Saturday, March 17, 2012

All Star Western #4

Just another children living in the sewers storyline.

The first few pages of the comic deal with Jonah Hex killing the three Trapp brothers he's been after. He's not only after them for the bounty, though. They have information he wants but even when Jonah tortures one of them by blowing off his fingers one at a time, the Trapp won't talk and Jonah ends up killing him. Immediately after killing these men, he's approached by a group of people under black umbrellas. They seem to have been watching him for some time and finally approach him with a job to find their missing son. But Jonah just wants to cash in his bounties and get out of Gotham. So they offer him $50,000.

Jonah's search for the boy leads him to an orphanage in Gotham where he runs into Amadeus Arkham. Arkham is there seeing over a small boy that had gone missing three years ago and was only recently found. His eyes are sensitive to light, he has dysentery, and he is covered in rat bites. His parents tell Hex and Arkham that hundreds of children have gone missing over the years. They also tell a story about the man stealing them.

Someone's running an illegal sidekick smuggling business.

All the clues point to the sewers, so Arkham and Hex head in to explore. Under Gotham, they discover a giant mining operation using the kids as labor. While Hex quietly takes out the guards, Arkham tries to get the kids to safety. But he's caught while doing it!


If it weren't for the fact that Arkham still has an Asylum to build, my money would be on Hex just blowing the head off of this guy as this guy pulls the trigger on Arkham. I suppose Hex will probably play along until he feels he has the upper hand against this guy. Or this guy will put Hex and Arkham in some trap, like a pit filled with rats, and Arkham will think up some psychologically stunning plan to get the guard to let them out. Or maybe Hex will just blow the guy's head off and Arkham will not be killed although he'll need a new pair of britches. And then Arkham will truly understand the man he's traveling with and how little Arkham means to him.

The back-up story is a tale of a Chinese family recently arrived in America. They set up a shop and are threatened by a criminal named Bo Long. Wei Tsen, the father of the protagonist of this story, stands up to the thugs, calling them thieves and slapping one of them. This man's leader, Bo Long, wants to make an example of Wei Tsen. And he apparently does after Wei Tsen goes to meet with Bo Long of his own accord to try and work out an agreement with him. Apparently because his daughter, Yanmei, has been killing and harassing Bo Long's men in a vengeful search for Bo Long. The current scenes show only Yanmei and her grandfather, so it looks like Bo Long probably torches the business and kills all of her siblings, her mother, and her grandmother as well.

Again, the back-up story is interesting enough. But the El Diablo story didn't actually do much but introduce El Diablo. There was a little bit of "I wish I could die to be free of El Diablo" pathos but it didn't amount to much. I imagine this one will end up the same way.

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