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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Bat Lash 5 - Bat Lash vs Sergio Aragones

Sergio Aragones returns to the pages of Bat Lash in issue 5 (June/July 1969), not just plotting the O'Neil and Cardy story, but also endowing the major guest character in this issue with his name.

Bat Lash is still in Mexico in this story, and clearly has had an adventure between this issue and the previous one, as he is lined up in front of a Mexican firing squad at the top of the story. He gets out of that situation, and decides to rob a man, only to learn that Sergio Aragones robbed him minutes before. The final panel on the page above will return on the cover of issue 7.

Bat Lash makes himself a bed for the night in the woods, and tends an unconscious man, who had been shot, but winds up bitten by a snake.The man wakes up and helps him, sucking out the poison, and they bond shortly before he finds out that this is the infamous Sergio Aragones! Aragones has also been robbed of the money he stole. The two decide to work together to find the one who has the money now.

The remainder of this highly entertaining story has Bat Lash and Aragones working together, and against, each other time and time again. They both seek out the help of a woman in the town, Mirabel, who plays each against the other, and both to her own benefit. 

It turns out that Mirabel is the one who stole the money, in order to pay off a debt. The men feel badly about how they were plotting vengeance against her, but then both go to rob the banker of his money, once he has received it from the  only to find that Mirabel got there first, and stole it once again. The story ends with the two of them being sent off to jail, but Bat Lash, at least, is free again by his next issue.

This is also the last light hearted story in the run, which takes a more serious turn with the next issue.

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