dammit girl stop loading those things with plot-bullets, aim for center mass and git’r done!
Well it’s probably her pistols — all that clockworks probably slows down the trigger-to-detonation enough that someone can actually react. 🙂
Done properly, the clockwork would probably improve lock time. Its more likely that she took marksmanship classes from Imperial Stormtoopers. Her “move straight to the end” comment is pretty easy to clue off of as well. Any moderately decent gunfighter or gambler would be able to realize that she’s about to shoot.
Thanks Stupendous. I always feel like if I jump in and rationalize or explain things in the [admittedly fantastic and generally far-fetched] comic I’ll sound like a whiner making excuses.
It’s great when people speculate — about some things; other things, well … If you have to explain your comics you’re failing at something.
“…God rest her…” – Vane´s undead? Huzza.
Didn´t see that one coming, so i went back re-reading and stumbled over a comment from aug 2013 by “order 99”, who speculated about Vane´s story/background, and whow – now there´s even more to chew on 😀 .
Kudos – i like where this is going!
I’m still not 100% convinced they’re married to each other, but this makes it more likely that’s the case. Though I will continue to wonder why she wasn’t wearing a ring in that one flashback.
Why would Hunter “leave” his money “to” anyone though? That sounds like the kind of thing you write in a will.
Maybe Hunter is (un)dead as well?
Well…he was possibly paralyzed from that rather nasty back injury he’s got there…so how does one define death? Or even undeath?
Wedding rings weren’t really a thing until the American Jewelry Industry started the marketing campaign encouraging the practice in the late 19th century. So it makes sense why she would have none.
I speculate on this not because she doesn’t have one, but because she doesn’t have one and he does. Probably pointless speculation, but his having one is the detail that bothers me.
Considering that he still seems to have some feelings for her, and she just wants him dead, it’s very possible that she threw her ring out.
Thanks! And yes, some of the speculation in the comments is amazing. Whether or not it’s accurate … well. I don’t want to tip my hand one way or the other.
I was wondering if anyone else had noticed how unnaturally skinny her arms and shoulders are…
Oops. Completely missed the date.
She should have shot him while he rambled on. And if her guns are giving her that much of a problem then why doesn’t she pick up a revolver from all the people they both manage to kill.
ERIN!!! SHE”S LESS THEN THREE FEET AWAY!!! COME ON! ):[ She shot the kid and the dog and she can’t hit John Henry at damn near point blank? This is twice now that this has happened if memory serves me correctly. How come Vane hit him with that grapple hook thingy while clinging to a ledge and she misses here. STOP IT WOMAN! JUST SHOT THE BASTARD!!! Sorry, sorry. I went off on a rant.
Being close makes it harder, not easier. She’s on a rapidly moving train, with her target on a different car – they’re jouncing all over the place. You realize that when you’re close to your target, small changes in relative lateral movement equal large changes in apparent position, right? If he’s rocking back and forth while twenty feet away she only has to adjust her aim by a degree or two to keep him dead center, but if he’s three feet away she might have to swing her guns through a quarter arc!
It’s one of the reasons that you never want to let a target you are trying to shoot, even an unarmed one, get closer than a couple dozen feet from you. My SO just rolls her eyes every time we’re watching something and the good guy with a gun lets the bad guy get within arm’s reach, because she knows I’m about to start ranting “watch your sphere of control, you idiot!”
Train is stopped for water. I think since she was an inventor/scientist she is just a colossally bad shot.
Er. I’m not sure why you think the train is still stopped. I feel like I’ve done okay showing it resumed motion two pages back. The moving backgrounds alone?
I think you did a pretty good job of showing the train motion, especially with the more subtle thing of Vane’s hair being blown by the wind.
Actually, Vane wasn’t clinging to a ledge, I just checked. Still, she was a lot further away when she did get him.
I’ve been wondering for many months if the two of them were married, or if his wife is someone else. The leaving of his money might be abandoned, rather than left in a will. But he might be undead… that would help explain how he also manages to get through events which ought to have killed him (the grappling hook). Or is it just his magic that enables his survival? Or does he also wear a brand? Vane has also “survived” things (like her immolation, and the hanging) which a normal human would not.
As for Miss Black’s aim… I’ve been wondering about that for some time, as well. She managed to shoot both the dog and the boy, killing them instantly, without any difficulty. She just shot a cigar from John Henry’s mouth. I don’t think that was a miss. I think she has a more complex mission than just killing him. But what? I love that we can’t tell, but it’s obvious (maybe?) to both of them. So many unanswered and unused details waiting on the sidelines to be woven in at the right time.
I think the “end” Vane references is not the end of John Henry… She seems to be saying that John Henry is the MEANS (which she is willing to skip) not the end. I wonder if she shifted her mission from him to something past him… Or has that always been what she is after? I’m looking forward to the additional details which will reflect back on everything so far and cast everything in a different light – again… (and again…)
I kind-of feel sorry for people who will come along when NTO is complete, and can read the whole thing at once, without the week long pauses and elapsed months to wonder what everything means. The suspense leaves us combing the pages for clues. When the story is complete, people will just read on as the fastest way to answer their questions. I think I understand why the Charles Dickens novels were so hugely popular and successful when they were published one chapter per week, and everyone in Britain and America could debate for days what would happen next. And I’m reminded of the best TV suspense, like The Blacklist, Battlestar Gallactica, or The Sopranos…
You always manage to continue one-upping your flattery, sir. 😀
I wish I could respond more meaningfully to all your incisive comments but so often it’d constitute confirming or denying. So I’ll just say thankya, yet again.
Wouldn’t it be just like JHH (his vanity) to assume she has been after him all this time? Have we been taken in by that all along? What are they actually trying to accomplish?
Are you s—ing me?!? Last panel. John Henry is reaching through the rails of the back of the payroll car to UNCOUPLE THE CARS??? NOOOOOO! Vane can still shot you, ya stupid baaastard! With all the black magic you posses John Henry, you can’t come up with something better then that? Erin? What are you up to now? 😉
I think your line of thinking assumes he’s only on the train to skirmish with Vane (he isn’t.)
Erin, were you directing comment to Arnly? Because I try not to assume anything here, I’m just making silly, idol speculation. As for Hunter skirmish with Vane? No of course not. Be deviled Mr. Hunter, from my view, just wants to stay way from her. Understandably so. She keeps trying to kill him, AND KEEPS MISSING!!!
Nah, was replying to you; your comment implied he was uncoupling the cars as a response to Vane.
(AND YES I AM SORRY ABOUT THE MISSING; I UNDERSTAND IT IS GETTING FRUSTRATING. IT WILL STOP SOON. TAKE AWAY FROM THAT WHAT YOU WILL. 🙂 )
It’s been established that Vane is a good shot. I see two things, here, not mutually exclusive. First, with the tension between the two, and even more so if the are/were married, it is obvious that she would be at least a little hesitant and shaky when shooting him. Second, she may a) have other plans for him than outright murder and/or b) she may actually be after the same things he is after, and just wants him out of her way…
Eonknight, I think if Vane was a truly good shot Hunter would be dead long time ago. Like Llama118 said at the top of the discussion, “Plot bullets.” But that’s the fun of it, we never really know where the plot will take us next. 😀
Yes, well, there’s also that… ;-P
Anyway, while it’s fun to speculate, I usually much prefer to let myself be led by the author. Like you say, “that’s the fun of it”. 😀
She shot his cigar. Maybe she was just letting him know she was tired of listening to his egotistical banter. That would be a very effective way to express your displeasure with someone’s line of B.S.
But whatever the explanation, the story just keeps getting better and better.
You know, I’ve been reading all the comments about Vane’s poor shooting, but not one of them seems to account for the fact J.H. Hunter himself is also phenomenally fast. Sure, we don’t see him in actual motion since NTO is a comic, but I get the distinct impression he moves a lot faster than most other people in the comic.
Couple that with all that has been mentioned above, such as the fact being closer actually makes it harder to aim, the fact they’re on a moving train and that Vane isn’t that great a shot – she’s decent, but nothing to write home about- and you’re still missing something I know of first hand, which is the fact there’s a huuuge difference between being on the range an being in the kill-house on a live fire exercise.
You might think yourself a great shot, but if you’re in an actual shooting scenario, you’ll see your skills degrade rapidly – on a range you’re calm and collected, you have time to aim and you have proper ear protection, while in the kill-house it’s noisy, smoky, confusing, your throat is dry and you’re so pumped up on adrenalin your heart is trying to burst out of your chest… And as our instructors used to say, in a RL situation, “you don’t rise to the occasion, you default to your training”.
In Vane’s case, she might have done a bit of static shooting, but certainly no tactical shooting, and this shows time and again throughout the comic. One good example are pages 19-20 of Baron’s Crossing – instead of just stopping and then shooting, Vane tries to shoot Hunter while on the move herself (and flat out running, too!), with predictable results…
So yeah, no wonder she’s not hitting Hunter. Also, I also agree with the fact she should just shot Hunter on the last page instead of engaging him in banter – giving him ample time to dodge out of the way by warning him the shot is coming is really as bad an idea as it sounds.
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