At the end of the last issue, Jonah Hex was about to get his throat slit. At the beginning of this issue, that probably doesn't happen. I guess it could happen. And then Amadeus Arkham would have to take over the investigation. Or the slaughtering. I think the investigation part of the comic is over and now its the bad guys are going to get their comeuppance part of the comic. So if Hex is killed, Arkham is going to have to go around psychoanalyzing everybody to death or else just learn how to shoot a gun.
What a quick study!
This is the first man Arkham has ever killed. And I'm afraid he's going to get a taste for it. At the very least, he's going to enjoy the invention of electroshock therapy.
Jonah Hex or Yosemite Sam?
An ex-girlfriend of mine, back when she was my girlfriend, heard me use the word 'idjit' and declared that it wasn't a word. The fact that Yosemite Sam used it wasn't proof for her. She wanted to see it in print. My plan was to write to Mark Evanier at Groo and get my letter published with the word 'idjit' in it. But then I remembered that Dirty Fleagle and Dirty Drew in Cerebus used the word idjit all the time. So I showed that to her and she was less than impressed that the word was used in a comic book. This was also the days when the internet was basically Prodigy and AOL Chatrooms, so I couldn't go online to delve into the history of the word. Seeing as how Yosemite Sam used it, it just seemed natural that it was the word 'idiot' in a southern dialect. It also sounds Jamaican. So that means it also sounds Irish, right?!
Cromwell goes to the papers to declare that the Butcher of Gotham has been caught. He also provides information about the criminal conspiracy. Afterwards, the men head to a coffee shop to celebrate the fine work they've done and discuss future plans.
He's aiming off-panel to the reader's right but the front of the barrel is pointed directly at the reader.
Since the Followers of Cain can't just give up on their quest to make Gotham the Crime Capital of the world (and since we know they're successful, amirite?!), they decide to get even with Cromwell and his gang by pulling the old Gatling Gun in a carriage trick! Jonah notices the gun just before the firing begins and he dives through the coffee shop window, pulling Arkham down with him. Cromwell and his deputy get shot to shit. There aren't enough Comics Code Authority labels to cover the blood and gore.
Reap the whirlwind!
Jonah Hex chases down the carriage and kills the gunner and driver. Then he takes one of the horses for his own as Arkham pleads for Hex to help Gotham get it together.
In other words, "I'm not the Batman!"
Jonah plans on trading the horse for supplies and be on his way hunting three fugitives brothers known as the Trapps. Arkham desperately tries to get Jonah to stay but Hex sends him packing.
Awww. Does that mean he cares?
The lady at the general store doesn't take trades so she suggests Jonah go down to the livery to sell the horse. He doesn't like that idea much and he takes off. When he leaves, either the horse is gone or he isn't going to try to sell a (somewhat) stolen horse to the livery. So he trots back up through Gotham to find his bounty.
As luck would have it, he stumbles upon them almost immediately after they shoot one of their captured whores trying to escape the saloon they've taken over! Lucky for Jonah, not the whore.
See? More hot Gotham whores with big tits!
The back-up story ends with El Diablo taking care of the zombie threat even though the zombie's controller, Black River, escapes. It seems like mostly an introduction to El Diablo and his host, Lazarus Lane. It's just an old west version of Jason Blood and Etrigan. Except El Diablo is more like The Specter than Etrigan. Black River, his nemesis, is a white man raised by the Sioux and taught to be their ultimate spirit warrior, a man who could walk amongst their enemies and attack them from within. I'm sure there will be more El Diablo stories to follow now that they've introduced him to readers of All Star Western.
I still would have rather had eight more pages of Jonah Hex!