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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Bat Lash 2 - the girl and her doll

Cardy and O'Neil serve up Bat Lash 2 (Dec/Jan 68/69), and the guy seems to have already spent the entire $5,000 he got at the end of the previous issue.

We know this because, at the top of the story, Bat Lash is getting forced into a shotgun marriage. He has bribed some local kids to dump mice on the ceremony, so that he can escape from it, and thinks about how he used the last of his money to do this.

Bat Lash flees the town, and heads off into a snowstorm, without any proper clothing. He also rushes headlong into a very dark storyline. A marshal and his young daughter are being pursued by killers. The marshal places something into his metal cigar holder, and puts that into the girl's doll. Then he gets gunned down. Bat Lash comes across the body, and steals his big warm coat. The traumatized girl, seeing the coat, then insists that Bat Lash is really her father.

Heading into town,t he confusion continues. Sometimes it is played for comedy. Bat Lash keeps trying to ditch the girl, and people think he is a terrible parent. Sometimes it's serious, as more of the gang keep trying to kill him, thinking he is the marshal.

This issue also has a couple of grave diggers who resemble Laurel and Hardy. The undertaker is the major villain of the piece, illegally selling guns to "rogue" natives. The marshal had proof of this, in the cigar holder.

Bat Lash discovers this when the girl gets shot. The metal holder saved her life, and Bat Lash finds the evidence, and brings down the villain and his gang.

Bat Lash uses half of the reward money to pay for the girl to get schooling and education, but she still manages to mess up his life one final time, getting between Lash and a woman he is trying to seduce. The girl gives him the first flower of spring, and tells him that she wants to marry a man just like him when she grows up. Bat Lash tells her he hopes she doesn't.

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