Monday, July 12, 2010

Hex #11 "Night of the Bat"

HEX #11 July 1986
"Night of the Bat"
Michael Fleisher, story - Mark Texeira and Carlos Garzon and Pablos Marcos, art - Denys Cowan and Dick Giordano, cover

Remember waaaay back when in issue 10 that those flying motorcycle things were shooting at Jonah? Well it turns out that they're some sort of hovercraft and Jonah Hex is being targeted because Mabel wants her guns back. But of course the guys sent to do Mabel's dirty work have made two mistakes:
  1. They went after Jonah Hex.
  2. They are using something that can be shout out of the sky.
And of course, Jonah does just that, nailing one machine but suddenly another hovercraft comes swinging along and blows the bejesus out of the other thug. It then lands and the guys inside present Jonah with the bloody outfit of Stiletta's.


Deep underneath the ruins of the Needle, Reinhold Borsten is clawing his way through the rubble when he hears someone else digging DOWN towards him. It turns out to be Kinglet. Hmm, Kinglet? Kinglet? I THINK he's a doctor or a flunky. I'll check and get back to you later. ANYWAY, Kinglet has found Borsten and he is wearing an airtank and a mask. He tells Borsten that they will have to share the airtank but they can make it back to the surface. Borsten grabs the air mask, whips out a pistol and kills Kinglet. Borsten then dons the airtank and as he claws his way to the surface he mentally vows that he will make Jonah Hex suffer for having caused Kinglets death. Wow, I thought Quentin Turnbull was one twisted dude.

Back in the city, Jonah is riding in a hovo with his new 'friends' who are showing him a video of some shadowy figure whipping Stiletta. The new 'friends' print off a photo of the assailant so Jonah can find him...

Now we are in New York city and seeing it through an infrared lens and via a zoom lens we see a thug toting a pistol. That, in and of itself, is enough to throw this man into action...

That's right, it is the Batman of 2050 and New York City has a no gun rule that he upholds. Batman beats the living crap out of the smugglers and then blows up all the weaponry that the smugglers were bringing into the city. He jumps into his Batplane and returns to his secret lair deep within the Statue of Liberty. It is then that we are treated to a ..


Five short years ago (2045) Batman was a world-class gymnast and a doctoral candidate in Criminology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. He idolized Batman and finally figured out that Batman was really Bruce Wayne and had actually discovered the original Batcave. He was in the Batcave when the missiles were launched. He survived the war and missed the madness that ensued.

Both of his parents also survived. His mother, Miram Cohen, was a rabbi and was a proponent of gun control. His father, Kenneth Cohen was a top level disarmament negotiator under three administrations. Sadly, they were of two groups that were targeted in the new mob mentality, Jews and Gun control advocates. One evening, they were gunned down and therefore the new Batman was born.

The next afternoon, deep in the heart of New York in a fortified headquarters we see some very large robots withstand lasers, huge titanium hammers and other dangers. The owners of the robots are pitching them as new 'enforcers' for NYC. Sadly, all of the firepower that the robots were to have has been destroyed by the Batman. The owners are telling their clients, the Municipal Welfare Council, that the robots will be unable to fulfill the order until the Batman is gone. Who should control crime in this town, a vigilante or the people?

That night, Jonah Hex is dropped of in the slums by his new 'friends'. Jonah, not knowing who or what Batman is, and not knowing of the Batman's rule, boldly walks through town with his pistol strapped to his hip. It doesn't take long for Batman to locate Jonah and swoop down, starting a fight. Of course, Jonah recognizes the man who beat Stiletta and is more than happy to take on the caped man.

Batman is able to disarm Hex and take his pistols. Then Batman flies off but Jonah isn't finished. Grabbing his knife, Hex throws it and manages to pierce Batman's cape and damage the anti-grav disc that gives Batman flight. Batman plummets onto a nearby rooftop and Jonah makes tracks up the fire-escape and continues the fight. Batman grabs Jonah and flips him over the edge of the roof, but Jonah grabs Batman and drags him over the edge with him. Of course, they both are now falling to their deaths....

Statistics for this issue
Men Killed by Hex - 1 in the rotor-bike
Running Total - 474 (428 past, 46 future)
Jonah's Injuries - None
Timeline - This issue starts and the end of the prior issue and then we have one day pass. That would mean that we are now end on day 16 of Jonah in the future. Wow, That's a busy two weeks for anybody!

If I have to accept that Jonah Hex is part of the DCU (and I don't want to) this is a fun story. Hex is a pawn and gets suckered into the fight with Batman. This version of Batman, while understandable in his mission, kinda tosses aside the stuff he should have been learning in college about the Constitution and decides to take everything into his own hands. Granted, the 'law' is now the Conglomerate (aka The Mob), but it appears that he has no forward vision of rebuilding a society that can govern itself.

And of course, we get Jonah Hex in New York so what is not to love? This issue gets a thumbs up.

Next Issue: Will Jonah get his pistols back? Will he survive that fall from the roof? Find out and watch the fireworks when the giant robots get involved and everything gets blown all to hell.

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