Jolt City # 2, "There Was a Crooked Man!" (September 2006, Tom Russell) is the first (canon) chapter of The Verdant Vigilante and the thirty-sixth Eightfold publication overall. It pits Martin Rock, the second Green Knight, against the titular Crooked Man-- a monstrously deformed super-criminal who is murdering drug dealers in the employ of Samson Snapp, the "untouchable" target of Rock's joint crusade with narcotics Lt. Dani Handler.
The Green Knight first confronts the Crooked Man when the latter is making an attempt on the life of Snapp dealer Derek Mason. Martin manages to give Derek time to escape, but is defeated by the Crooked Man and rushed to the hospital. Mason, ashamed at what he's done with his life and doubly ashamed that it took the threat of death to shame him, agrees to testify against Snapp and enters protective custody.
Acting on the theory that the Crooked Man must have been a former member of Snapp's organization to know so much about the organization, the Green Knight and Dani begin looking through police files. Frustrated with the slow pace, and worried that more deaths will soon ensue, the Green Knight tries a ballsy move: he sneaks into Snapp's mansion and asks him if he knows who's killing his dealers.
Snapp evinces no empathy for his former dealers: strike one down, there's always another to take their place. The canny Snapp also reveals that he knows exactly where Derek Mason is being held-- the first hint that Snapp has a rat on the side of the law. He makes the verdant vigilante a deal: promise that Mason won't testify, and he'll tell him the name of the Crooked Man. Martin makes the promise.
It was, it turns out, an unnecessary one: at roughly the same time, Dani found the Crooked Man's name-- Alex Tyson-- through old-fashioned police work. She argues that it wasn't his promise to make, but Martin, still trying to find a balance between his old vigilante ways and Ray Cradle's code of honour, asks her to ask Derek to keep it anyway. This causes considerable friction between the two.
Tracking down Tyson's last residence, they find chemical traces that explain his grotesque deformity/powers, and began working on an antidote that will negate his abilities.
When the antidote is finished, Dani pages the Green Knight. Martin, in a job interview with Pam Bierce of Bierce Bail Bonds, calls Dani back and arranges to pick up the antidote. He never does, however; the Crooked Man barges into Bierce Bail Bonds, determined to kill Pam Bierce for writing so many of the bonds that set the dealers free. Martin, in his civilian identity, is able to use the environment of Pam's office to trap and defeat the Crooked Man-- thus securing himself a position in her company.
|Fuchsia Grabbag Surprise 02 (35)||8FOLD MASTER LIST||Jolt City 03 (37)|
|Jolt City 01||Jolt City||Jolt City 03|