover

Two large US Army helicopters fly over the Viet Nam jungles in the 1960's. Several of the grunts inside are talking about several topics but mostly we get to know Winslow, the folksong playing soldier who has his guitar with him, Harris the angry black man, and Berkowitz the book nerd who is reading about wild west gunfighting. Suddenly a large blinding light appears in the sky and the lead helicopter vanishes into it. The second chopper (with our aforementioned soldiers) is also drawn into the light and suddenly appears directly above Jonah Hex on his motorcycle.

The pilots are unable to regain control of the helicopter and they crash in the Washington state desert. Two technicians that work for Reinhold Borsten see everything on a large viewscreen and notify Borsten of the accident. It seems that they inadvertantly captured two helicopters from the past instead of one. As they are displaying the scene of the wreckage, Borsten notices that Jonah Hex is on the scene and he orders that Hex be brought back to him.

At the crash site, Jonah has pulled several soldiers from the rubble. He is about to rescue some more when Harris tells him to stay back since the fuel tanks might explode. It just so happens that the three soldiers that we met are the only three to survive. Berkowitz introduces everyone but Harris isn't about to play nice nice with a white guy from the South. When Hex introduces himself, Berkowitz recognizes the name but doesn't say anything. Jonah quickly tells his story and tells them that they are outside Seattle but just then three huge rolling battle wheels come over the hill.

The machine guns that our boys are carrying do no good against the wheels, but Jonah realizes that there is a small slit in the firing dome and three slugs later there are three dead battle wheel drivers. Hex and the boys are able to commandeer one of the battle wheels (the other having crashed) and they take off across the wasteland.

Meanwhile, back at the 'Needle', Borsten is chewing out his lead commander for having failed to bring in Jonah Hex. Borsten will hear none of the commanders excuses but instead demands that 'the girl' be brought in. A woman walks in from the shadows and Borsten explains that he has a job for her and then we learn that she is STILETTA!!!

Several hours later, Hex is on his cycle with Berkowitz and Harris and Winslow are in the battle wheel. during the ride, Berkowitz verifies with Jonah that he disappeared in 1875 (LIAR!!!!). They finally decide that they are all in the future and that Borsten has the means to get them all home. They decide that they will need some bigger firepower to get in.

Winslow's father worked at a secret base outside Seattle, so they head that way, hoping there might be something leftover that they can use. They finally show up at the base and start searching some of the remaining buildings when they hear some growling. They turn and discover that the base is still guarded by robots dogs with friggin' lasers on their shoulders!!!

The robo-hounds shrug off normal firepower so Harris lobs a grenade and takes out one. Jonah leads another hound to a weak spot in the floor so that it falls through, but there is no way to stop the third one. The three Army men are trying to open a door at the end of the corridor and Hex attempts to slow down the robo-hound. The guys get the door open and are holding it for Hex but Jonah realizes that the dog is too close, if Hex gets inside the door, the hound will too. Jonah runs to the door and slams it shutting, turning to face the dog himself.

He's hoping to pull a Roy Schneider and put one bullet straight down the dog's gullet. The dog gets closer...closer, leaps and.... EXPLODES!! When the smoke clears...

Later we find the Army guys working on some sort of hovercraft that they have found and they are discussing Hex. Harris still ain't convinced that Jonah is nothing but a Confederate racist. Meanwhile, Jonah and Stiletta are outside the building making up for lost time.

Shortly they have the hovercraft functional but they still haven't solved the problem of getting inside the Needle. Stiletta explains that she can get them in, she knows the Needle like the palm of her hand. They do manage to get to the Needle and get in with no problem. Stiletta explains that there will be few guards at this time of night. Stiletta tells Hex and Harris to guard the rear while Winslow and Berkowitz follow Stiletta, who is taking point. As they are walking, we see a control room with Borsten watching a large screen that provides Stiletta's point of view.

Stiletta gets past one part of the hallway when suddenly Winslow and Berkowitz are struck by a red beam and killed. Harris goes absolutely bonkers. He starts screaming at Stiletta, accusing her of being a lying SOB just like Lyndon Johnson. Stiletta starts pleading for Hex to believe in her, but something clicks in her right eye. Then her right eye flashes red and goes dark ?!?! Harris grabs his gun and ...

Of course, Hex knocks the bejeezus outta Harris but then Harris walks over to Stiletta's corpse, reaches into her skull and pulls out her eye...her CAMERA EYE!! Harris explains that she is a robot and this whole thing is a setup.

Borsten sends in the troops to capture Hex and a huge gunfight ensues. Jonah starts to head down the corridor when he hears troops trying to outflank them but then an electric net springs up between him and Harris. Jonah manages to jump out of a window and commandeer another motorcycle, leaving Borsten's screams being heard throughout the Needle.

Statistics for this Issue
Men Killed by Jonah - This is gonna be tough in this series with how often Hex is shooting into large groups of people, but here goes - 8
Running Total - 441 (428 past, 13 future)
Jonah's Injuries - Shot in left shoulder
Timeline - This one starts immediately after last issue. Hex and the guys spend a night in the Army base and it appears to be dawn when Jonah leaves the Needle (but I doubt that). We'll just call this a day and that night. Jonah has been in the future for one whole day!!

I really enjoyed this issue. I loved Texeira's work with the forced perspective and the way he used the panels at times I could almost feel camera movement. It started expanding the supporting cast around Hex and it showed that folks were going to die in this book and that we can't really trust everything we see (Stiletta a ROBOT?!?!?). The robot dogs and the War Wheels were kinds trite (Blackhawk fought War Wheels!) but all in all this is great fun (despite Harris being an 'angry Black man'). I especially liked Stiletta standing there saying "Did'ja miss me, tiger?" like some punk-future Mary Jane Watson.

Next Issue: Jonah takes on the drug dealers and gets beat up by a guy named BLOSSOM!!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Updated Injury List

Just been updating Jonah's Injury List. I have gotten everything up to and including Jonah Hex #20. I would love to have a graphic of Jonah's body and when you hover your cursor over it there is a pop up detailing all the wounds. Anyone know how to make something like that?

Anyway, go take a gander at it while I get some scanning done for HEX #2

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jonah Hex Movie collectibles..

Wow, there is a slew of them that has popped up lately. First, the busts from DC Direct: Josh Brolin as Jonah Hex
and then Megan Fox as Liela

and Cooltoyreview has some photos of the NECA actions figures that include Hex

and then the first we get to see of John Malkovich as Quentin Turnbull

a different interpretation of our hated Southern gentleman for sure.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Hex #1 "Once Upon a Time... in the West?!?"""

Hex #1 Sept 1985
"Once Upon a Time... in the West?!?"
Michael Fleisher, story - Mark Texeira, art - Klaus Janson, cover

Jonah Hex wakes up to find himself asleep on a saloon table. He suddenly remembers Brett & Emmy Lou and then jumps up only to find them gone from the saloon. He is trying to clear his head and into the saloon strides El Papagayo. The Mexican bandit whips out his pistol and fires. Jonah dives for cover and quickly returns fire but finds that he has blown the entire top off an El Papagayo robot.

There is a sudden cut to a control room of futuristic operators monitoring Jonah Hex on a large screen.

Jonah attempts a second shot but the gun is empty and Jonah realizes that the gun is some sort of fake. He runs out of the saloon and into a futuristic corridor and he finds several armed guards rushing towards him. Jonah attempts to flee but he he is stunned by the ray-rifles the guards wield.

The guards drag Jonah into a large room with a man sitting high above at a control station.The man is Reinhold Borsten. Jonah awakens and Borsten welcomes Hex to Seattle and starts explaining that he is a student of war and all conflict. Borsten shows him holographic projections of Hannibal and the Civil War. He then displays more current history, specifically the great nuclear holocaust that has decimated the Earth. Jonah goes into an overloaded shock and passes out.

When Hex comes to, he finds himself in a large glass tube that is filling up with gas. He feels his legs going numb and grabs his pig-sticker from his jacket and uses the handle to bust his way out. Jonah is in a long room filled with hundreds of military men, all encased in the glass tubes. He finally locates a display case of pistols and he breaks the glass grabbing the guns but setting off an alarm in the process. Jonah doesn't understand what the sound is, but beats a hasty retreat nonetheless.

The alarm draws the attention of several guards, one of whom Hex shoots in the face and then Jonah's path is blocked by a force-field across a doorway (it appears to be red lightning to Jonah.) Another guard rounds the corner and Jonah grabs him and flips him into the force-field.

There are more guards coming down the corridor. When they round the corner they see Jonah crouching in the darkness and open fire, however they have been fooled into shooting their fallen comrade (upon whose head Jonah placed his Confederate hat.)

In another part of the huge compound a radioactive waste truck is leaving the facility. They get clearance from the guards and start driving across the barren wasteland and we see that Jonah is hanging underneath the truck. An alert comes across the truck's radio that there is a bounty of 2,000 soames for Hex's return. Just then the waste guy riding shotgun sees Jonah drop from underneath the truck and take off running. The truck attempts to run Hex down but he stops, spins and pumps two bullets into the workers. As the truck swerves and crashes, Hex note that the .44 tends to pull slightly to the left.

He takes off cross country, trying to figure out his situation. Remembering that Borsten mentioned Seattle, Jonah says that he has never been there, but he's heard that it has over two thousand folks in it and if he is truly in Seattle, then he has traveled over a thousand miles overnight. Jonah then stumbles upon three men threatening a blond woman. She manages to fight back but to no avail. Jonah steps in, tossing one of the men and then pulls out his pistol. Then the men allow Jonah & the girl to escape.

As they walk off she mentions that her arm is sprained and that Hex will have to drive her motorcycle. Of course, Jonah has no idea what to do and she instructs him, asking how he normally gets around and he replies "Horse."

They finally get the cycle started and get going with a fair amount of wobbling. The girl says that her name is Stiletta and asks Hex for his. She also says that he'll need to get a rado suit or the next acid storm will burn his flesh right off. Stiletta guides Hex back to her gang, the Reapers.

Once they get to the camp, Hex learns that the gang is trying to take over a water site because the last war laid waste to a majority of the clean water.Being a good hostess, Stiletta invites Jonah to dinner and then she introduces him to the leader, Falcon. Falcon invites Hex to side with them on the upcoming water war and Stiletta explains that Jonah saved her hide and then gives Hex a thank-you kiss. What Jonah doesn't know is that Stiletta is Falcon's woman.

Meanwhile, the news of Jonah's escape is being revealed to Reinhold Borsten who says that this situation needs to be rectified by the time the hardware from the Viet Nam conflict arrives.

Fifty miles from the Reapers camp, the folks that have the clean water are gearing up for the inevitable onslaught (thanks to an informer that they planted in the Reapers ranks). Of course the Reapers arrive right on schedule and by this time, Jonah has a sneaking suspicion that he has thrown his lot in with the wrong side of this fight.

The battle commences with both Jonah and Falcon having their vehicles damaged and they take shelter in a nearby building. A member of the invaded party sets the building on fire but Hex and Falcon make their escape out a back window. They both head for a hover cycle with a sidecar and as they take off it starts to rain.

Falcon mentions that it is an acid storm and that Hex will die (as he uncouples the sidecar Hex is riding in). As Hex drops to the ground, he grabs Falcon off the cycle and they both start fighting on the ground. Jonah finally beats Falcon senseless and since the acid has started burning his skin, Jonah peels the clothes off of Falcon, runs to the hover bike and jumps aboard. As Jonah starts to drive off, Falcon awakens and starts screaming for Hex to not leave him but....

Jonah drives for a short while and the rain finally stops but just then....

Statistics for this Issue
Men Killed by Jonah - 5
Running Total - 433 (428 past, 5 future)
Jonah's Injuries - None
Timeline - This story appears to happy completely within the space of one day. So far we don't know what year it is.

I really enjoyed Texeira's artwork on this one. He has a very cinematic style and he's not afraid to draw large crowds of people and the folks that he presents do each have their own stylings (facial scars, clothes, hairstyles). When I first read this I was a little miffed at how quickly Jonah took to navigating a motorcycle, but now I see that there is some wobbling depicted in the artwork. I did like that Jonah is having to re-learn who/what is right and wrong in this new world and through no fault of his own he threw in with the wrong bunch.

I did enjoy this book a lot and was pretty jazzed about the new direction that Jonah Hex found himself. Of course, I was thinking that any Jonah Hex was better than no Jonah Hex.

Next Issue: Viet Nam, robot dogs, giant wheels and the DEATH of Stilleta!!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Hex Teaser #2

This was the last page of Jonah Hex #92
But you won't have to wait until June, all the action starts right here on Monday with Hex #1!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Hex Teaser #1

This teaser on the lettercol of Jonah Hex #90 really had me wondering if that was actually Emmy Lou alongside Jonah.

Turns out to be yet another blonde with an attitude!

Jonah Hex #92 "A Blaze of Glory!"

Jonah Hex #92 Aug 1985
"A Blaze of Glory!"
Michael Fleisher, story - Gray Morrow, art - Conan and Klaus Janson, cover.

Jonah Hex finds himself atop a hill in the pouring rain, looking down on a farmhouse. He decides that he might be able to find shelter in the barn and heads on out.

In the barn are a couple of things. 1) A young girl asleep in the hay and 2) six men planning on dividing up half a million dollars in stolen loot (or $106.25 million today!). Well, when there is money and guns, guns usually come into play. Five of the men decide that they can kill the other one (the banker) and have more loot. So they do just that. The gunshots awaken the young girl (Cindy) and also alert Jonah that something is up. The girl tries to sneak out but the mean hear her and try to catch her. She hits one with a branding iron and bolts for the door. Outside she runs into a hay field and ends up finding Jonah Hex, hiding there himself.

The men walk into the hayfield and Jonah guts one of them before he and; the girl sneak off to his horse. As they ride off on Jonah's horse, the remaining four men shoot at them.

Emmy Lou is finding that the rainstorm is starting to flood the hole she is in and it has made the sides too slippery to climb out. She starts hollering for help and an old man in a nearby cabin hears her over the rain. He grabs his rifle and; dog and he sets out to find out what is going on.

Brett who is also nearby hears Emmy's cries as well and starts searching harder. The old man arrives at the hole first, tosses down a rope and hauls her out, taking her back to his cabin. However, Brett has seen all of this and now knows where Emmy is.

Meanwhile, Jonah and the young girl are still riding. She asks where they are going and Jonah says that she will stay with some ranchers he knows until he can catch the bank robbers and then get her back to her family. She states that she is an orphan. Despite the fact that she wants to help Jonah locate and identify the killers, Jonah drops her off at the ranch house. Jonah rides off into the night to locate the killers.

Up in her room a few minutes later, Cindy decides to climb out the window, steal a horse and take out after Jonah Hex. Of course, while she is out looking for Hex, the four killers, who are searching for her and Jonah, happen to see her ride past in the distance and take off after her.

Back at the old man's cabin, Emmy is drying out by the fire when there is a knock at the door. Emmy tries to stop the old man from answering it, but Brett busts in and cranks the old man upside the head. The man's dog leaps into the fray and takes a hunk out of Brett's arm, giving Emmy the chance to get out the door and into the darkness.

Jonah finally locates some tracks of the four killers just as Cindy shows up. Jonah is about to read her the riot act when he suddenly realizes they are in the crosshairs. Jonah knocks Cindy to the ground just in time to avoid getting shot and he hustles her behind some rocks for protection. Jonah runs out to his horse to grab his rifle, but he is unable to get a shot at the killers.

Jonah asks Cindy if she has ever fired a rifle and she says that her daddy taught her. Jonah interrupts her and she says that he taught her before he died. Jonah tells her to fire a shot every ten seconds and he heads out to get the drop on the killers.

Meanwhile the killers have their own ideas, sending one of their guys to be on the lookout in case Hex decides to ambush them. Eventually Jonah does sneak up behind the killers and as he lights a stick of dynamite, one of the gunmen steps out of the shadows and is about to shoot Hex. Suddenly the thug falls, dead from Cindy' rifle shot. Jonah then tosses the dynamite and finishes off the remaining three.

The next morning Jonah and Cindy are in town, turning the remains in to the sheriff and collecting the bounty. Cindy is excited that she'll be able to ride with Hex but just then a man and woman run up and start hugging Cindy, saying that she was a runaway. Cindy's dad starts to give Hex a reward for finding their daughter, but Jonah shrugs him off, still counting his reward from bringing in the killers.

Jonah wanders down the street, ignoring the cries of Cindy, and heads into a saloon. He orders a drink and is standing at the bar when Emmy Lou suddenly runs in. Emmy breathlessly tells Jonah that someone is after her and then Brett crashes into the saloon, telling Jonah to step aside. Jonah calmly tells Brett to put the gun away but it looks like there will be a shootout when that strange ray appears and Jonah Hex vanishes in front of everyone.

Statistics for this Issue
Men killed by Jonah - 5
Running Total - 428
Jonah's Injuries - none
Timeline - This one covers one night and into the next day. I'll go out on a limb and say that puts us at August 1st, 1878 as the Matching Dragoons official date of Jonah Hex's disappearance. Emmy Lou is left to face Brett alone (and doesn't end up in the future as I thought from some of the teaser ads for Hex)

All in all, a sad end to Volume one of Jonah Hex. Jonah acts out of character turning down the money, one minute he appears to be happy about having Cindy around and the next he ignores her. I always wished that this book could have made it to issue 100, but on a bimonthly schedule, 8 more issues would be over another year of very poor sales.

Next Issue - Well, there ain't no next issue, but we start off with issue number one of HEX (which is how it should be read, at the top of your lungs.)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Jonah Hex #91 "Sweetheart of the Rodeo"

Jonah Hex #91 June 1985
"Sweetheart of the Rodeo"
Michael Fleisher, story - Gray Morrow, art - Ed Hannigan & Mark Texeira, cover (Layout by Neal Adams)

Jonah is riding across the west searching for clues to the location of Emmy Lou. He comes across a lovely woman trick riding but her horse is suddenly spooked by a rattler and she is thrown, however her foot is caught in a stirrup. As she is being dragged, Jonah overtakes her horse, jumps upon it and brings it to a stop. He helps her to her feet and much later fixes her dinner around the campfire.

Jonah learns that the young woman's name is Carolee and she is 21 but Jonah thinks she is closer to 18 and that she has run away from home. Carolee says that she ran away from home because she wants to be a trick rider in Rory Starbuck's Wild West Show. Hex asks if that is show opening up in a couple days at a nearby farm. Carolee mentions that it is.

Jonah says that he has a friend that is working as a stock handler and maybe they can her an audition. Carolee is very grateful and starts showering Jonah with kisses. He tells her to hold off, he's old enough to be her father and she responds...

The next afternoon Jonah's friend gives Carolee an audition and the owner of the show hires her on the spot. As Jonah & Carolee are heading to the barn to get their horses & head into town, they discover that the barn is on fire. Jonah tells Carolee to run & get help. Jonah starts to toss sand onto the fire but he notices someone sneaking up on him. He turns in time to use the sand bucket to deflect a bullet and then hits his attacker with the bucket and then punches the man's lights out.

Before the rest of the Wild West show can arrive, someone hits Jonah in the back of the head and drags his attacker off. Jonah is rescued from the barn and the show folks save the barn.

That night, Jonah is recovering from his attack & is talking with Rory Starbuck. Starbuck says that the men responsible had worked for him, but were discovered stealing livestock. The men went to prison but are now out and aim to settle the score. Starbuck hires Jonah Hex to keep the men from succeeding.

Meanwhile, Emmy is leading her horse through the darkness, trying to escape from Brett. She stops at a stream to get a drink and when she starts to stand back up she sees Brett on the other side. She grabs a handful of gravel and slams it into Brett's eyes. Before Brett can recover, she grabs a rock and smashes it across the side of his face. Jumping on her horse, Emmy rides off as Brett fires a couple of shots after her.

Back in town with Jonah & Carolee in their hotel room, Jonah is regretting having gotten involved with Carolee. He mentions that she is just 17 and he is more than twice that. Carolee doesn't mind and she grabs Jonah in her arms, the scene fades to black.

The next morning, Jonah is trying to pick up some sort of trail on the guys that burnt the barn. As he is riding along, one of the jaspars takes a shot at him & Jonah topples from his horse. Then said jaspar walks up, Jonah sits up unharmed and shoots jaspar dead. However, the dead jaspar has some friends up in teh rocks and they open fire on Hex.Jonah moves to some rocks and returns fire as a strange ray falls from the sky, hits the dead jaspar, causing him to vanish.

Jonah is able to chase off the other two men but when he turns around, the dead man is gone!

Several hours later at the Wild West Show, Carolee is working on her act. Jonah realizes that the men terrorizing the show won't show up again as long as he is around. A couple of rodeo clowns walk by and Jonah hatches a plan. Starbuck is talking to Carolee about how she is going to be a big star and that she will soon be their #1 attraction!

Meanwhile, Emmy realizes that she is going to need a fresh horse and as she dismounts to walk the horse for awhile, she suddenly falls into a covered pit.

That evening we find Jonah Hex in clown makeup watching the crowd, looking for the thugs threatening the show. He also notices Carolee and Starbuck doing some heavy duty lip locks behind the scenes. Jonah starts to put an end to it but another rodeo clown grabs Jonah and pushes him into the arena in order to distract the bulls from the bullriders. Jonah ends up diving into a barrel and having a bull knock him around the arena for awhile.

The two leftover thugs show up and draw on Starbuck & Carolee. They herd both of them towards the payroll wagon but Jonah jumps out of the barrel, scales the fence around the arena, grabs a rope and swings to the rescue. Thus the two thugs are beat to a pulp by the most bad-ass clown that ever lived!

Jonah then demands to know why Carolee was spit-swapping with Starbuck. Carolee says that it was Jonah's idea. Jonah had said it wouldn't work between them & she should find a younger man. Jonah stomps off to remove his clown makeup and ends up busting the mirror in the makeup tent in frustration.

Meanwhile, Emmy Lou can find no way out of the pit she has fallen into.

Statistics for the Issue
Men killed by Jonah - 1
Running Total - 424
Jonah's Injuries - none
Timeline - This issue seems to pick up where the last one ended. It covers two days. Let's say it is the very end of July 1878.

Again, I don't care for Morrow's work on this one. Everything seems so murky and wooden. The story is not a great one either. Jonah falls for Carolee way too quickly and gets burnt by her just as fast (of course, she is only 17!) Not much develops with Emmy Lou and we get nothing of Mei Ling and we will never see Adrian Sterling again. I also disliked the Laurel & Hardy clown joke. Kinda cute, but outta place in a western book. For me the best part was the cover.

Next Issue: Emmy Lou & Brett's final confrontation, Jonah gets involved with an even younger woman, and that mysterious ray appears once again.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Jonah Hex #90 "Starlight, Star Bright,... First Star I See Tonight!"

Jonah Hex #90 Apr 1985
"Starlight, Star Bright... First Star I See Tonight!"
Michael Fleisher, story - Gray Morrow, art - Mark Texeira, cover

Jonah Hex has had enough of Mrs. Crowley's boarding house and is saddling up his horse when Mrs. Crowley tries to stop him. Hex states that no matter what the doc has said, he needs to help a friend and he rides off.

Meanwhile, many miles away, J.D. Hart is hanging out with some kids. The kids toss coins in the air and the Marshall shoots all of them before they hit the ground. Just then a silver haired young woman rides up and introduces herself as Silver Ames. She states that last month in Abilene she gunned down Kingfish Belden, the third fastest gun in the west. She tells Hart that folks say he's the second fastest and she's going to kill him. Hart waves her off and turns to leave, but Silver draws anyway and pumps three slugs into Hat's back, right in front of the kids. As Hart lays there dying, Silver jumps on her horse & rides off.

Several hours later Jonah is riding in the mountains trying to decide how to pick up Emmy Lou's trail when there is a sudden avalanche. As he & his horse start sliding among the falling rock, Jonah unleashes a lasso and misses snagging an outcropped rock. He and his horse fall to the bottom of the cliff and are knocked out.

Much later that night, Mei Ling is called into the office of the local undertaker to identify the body of J.D. Hart. She starts crying that men & their guns have destroyed her life but the sheriff tells her that is a woman that killed Hart.

Speaking of that murderous female, we find Silver Ames camped out, having a handy flashback. She remembers her father, a sheep herder, telling her that a man needs to learn to use a gun. Just then a bunch of cattle ranchers ride up and gun down her father. Silver makes a vow that she would become the deadliest gun in the west and starts practicing with her father's pistols. When she is grown she tracks down her father's killers and avenges her father, but she doesn't stop there, slowly working her way across the west.

Back at Jonah, he finally wakes up to a pouring storm. He pulls himself to his feet and walks off in search of shelter. He finally finds a cave, thinking that he will more than likely stumble upon a sleeping grizzly, but, surprisingly, Jonah isn't attacked by a bear...

Meanwhile, at the hideout of Brett and his gang, Brett finds that Emmy is sulking about having shot Jonah. Brett goes into her room to 'cheer' her up but Emmy jams a chair under the doorknob, locking the other two women out of the room. Emmy pulls a knife on Brett and slashes him across the face. A fight ensues and Emmy throws an oil lamp to the floor catching the cabin on fire. She throws a chair through the window and manages to escape on horseback.

Meanwhile, Jonah has managed to drag his busted clawed up self to a cabin. He is bloody and drenched to the bone and asks for a horse. The old man in the cabin lets him take a horse and stands in the barn door waving goodbye when there is a sudden flash of light from the sky. A bolt of light flashes past Jonah and strikes the barn, causing the old man to disappear. Jonah figures that he went back in the barn & rides off.

The next morning, Jonah is back in down in the doc's office. The doc patches him up and asks if Jonah has considered hiring a doc to follow him around full time. The doc then hands over a telegram that came to the sheriff's office yesterday. Jonah takes the telegram and leaves the office. Standing on the sidewalk, Jonah reads that J.D. Hart has been gunned down and just them Silver Ames shows up.

She tells Hex that she killed Hart and she will kill Hex as well. Jonah says that she may be the fastest girl, but she won't outgun him. Her gun is slung too low, she hasn't filed off the front gun sight, her stance is way too broad. Silver tells Hex to shut up and draw on three..



THRE.. and Hex shoots her dead on the spot and walks off.

Statistics for this Issue
Men killed by Jonah - 1 (technically a woman, but it counts)
Running Total - 423
Jonah's Injuries - still recovering from Emmy shooting him , Hex survives an avalanche and being mauled by a cougar
Timeline - I don't know how long has passed from last issue and this one, Let's toss out a few days and this issue covers two days. I would say that we are at the end of July 1878.

I'm somewhat conflicted about this one. Let's take both sides:
  • The mauling by the cougar was pretty funny. Almost like Fleisher was having some fun with Jonah's "prophecies of doom" that always come true.
  • Silver Ames was an interesting character and it was a hoot how she met her end, with Hex just walking off. When I first read this book I thought that Jonah had just killed her before she could draw, but rereading it, it appears that her pistol has left the holster and Jonah did wait until she drew before gunning her down. That is even better! Jonah was way too fast for the likes of Silver.
  • Emmy giving Brett some of what was due him.
  • The death of J.D. Hart. A terrible way for the man to go. I never cared for him as a character (too goody goody for the book) but he didn't deserve this.
  • The light from the sky. Sheesh. You can tell the end is near here with a plot device like this.
  • The artwork by Gray Morrow was a downer for me. The coloring (also by Morrow) made everything look murky and smeared. Morrow used a lot of ziptone which doesn't translate well to newsprint. It will be interesting to see how these look in a black and white Showcase format. I'm thinking not so great because in some frames Morrow used only coloring to convey what was happening.
We did get a small teaser in the letter column last issue showing Jonah Hex on a motorcycle and Crisis on Infinite Earth was gearing up. It was at this time I was thinking that the new direction for Jonah would be tied into CoIE but even though he did make an appearance, the weirdness in the final three issues of Jonah Hex, weren't tied into it at all.

Next Issue: The circus comes to town, more of the weird ray, and a Neal Adams cover.

Jonah Hex movie toys???

Paul Nomad over at Idle Hands has been to the UK Toy Fair and says that he saw Jonah Hex toys put out by the National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA). Hmmm, with Halloween costumes and a possible toy line coming out, it appears that some folks think there is money to be had in secondary merchandise with a Jonah Hex tie in.

Got me to thinking, what would be some really BAD product tie-in for this movie?

Bounty paper towels?