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