Despite Jonah Hex's attempts to bribe and threaten Amadeus Arkham to part ways with him, both have come to New Orleans in order to seek out Thurston Moody, the leader of a child-slavery ring in Gotham City. Soon after their arrival, they soon find that New Orleans has its own problems, as a nearby mill explodes in flames.
Without hesitation, Hex rides his horse into the wreckage and begins saving lives. His heroics cause significant strain to his body, and he collapses. Fortunately, Hannibal Hawkes and Kate Manser arrive on the scene, and relying on a special amulet's power, they drag the unconscious bounty hunter back to their home.
Hex wakes, wondering why he isn't dead. He disbelieves the power of the necklace that was put around his neck, though Arkham confirms that apart from the necklace, Jonah's recovery is inexplicable. Hawkes and Manser want to exchange their help in finding Moody for his help in stopping a group of anarchists called August 7 - the ones responsible for the mill explosion. Hex is very resistant to the idea of giving or accepting help, so Hawkes warns that they only asked to be polite. The necklace that Hawkes found on the corpse of a Native American shaman has given him super-human abilities, and he can easily overpower Hex. Despite being unhappy about the arrangement, Hex agrees to hear their story.
Later that night, Jonah Hex tries to gain access to a steamship which is housing arena fights for the wealthy elite's viewing pleasure. The doormen see Hex's haggard appearance, and turn him away. As an obviously wealthy patron approaches, Hex behaves as though he is sympathetic to the Confederacy and the slavers, pretending to be a former confederate soldier. This garners the man's attention, and he invites Hex in as his guest.
The man introduces himself as a Mr. Hiram Coy. He uses the fight going on in the arena below as an analogy for how he thinks the south will bring about the return if its values. While the favoured fighter is a large and powerful looking man, his opponent is a small woman named Z.C. Branke, whose speed and finesse allow her to quickly overcome the man. Coy explains that numbers can be offset by using unconventional means and tactics - one must simply be willing to use them. Mr. Coy intends to use whatever means necessary to secure the borders and protect his race.
Watching the fight below, Hex sees Z.C. Branke cut her opponent to ribbons with a concealed blade. Keeping up his facade, he comments that he has come looking for work. Mr. Coy offers to help him out by helping him to enter the arena as a fighter. He assures Hex that it is merely Branke's preference that the fight be to the death, and he need only win to earn the money.
Meanwhile, Amadeus Arkham is somewhat taken aback by Hawkes and Manser's nightlife. By night, they are the costumed vigilantes Nighthawk and Cinnamon. The idea is alien to Arkham, and he graciously turns down their invitation to join them. That being the case, the pair tell him not to go out in the streets at night, and prepare to seek out anyone who might be supplying the August 7 with the explosives they used at the mill.
Jonah Hex enters the ring. The audience dubs him 'Scarface', and he is faced with an opponent - a "savage from a distant land" - who appears quite strong. Without much effort, Hex dodges the man's charge and slams his face into a pillar. Then, with one punch, he knocks the man unconscious.
Impressed by his efficiency, Z.C. Branke challenges him.
"Nighthawk & Cinnamon!"Edit
Hannibal Hawkes recalls that when he was very young, he left home and took a job on a whaling vessel in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He worked under Captain Monbelle, a former Louisianan slave who still had many connections. The captain was a kind man, and became more a father to Hannibal than his real father had been.
Monbelle had taught Hannibal to read, going so far as to give the boy an education in Darwinism. He instilled in the boy a sense of right and wrong, and the goodness within people.
When they would go home, Monbelle would stop at his favourite pub and divvy out the crew's earnings. Meanwhile, Hannibal would spend the evening with the captain's wife. One night, Mrs. Monbelle sent Hannibal to call her husband home early with important news. Hannibal discovered that one of the crew members had wanted more than his share, and stabbed the captain. As the captain lay dying, Hannibal hesitated, and never told his mentor that his wife was pregnant.
From that point on, Hannibal vowed to help people, starting with the Monbelle family. When he grew older, he went off to seek his fortune, but he knew he would not be able to escape the need to help others.
Now, Hannibal Hawkes is Nighthawk, and his partner Cinnamon is there to help him fight corrupt gold miners in Louisiana. Unfortunately, they are both overcome, and thrown deep into the mine to watch each other starve to death.
- Jonah Hex
- Amadeus Arkham
- August 7 (Behind the scenes)
- New Orleans
"Nighthawk & Cinnamon!"Edit
- New Orleans
- New Bedford (In Flashback Only)