Jonah Hex's First Story Arc
Issue #23 of Weird Western Tales begins the first multi-issue Jonah Hex story arc with a tale entitled 'The Point Pyrrhus Massacre'.
One of the first interesting things about this issue is that in addition to Michael Fleisher on story, Tony DeZuniga on art, and Joe Orlando as editor, a fourth person has been added to the team: Russell Carley as 'script continuity' - which seems kind of odd, because right out of the gate we get a big continuity error: In a scene similar to that depicted on the cover, Jonah Hex, when pursuing two men, kills one and then removes his trademark Confederate uniform and dresses the dead man in it and puts him on a horse. His accomplice takes the corpse for Hex and shoots him several times. Thinking he's killed Hex, the shooter goes to investigate, and that's how Jonah is able to apprehend him. But, then Jonah puts back on his uniform - no holes, no blood.
But aside from that bit, and one other flaw where a man is distracted by a train whistle, allowing Hex to get the upper hand, a scene that's a bit hard to buy, the rest of the issue is uniformly strong.
The story has Jonah Hex in the town of Point Pyrrhus in the days prior to a planned visit by President Grant. A Secret Service Agent named Michael Fenton has gotten wind of an assassination attempt on Grant by disgruntled Northern radicals. Fenton hires Hex to help him root out the conspirators.
We also learn that the mysterious man who hired the Confederates to kill Hex last issue is someone very close to President Grant. When he learns of Hex's whereabouts he puts another hit out on Hex.
The whole thing culminates in a big shootout as U.S. Grant's train is pulling into Point Pyrrhus, leading to the first cliffhanger ending of the series.
This is a good one.