Sunday, April 21, 2019

Batman 100-page Giant #8-10 "Batman Universe"

Batman 100-Page Giant #8 2019
"Batman Universe"
Brian Michael Bendis - story, Nick Derington - art & covers

These are the Wal-Mart exclusive 100-page Giants series. These books really bring up some good memories for me. I lived in a small town in NE Illinois and I didn't have access to comic books unless we made a trip to my Grandma's down in the Ozarks. On those thips I would walk all over town buying every single book I could afford. Well, when the DC Dollar comics hit the shelves, my local drugstore started carrying them. I was in heaven. I got a brand new story along with several reprints of hard to find older stories.

  The format today doesn't thrill me as much since these cost $4.99 and while you do get some reprints, they are reprints of ongoing stories, so if you miss an issue, you are clueless as to what is going on in the next one. Ah, the good old days of Done-in-One stories. Anyway, Jonah Hex has made an appearance in the current run in Batman. For a quick recap, the Riddler has stolen a Fabrege egg that Batman has determined used to belong to Jonah Hex. Batman tracks down Jinny Hex (in #6) and questions her about it and she says she wants nothing to do with it.

  Batman tangles with Vandal Savage and then teams up with Green Lantern. They both head for Dinosaur Island where they spy on Savage deep within a mountain, contemplating how to activate the egg. Savage leaves the room and when Batman and GL get closer to the egg, they find themselves thrown back in time to the old west where they encounter Jonah Hex.

Batman 100-Page Giant #9 2019
"Batman Universe"
Brian Michael Bendis - story, Nick Derington - art & covers

Jonah draws down on Batman & GL and they remove their masks to prove they aren't crooks. Batman asks Jonah if he has ever heard of Vandal Savage. Jonah admits that one doesn't forget a name like that but admits to nothing else. Batman explains they are from another time and they are tracking down an article that Jonah has either owns or will own in the future.

Batman goes on to explains that the egg sent the two of them here and they found out about the egg from Jonah's Great-granddaughter. Jonah dismisses the other cowboys riding with him and then mutters "Not from this time..."

A short talk about their attire and GL uses his ring to hide his uniform. However, his 21st century clothes aren't much better. They head to a nearby town and Jonah pays for some appropriate duds for his two visitors. They decide to head after Savage but Hal reminds Batman that he has only 39 minutes left of charge in his ring and since he doesn't have the battery with him....well, things aren't looking good for them getting back home.

 Jonah tells them to mount up, what he knows of Savage lies a six days ride to the north. Hal decides to speed things up by handling the travel arrangements.

Needless to say, Jonah has never traveled like this before.

The trio end up in the town where Jonah last saw Savage. He relates that their encounter was an accident and Savage thought Jonah was after a treasure or something. Suddenly, Hal's ring starts acting weird and Hal vanishes from sight.

As Batman and Jonah try to figure out what just happened, Vandal Savage shows up with several friends in tow.

Batman 100-Page Giant #10 2019
"Batman Universe"
Brian Michael Bendis - story, Nick Derington - art & covers

Savage addresses Batman and Jonah, stating that as he understands it, Batman is from the 21st Century, there to steal the egg from Savage's hand. Jonah, on the other hand, brings up some unfinished business between he and Savage. Savage tells Jonah to settle down, since he barely remembers Hex.

Batman and Savage discuss the egg, how it brought Batman here and how it creates wormholes. Savage states his first inclination is to just leave Batman stuck in the 1800's since he would probably be happier here. Batman somewhat agrees. Savage then says that he will have his accompanying members of the Black Order kill them both, to which Jonah responds...

Savage takes one right through the heart but is only staggered, not killed. Jonah is annoyed and then the fight breaks out between Hex and Bats and several members of the Black Order.

There is a rollicking two page fight and then Batman sees the egg starting to glow in Savages hand. He shouts for Savage to drop the egg but the egg quickly flies from Savage's hand into Batman's grip. Then, not unlike what happened to GL, Batman floats up into the air and vanishes.

Batman finds himself in Crime Alley in the present day just as the Batmobile pulls up and out steps Vandal Savage holding a blaster. Savage states he's been looking for Batman for over 150 years and then opens fire, taking the egg from the fallen Batman.

Statistics for These Issues
Men Killed by Jonah - Undetermined, since the battle is a free for all
Running Total - 664 (432 past, 55 future, 15 Vertigo, 172 V2)
Jonah's Injuries - None within this storyline.
Timeline - All within the span of a day.

As a guest appearance, this one was pretty good. Jonah was written true to character with not much phasing him, other than some ring-assisted air travel. I enjoyed the reference to Jonah having encountered Vandal Savage before. While it is possible that the refers back to when they were last in that town, it COULD be a call back to The Return of Bruce Wayne #4 or even All-Star Western V3 #18. 

A few things were off. In issue #9, the horses weren't very well drawn. The legs were so large the horses would have been 7-8 feet tall at the shoulder. Also, in one panel, GL and Bats word balloons were swapped, giving Bats a smart-ass reply when it had been GL mouthing off all issue.

Now, about Jinny Hex being Jonah's Great-granddaughter, let's do some math. Jason Hex, was born in 1876 and in 1899 we see he has a child (when Jason would be 23 or so). We also know that Woodson Hex was a private detective in the 30' and 40's. The time frame is about right for Woodson Hex P.I. to be the son of Jason, that we see in JH V2 #25. 

Now working backwards from Jinny Hex, who appears to be about 20-25 in 2019. That puts her birth around 1994-1999. Going with 1994 as the earliest she could be born let's estimate her father's age. According to Social Security statistics, the average age of the father at the birth of his first child in 1994 was 28. In 1994, most families had almost two kids. If Jinny was the second child, her dad was probably 30 when she was born. This would put HIS birth year at 1964.

So for Jinny to be a Great-granddaughter, Woodson would had to have fathered Jinny when he was 95? Possible, but improbable. So we currently have:

Jonah Hex
Jason Hex - son, 1876->1899
Woodson Hex - grandson, 1899 - ?
Jinny Hex - Great grand daughter, 1994

So I am postulating that Jason had another son, possibly as late as when he was 55 (1929) and this son (let's name him, I dunno, Dwayne Hex?), brother to Woodson, fathers Jinny when he is 65 in 1994. This is putting things really out on the fringes of what normally happens, but it is possible. 

It would have been a whole lot easier for Jinny to be a Great-great-granddaughter.