Issue by Issue – The Gunhawk #7

Writer – Gary Friedrich
Artist – Dick Ayers
Inker – Frank Giacoia
Colours – Janice Cohen
Letters – Charlotte Jetter

The final issue of The Gunhawks, now simply titled The Gunhawk as Reno Jones flies solo, his friend and partner Kid Cassidy having been killed in the last book, finds the man on the run from the cavalry and wanted for murder. Never mind the fact that he did not commit said murder, for he would never have killed his best friend, he is hunted because he is a black man in the wild west and it being so soon after the Civil War, the man does not exactly get a free pass wherever he goes. Add to that a Captain who seems quite obsessed with bringing Reno to justice means that he has to keep running until at some point, he can lose the soldiers and himself. There is a moment where writer Gary Friedrich and artist Dick Ayers give the man a break but with the local Native Americans looking to cause a little trouble, suffice it to say, that never really comes to fruition as he saves a stagecoach full of women from coming to harm. The worst thing about it all is the fact that Rachel, the woman he loves and is searching for is on that wagon and he literally just misses her and she him. Later that same day, Reno comes across a town where a rodeo is being held and as he needs money to continue on his travels, he stops to take part, irking the local participants and finding himself locked up in jail. While in the prison, he notices Rachel passing through and it almost kills him and the reader that the two would come so close with fate pulling them apart yet again. All in all, this was a decent story, though Kid Cassidy is missed as the two men had made a great team. Even more annoying is the fact that come the end of the book, it would let readers know that Reno’s story is far from over and will be continued in Marvel Western Team-Up, this book having been cancelled. Sadly that would not be the case as that aforementioned title would only last a single issue and Reno would not be a part of it, or any other for that matter, meaning his story would remain forever unfinished. It leaves numerous questions open like will Reno get out of jail, will he find Rachel, will they reunite and will he learn the truth of Cassidy’s death? One can only wonder as to what those answers might be and as a final issue, it is a little dissatisfying to say the least. Overall though, it was a good series with strong writing and some great artwork. For those interested, Reno Jones would also appear in a miniseries called Blaze of Glory many years later, one having nothing to do with this title, but a great book in its own right.

3.5 out of 5

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