Original pages I wish I owned, #6: Bat Lash #2, by Nick Cardy.
Bat’s a difficult character to write, I do believe, at least by modern (and by this I mean anyone not Dennis O’Neil and Sergio Aragones) writers- he’s a product of a James Garner/Maverick- inspired cowboy-movie/TV show mindset and vibe that just doesn’t exist anymore. Most attempts to do him since the original series have been flat and dull, with little of the spark that those men, with Nick Cardy, brought to that oh-so-short 8 issue 60’s run.
#2, from which this dialogue-free page comes, is arguably the best in the series; Lash encounters a doll-toting young girl named Suzy, who, in shock at the death of her sheriff daddy, mistakes Bat for her papa and follows him around, causing no end of amusing discomfort for our roguish hero. Thing is, though, they soon get wrapped up in a gun running ring, and young Suzy turns out to have a surprising secret. The climax of this issue is this page, which takes a mostly amiable story and suddenly turns it on a dime into surprising violence with the shocking (and inadvertent) shooting of the girl, and the normally placid and peace-loving Bat becomes an avenging angel.
I think this page is just brilliant.