Friday, June 14, 2013

Jonah Hex #17 V2 "The Ballad of Tallulah Black: Part 2"

Jonah Hex #17 V2 May '07

"The Ballad of Tallulah Black: Part 2"
Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, story - Phil Noto, art and cover

Twice as Mean and Twice as Ugly - We open with a little target practice. A man stands with his arms outstretched, a bottle in each hand, a wanted poster (of him) pinned to his chest. Hex is using the man to train Tallulah how to shoot. Finally Hex instructs the man to place a bottle on his head and then straps a gun belt on him. Hex instructs the man that he can shoot Tallulah, but she HAS to shoot the bottle before she shoots him.

The man draws and the bottle topples from his head, Tallulah takes a bullet in the leg and shoots the bottle and the man with one shot. Hex has her strip off he pants and he sears the wound with a heated knife (since the bullet passed through).

Later the night, the dead man lying nearby, Tallulah and Jonah are sitting by the campfire and she starts questioning Jonah, Is he ever gonna hang up his guns, why not just become a sheriff, is there a woman and a farm in his life? Jonah puts an end to the questioning and goes to sleep. Tallulah sits there staring at Hex and slowly reaches out to him. Jonah tells her to go to sleep and she responds with venom at being rejected.

That night Tallulah has nightmares of being raped and disfigured and Jonah eventually has to slap her awake and then they find themselves in an a lovers embrace.

Been a Long Time Comin' - Next day, Hex is dragging the dead man behind his horse and Tallulah is riding alongside. She wears a bandanna over her face and then dismounts and goes into the saloon while Jonah collects his bounty. She walks up to the bar and inquires of seven men, former Rebs now working for the government. The barkeep keeps asking questions and finally Tallulah pulls down the bandana and announces that she is in the company of one Jonah Hex and she aims to have her vengeance. Just then the men in question come strolling down the stairs, full of liquor and accompanied by 'ladies' . 

Tallulah finishes her drink, turns and opens fires, killing three men and wounding a woman. She turns and heads into the street, luring the remaining four out into the open. She quickly dispatches one as Hex and the sheriff come out onto the boardwalk. The sheriff starts to intervene but Hex wards him off.

Tallulah takes one in the shoulder and Jonah shoots a man (who had snuck up behind Tallulah) in the back. She kills one more and finally it is just she and the ringleader. He shoots her in the leg and then they are both out of bullets. He starts to plead for his life and she starts to reload. He spies a pistol dear one of his dead partners and he lunges forward, grabs it and shoots Tallulah in the gut. He starts to crawl away toward another gun but she shoots him twice and he falls backwards. She stands over him and then falls down herself.

Hex picks her up and takes her to the doctor.

On the Spirit Trail - The doctor does what he can and then Hex pays him to go to the saloon and leave them be. Jonah goes inside and starts talking to Tallulah...

Statistics for This Issue
Men Killed By Jonah - 1
Running Total 605 (432 past, 55 future, 15 Vertigo, 113 V2)
Jonah's Injuries - None
Timeline - This issue starts 3 months from last issue (this comes out during the campfire discussion) and covers a few days.
Rape Percentage - 41% (7 out of 17) 

This was one great issue and one of the high points was the relationship between Hex and Tallulah. The tension between Hex treating her like a human and like a pain in the ass teetered back and forth throughout the issue. The ending with the young girl being in the dream made one wonder if the girl was Death or just Tallulah's innocence. Of course, when we get to issue 70 even more questions are raised regarding the little girl.

Next Issue - Bear steaks, Mystery Meat and never get involved in a domestic dispute.

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