Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jonah Hex #70 "The Mountain of the Manitou!"

Jonah Hex #70 Mar 1983
"The Mountain of the Manitou!"
Michael Fleisher, story - Dick Ayers & Tony DeZuniga, art - Ross Andru & Dick Giordano, cover

Jonah is kicking the dead carcass of White Claw into a hastily dug grave outside the snowbound cabin where he and Emmy Lou Hartley were holed up. Emmy comes slowly out of the cabin and Jonah chastises her for being up and around so early after being stabbed. She says that she has been cooped up in that cabin for a month now (assuming she means from when she first brought Jonah there) and winter has started. If they don't leave soon, they'll be stuck there for the entire winter.

As they ride off, Emmy asks if Jonah is going to go after the last man responsible for Cassie Wainwright's death. Jonah tells her that fifteen years is too long to hold a grudge and he is just gonna move on.

Meanwhile, several miles away, Ernest Daniels is confessing his past sins to his pastor. He unloads, telling of the theft of $100,000.00 and the death of Cassie. Daniels explains how he has built an orphanage, the town hall and the school, all in an attempt to ease his guilt. The pastor suggests confessing to Cassie's husband and asking for forgiveness. Daniels explains that she had a fiancee and he thinks he knows where to locate him.

That evening, Daniels is packing his bags and he two grown sons are quizzing him about his travels. he explains that he has business with Jonah Hex, showing them a newspaper touting a headline about Jonah killing a hired gun in Gravesboro. He tells them he is heading for there in order to locate Hex.

Several hours later, we find Jonah and Emmy crouching behind some boulders on the outskirts of the Shoshone village where he recently escaped. Jonah is bound and determined to get his dragoons back. Jonah jumps out of his hiding place and beats the crap out of two sentries and sets fire to a tee pee to cause a distraction. Running through the camp, he ducks into the chief's tent, punches the old chief unconscious, grabs his holster, guns, and hat. Heading out of the camp, he catches an arrow in his right shoulder and guns down the Indian that wounded him. Running hell-bent for leather, Jonah finds Emmy waiting with a couple of horses and they make their escape.

Several hours later, they have set up camp and Emmy has removed the arrow from Jonah's shoulder when they hear gunfire. They head out to investigate.

The gunfire is coming from Jason Daniels (son of Ernest Daniels) and several men hiding atop a cliff, firing down on a carriage driven by Ernest Daniels and his other son Tim. Jason is hoping to kill his dad & brother in order to inherit the entire Daniels fortune. Just then Jonah & Emmy come running up and Jonah is just able to knock Daniels out of the way of more gunfire.

The four of them are holed up in a ditch when Daniels recognizes Jonah and vice versa. They are unable to make an escape into the woods, so Jonah has Emmy grab a rope from their horse and they all head for a nearby cliff. Jonah throws the rope around a large boulder and tosses it over the side, letting it snake towards the river below. Jonah orders everyone over the side. Daniels slides down, followed by Emmy, Tim and finally Jonah.

Sadly, the rope doesn't reach the river and the four of them are dangling in the air. Of course, the rope breaks, throwing the four of them into the raging river. They manage to grab onto a huge log and after several minutes of churning through the rapids, they hear the upcoming waterfall. Jonah, using the rope they still have, manages to lasso a tree on the bank and pull them all to safety.

Once on the shore, they make their way to a nearby cave in the cliff face to find shelter. All they find is a quick clubbing to the head.

When they awaken, they are all tied up and are face to face with the Great Manitou. Ke'tci Manitowa (aka Great Manitou) says that he knows they have been following him, trying to locate his secret shrine and learn of his plans. Several years ago the Manitou had a dream of a great war between the whites and the Indians. The Indians were almost completely wiped out, except for those who followed him to the great cave in the mountain, where he had stockpiled provisions. For decades the Indians hid in the mountains and when they finally emerged they started a massive war against the whites, killing them all and returning the land to the Indians with the Manitou as their god.

Jonah starts to tell the Manitou what he thinks but all he gets is a kick in the face for his troubles. The Manitou then reveals that it will be HE that will start this war between the whites and the Indians and he will start it tonight by exploding a cliff over the Little Rainbow River, blocking the river and flooding the entire Campanas Valley. He will plant an Indian medallion at the scene of the explosion and the whites will riot against the Nazis....uh, the Indians. Anyway, the Manitou finishes his rant, gathers up his minions and departs.

Left guarded by a lone Indian, Jonah thinks of how to escape. He tells Emmy to pull some bullets from his gunbelt. She pulls them out and hands them to Jonah. Hex manages to flip the bullets into a nearby fire. When they go off, Jonah tells the Indian that it's their friends come to rescue them. As the Indian comes closer, Jonah launches himself headfirst into the Indian's groin. The Indian knocks himself out on a rock and Emmy is able to grab the knife that the guard dropped.

Emmy cuts everyone loose and they begin their escape. Sadly they can only locate one horse, so Jonah decides to head out on his own but he is suddenly stopped by Jason Daniels and three of his thugs. Jason is there to collect on his inheritance!!!

Statistics for this Issue
Men killed by Jonah - 1
Running Total - 378
Jonah's Injuries - knocked out, arrow in right shoulder, kicked in the face
Timeline - Probably only a few days after last issue. This book covers one day, a night, and into the next day. Jonah once again states that we are 15 years past the death of Cassie, putting us in 1874. UPDATE: Nov 1877

This book is another example of Fleisher interweaving multiple plots. We have the Manitou, Jonah's revenge on Daniels, Daniel's son, and more of Emmy. It's a pretty good issue, the crazy Indian doesn't make much sense, but he's a crazy Indian, so how much sense does he HAVE to make?

Next Issue: we wrap up the Cassie revenge story, the Manitou gets what he deserves, and Jonah goes shopping for jewelry, fine Mexican jewelry.


Eldest said...

Wow! A nazi symbol in the old west AND a kick to the face. Someone call the ISB! All we're missing is mind-controlled gorillas fighting zombie ninjas

SallyP said...

Well...Hitler WAS very fond of Westerns, apparently. But still...!

You would think that they would know better than to just leave a single guard by now.