Monday, January 18, 2010

Weird Western Tales #71

“And the South Shall Rise Again”


Writer: Dan DiDio

Artist: Renato Arlem

Editor: Mike Carlin


Synopsis


Joshua Turnbull, the great-great-grandson of Jonah Hex’s nemesis, has successfully captured a Black Lantern power ring and hopes to unlock its secrets. Unfortunately for him, a swarm of other rings descend and resurrect a host of the Old West’s most famous and infamous legends, including Hex himself, who want to reclaim their stolen power ring…


Notes


Page 1: Weird Western Tales was a continuation of All-Star Western (second series). Beginning with issue #12 in 1972, it was the re-titled book ran until issue #70 in 1980.


“Quentin Turnbull” was a plantation owner who swore revenge on Jonah Hex for causing the death of his son during the Civil War. He first appeared in Weird Western Tales #22.


Seen here is Joshua Turnbull, Quentin’s great-great-grandson. This is his first (and only appearance).


Page 3: The lovely Alicia also makes her debut in this issue. Don’t get too attached to her, she’ll be gone soon.


Page 4: “The dead are rising all over the Earth.” Okay, look, if you don’t know what this is referring to, then you obviously haven’t been paying any attention to Blackest Night, now have you?


Page 5: Simon Stagg, inventor and founder/CEO of Stagg Enterprises. First appeared in The Brave and the Bold (first series) #57. Father of Sapphire Stagg, the wife of Rex Mason, also known as Metamorpho the Element Man.


Java, Stagg’s Neanderthal assistant. First appeared in The Brave and the Bold (first series) #57. Has longed for Sapphire Stagg for many years, but her heart only belongs to Metamorpho. Ah, young love.


The Ray II, real name Ray Terrill. First appeared in The Ray #1. Able to absorb light so that he may fly, project beams of light, create energy constructs, turn invisible and transform into pure light.


The guy standing to Stagg’s left is Jensen. Yep, another character who debuts in this story. Like Joshua and Alicia, he’s not long for this world.


Page 7: “This ring was found dormant on the grave of someone named Don Hall.” “Don Hall” was, of course, the first Dove. As seen in Blackest Night #2 and Blackest Night: Titans #1, the Black Lantern rings cannot raise Don and transform him into a Black Lantern.


Joshua, Simon and Jensen are all feeling avarice.


Page 8: Jensen is feeling fear, while Joshua is feeling rage.


“The ring! It seems to be…reacting.” Black Lantern power rings react to emotions such as those expressed by the individuals in the room.


Page 9: Unnamed security guard #1 is feeling fear.


Oh boy. Black Lanterns, Black Lanterns, Black Lanterns everywhere…


Most of these are random Confederate soldiers, raised from the dead. The others I’ll make note of as they become more important to the story.


Page 10: Scalphunter, real name Brian Savage, also known as Ke-Woh-No Tay, or he who is less than human. First appeared in Weird Western Tales #39. An expert horseman who possesses unerring aim with a bow-and-arrow, rifle, handgun or blade.


Now then, because all of these Black Lanterns are reincarnations of figures of the DC Universe’s “Wild West,” they are, of course, dead. However, most of their deaths have never been chronicled in the pages of a comic book.


Page 11: “My light seems to be holding them off!” As we have previously seen, the light-based powers of both Halo and Doctor Light II have been useful is destroying some of the Black Lanterns.


“Including those of every soldier that died at the massacre at Fort Charlotte.” In January of 1863, Jonah Hex surrendered to the Union forces at Fort Charlotte. The Union army then tracked down Hex’s Confederate unit, arresting them and imprisoning them at Fort Charlotte. Hex and the Confederates attempted to escape, but the Union soldiers were prepared for them and killed them; only Hex survived, and he was henceforth perceived as a traitor to the South. Quentin Turnbull’s son Jeb was one of the Confederate soldiers killed.


Page 12: The Trigger Twins, real names Walter and Wayne Trigger. First appeared in All-Star Western (first series) #58. Both are skilled marksmen and horsemen.


Note that the original Trigger Twins bear no connection to the modern-day Trigger Twins, who are also Black Lanterns and recently appeared in Blackest Night: Batman #1-3.


Super-Chief, also known as Saganowahna, real name Flying Stag. First appeared in All-Star Western (first series) #117. Wields the Manitou Stone, which grants him great strength, speed and senses.


The second Super-Chief, who appeared for all of about five minutes during 52, was the original’s descendant. He had the glory of being killed by Skeets. Okay, yeah, it was a Mister Mind-controlled Skeets, but still…


Page 13: Joshua, Alicia and Jensen are feeling compassion.


Oh, well, poor Jensen. We never really got to know you.


Firehair, real name unrevealed. First appeared in Showcase #85. A skilled fighter, horseman and marksman, especially with a bow-and-arrow.


Page 14: Note to all Black Lanterns – don’t get the Ray pissed off at you.


Page 15: Man, that Joshua Turnbull really has a way with the ladies, doesn’t he?


Page 16: Speaking of those who have a way with the ladies…


Bat Lash, real name Bartholomew Aloysius Lash. First appeared in Showcase #76. A skilled marksman and fighter who is a skilled gambler and ladies man.


Page 18: Jonah Hex, full name Jonah Woodson Hex. First appeared in All-Star Western (second series) #10. Killed in Jonah Hex Spectacular #1. A superb marksman, expert bounty hunter and skilled in the arts of tracking and survival.


Page 19: Joshua Turnbull is expressing will.


Page 20: “My family’s been a whipping dog ever since you killed Quentin Turnbull.” Turnbull’s death at Hex’s hands has yet to be seen.


Page 22: The eagle-topped cane that Quentin Turnbull holds was a gift given to him by his son Jeb and Jonah Hex.


Joshua is feeling hope.


That hope was misplaced.