¡El Amor de los Muertos!(‘The Love of the Dead’, which I was able to work out for myself, this time) rolls the story further forward towards that ending I am foreseeing from those pages at the bgeinning of issue 1.
This is not an issue that tells us much. It begins with another murder, vicious and brutal, in the name of Las Torres Gemelas, but a murder that sets of a chain of, not consequences, for we are far too early in this tale for these, but effects: effects that, like dominos, are felt in a series of stages, leading everything back to where it began. And to the mini-series’ first ‘cliff-hanger’ of an ending.
A man who has cheated Las Torres Gemelas is killed by Cráneo, who leaves the body to be disposed of by his lieutenant, Pico. The body is found buried on Orphanage soil, by the children, gardening under the supervision of a more conventionally-dressed Sister Rose. Father Manny complains to Cortez, who takes it out on Cráneo, aggressively, who takes it out on Pico, aggressively, who, drunk and pissed off, comes onto the Orphanage land after dark, swinging a machete. On long stalks, to begin with, but he is prepared to complete the cycle by using it on Father Manny.
Until Brother Lono intervenes, breaking Pico’s arm, so badly that the bone protrudes through the flesh. He hands the machete to Father Manny whilst he checks for others, but all he finds is Sister Rose, who has heard the scream, and ventured out only to see an unwelcome tableau…
But a 100 Bullets story is never about one thing at a time. The Policeman, Cesar, runs Lono back to the Orphanage, questioning him about his past, a past that Lono ‘do(es)n’t remember’ in a way that Cesar recognises as professional. His theory is that Lono sometimes sleeps in his jail because the big Hawaiian doesn’t trust himself. Lono corrects him: it is beause he knows himself. Cesar expresses another theory, that Lono may have turned to religion, but he does not trust God either. This Lono does not comment upon.
Later though, that night, the night that Pico will interrupt with his machete, drawing forth the first manifestation of the Hawaiian we knew, Lono lights a cigar in the dark, thinking about that past, thinking about bodies, and blood, on his hands. A hallucination of the rotting, decaying dead, climbs out of the ground to cling to him. Some we remember: Milo Garrett, with the shreds of the re-affixed bandages, and Joe Dirtz from the Penitentiary, and Wiley Times and Cole Burns, an unexpected pair for it was not at Lono’s hands that the Point Man and the Wolf met their ends. But they haunt him.
We are still in the middle of the story, still putting together the pieces that go round the edge of the jigsaw. We do not have the box with the picture on the lid. In the world of 100 Bullets, we never get to see the lid. We draw that picture for ourselves. I am doodling a shape myself.
What picture do you see?