CHAPTER 6: “WHERE THE RAIN DON’T FALL” Jackson, the World’s Toughest Hobo, is on the back stretch of his long haul to find the mythical Rock Candy Mountain, and while he thought mayhaps he was home free, he’s now stuck on a train with a legion of G-Men, led by the vivacious and indomitable Babs Bardoux, who’s looking to put our hero in leg chains and toss him in the jug before he can ever achieve his destiny. I hope you like train fights, dear readers, because we’re about to ride the blinds into Epic Hobo Action! Also, Pomona runs into an old friend. Okay, not a friend. It’s the Literal Devil.
Through a series of flashbacks in Rock Candy Mountain #5, we learned how Jackson became the World’s Toughest Hobo. A new father, drafted into the war, wanting to make it home in one piece to his girls, made a deal with Satan that no one man would be able to defeat him in combat. All he has to do is hope those Nazis fight fair, one at a time like, and he gets to go home when the war’s done, alive and whole.
When the war starts dragging, Jackson realizes the best way to ensure getting home in a timely fashion is to take things into his own hands, quite literally. After dispatching the Führer’s guards and beating Hitler to death, it looks like his wish will be granted. But, see, that Devil, he’s a sneaky son of a gun. Jackson makes it home in one piece, but he’ll never see his wife and daughter alive again.
Jackson brought home a souvenir from the war, a certain spear that may have pierced the side of Christ. The Lance of Longinus supposedly grants its bearer invincibility in battle. Didn’t help Hitler in the end, though, did it?
Rock Candy Mountain #6 picks back up in storyline present. The fuzz, led by Babs Bardoux, has caught up to Jackson, and they apparently want The Spear of Destiny, but also know the bindle stick he’s carrying is a fake. Beelzebub is also in pursuit, trying to wheel and deal with Slim to give up Jackson’s location.
We were promised train fights, and Kyle Starks delivers, in spades. Jackson spends the entire issue literally fighting for his life on top of a speeding locomotive. The layout, angles, perspectives, and choreography are constantly moving and flow easily. There are a few surprising character developments, and that dialogue? Come on!
“I got a case of hemorrhoids so bad it’s like a bag of marbles with teeth in there trying to eat my soul.”
Starks has been steadily dialing up the action, dark comedy, goofy period slang, paranormal activity, and train fights leading into the two-part blowoff that begins in next month’s issue. The teaser promises and all-out railyard war. I can think of at least four unique factions that will be represented. Not sure if Jackson’s gonna ever find that mountain, but I sure hope he does.
Rock Candy Mountain #6, from Image Comics, released the 6th of December 2017. Written and drawn by Kyle Starks, colored by Chris Schweizer.