Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Sean Phillips
In this latest one-off story, Brubaker and Phillips introduce us to 'Black' Bonnie Smith, an outlaw in 1880s Colorado, who, like regular series main character Jo, is immortal and has the ability to control the actions of men.
Bonnie has fallen into the outlaw lifestyle, after living many previous lifetimes in a variety of other ways. When we meet her, she and her gang are under attack. She is shot and taken prisoner by a Native American who she cannot influence. We learn that the man, named Milkfed, is working for a mysterious professor who knows a great deal about who and what Bonnie is. They are attacked by some of the creatures we've become used to seeing in this book, and the professor uses one of their eyes to locate their base, where he hopes to steal one of their books (a recurring theme in this series).
As with every issue of this series (or, really, any issue that features a collaboration between Brubaker and Phillips), this is an almost perfectly-created comic. Bonnie reminds me a lot of Jo, an interesting mixture of self-confidence and vulnerability. We are not learning a whole lot more about this series through these tangential one-offs beside the fact that there is a richer tapestry to this story than originally expected, but I really like seeing the different ways in which stories like Jo's have played out over the years.