A couple of months after his debut in Showcase, Bat Lash moves into his own book with the Oct/Nov 68 issue, and a story by Sergio Aragones, Denny O'Neil and Nick Cardy.
I adore every issue of this run. Bat Lash is a charming rogue, the stories are fresh takes on standard western plots, and the art is exceptional. I want to copy each and every page, they all look great. In this story, Bat Lash is on the run from an angry mob at the top of the tale, and meets a friendly monk, whose watch he steals. The monk is delivering a piece of a cross, a marker for buried treasure.
The two part ways, but almost immediately the monk gets set upon and killed. Bat Lash tries to go after the killers, but winds up getting shot himself.
Heading into town, he comes to the aid of a woman who turns out to be the sister of the monk. Bat Lash heads to the monastery to report the murder of the monk, but it has been taken over by the killers, who frame Bat Lash for their crime.
Everyone wants the buried treasure, and the pieces of the cross that can be put together, and placed into a statue's hand, in order to point the way to it. Bat Lash defeats the bad guys and makes sure the woman gets the money, although he does receive $5,000 for his own efforts.