Monday, August 04, 2014

Jonah Hex V2 #18 "I Walk Alone"

Jonah Hex V2 #18 Jun '07

"I Walk Alone"
Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti - story, Val Semeiks - art, Bill Sienkiewicz - cover

A Bad Location for Peace and Quiet

Jonah has made camp in a forest, his back against a huge boulder and a fire with two rabbits roasting on a spit before him. Suddenly a woman, obviously being pursued, comes running out of the woods and pulls up short in front of Jonah. She drops to her knees and starts begging in a whisper for him to help her, men are after her. Jonah tells her to go away.

Just then five men ride up and the leader apologizes to Hex for Delilah bothering him. She's not in her right mind and she runs off from time to time. Hex asks why they have rifles and they explain it was because they were out bear hunting when they got word that she had run off. The leader tells the woman to come with him but she cowers behind Jonah. Jonah takes a stand and tells the men to leave her there for a bit. The leader, Somersby we learn, tells Hex that it a family matter and Jonah states that the woman can probably find her own way home.

Somersby makes it clear that unless Hex relents, there will be blood.Jonah turns to Delilah and tells her to start talking but all she can do is to continue to beg. Jonah grabs her by the arm and throws her to Somersby, who scoops her up and rides off. Delilah's screams for help fade off into the forest as Jonah turns back to his fire and finds that his supper is burnt to a crisp.

He throws the spit off into the brush and a huge grizzly (Ursa Fleisher) pops up out of the woods.
Jonah fires two shots, drilling the beast in each eye. Later that night, Jonah is resting on the gutted carcass of the beast, feasting upon its roasted innards. Jonah pulls out a harmonica and starts playing a few notes. Suddenly he whips out his pistol, pointing to a noise in the darkness. It is, once again, Delilah, who collapses by the fire, mumbling "Not my husband". Jonah replies, "Tell mu sumthin' I don't know."

The Gory Details

The moonlight highlights Jonah and Delilah riding double across a meadow and Delilah finally starts spilling the details of how she was part of a wagon train when they were bushwhacked by Somersby and his men and the tale eventually ends with the revelation that Somersby's gang are cannibals.

Just then Jonah hears horses and turns to see thirteen men appear on the edge of the meadow, riding full bore. Hex spurs his mount on and Delilah reaches forward and grabs Hex's pig-sticker and attempts to stab Jonah. Jonah turns, grabs her by the wrist, flips her off the horse and drags her alongside. She continues begging, saying they were gonna kill her little sister but Jonah doesn't buy it and drops her. As she tumbles along she ends up falling on the knife.

Jonah wheels his horse around, grabs his rifle and opens fire on Somersby's men. One by one they fall until Jonah puts lead into Somersby's shoulder, knocking him from the saddle. Somersby is kneeling in the darkness as Jonah approaches, relating the tale of cannibalism. Somersby gets to his feet and says that she is lying, that she is his wife. Delilah starts screaming "LIAR!" and stabs him repeatedly in the chest. Somersby bits her wrist in an attempt to halt the thrusts but she continues to savage him and then falls, spent, upon his corpse.

Joanh, from atop his horse, asks is she is feeling revenged and then dismounts and starts collecting the wallets of the men and pulling the cash out. Finally Delilah dies and Jonah walks over and pulls a locket from around her neck. Within are two pictures, one of Delilah and another of a young girl. It starts to rain to which Jonah responds..

and rides off.

The Cold Hard Facts

Jonah comes upon a very large cabin with a detached smokehouse. He enters the smokehouse and finds the gutted remains of a man on the butcher table. He heads toward the cabin, kicking in the door to discover several women and children seated at a table, ready to eat a hot stew in a large pot. Jonah demands to know where the men are and one woman states that all the men left to get her sister because she has ran off once again. Jonah gives for another revelation and... well, rather than tell ya, I'll show ya...

Statistics for This Issue
Men Killed By Jonah - 12
Running Total 617 (432 past, 55 future, 15 Vertigo, 125 V2)
Jonah's Injuries - None
Timeline - This issue covers one late afternoon and night
Rape Percentage - 38% (7 out of 18) 

I didn't care much for Semieks artwork but upon rereading it really fits this story. For some odd reason I enjoy stories where Jonah makes a mistake, even though it can have horrible consequences. This one was written so that we were in the same boat as Jonah, not knowing who was telling the truth, who was crazy, who was evil, who was helpless. In the end, we learn that we, along with Hex, came to the wrong conclusion and are left to ponder how we would have responded to what occurred.

Also, Jonah has a few interesting sidebars with God, which is leading me to start a new series next week.

Next Issue: Well, #19 posted quite some time ago, so you can go there and read that. #20 will contain wolves, vultures and things that are worse

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