HEXED! - Story Summary for SUPERBOY #54-55, 71-75
Compiled by Susan Hillwig
Note: This summary concerns only plot relevant to Hex, not the issues as a whole
The origins of the woman known as Hex are shrouded in mystery: she came out of nowhere, stunning the modeling world with her Amazon-like physique, but her hard-headed attitude and determination to make it on her own without help from any agency soon earned her a bad reputation. Despite that, she managed to land a spokesmodel contract with automotive manufacturer Camelot 3000. While in Paris shooting a commercial for the new Excalibur sportscar, however, Hex's skyrocketing career ran into an unexpected snag: Superboy. The Boy of Steel was also in the area investigating rumors for Project Cadmus of a unknown, fire-breathing creature spotted in the city.
Upon seeing the mechanical dragon being used as part of Hex's photoshoot, he jumped to conclusions and smashed the special effect to bits. Expecting to get a thank-you from the beautiful redhead he just "saved", Superboy was stunned as Hex began to verbally dismantle him. Luckily, the boy's companions Guardian and Dubbilex stepped in to defuse the situation, or at least prevent the Kid's early demise.
That night, on the city's famous Left Bank, Hex tried to put the earlier incident out of her mind as she prepped for a second commercial shoot. Before the cameras even started rolling, though, it all literally came crashing down again as Superboy landed on the hood of the car, tossing Hex right out of the wreck. Looking like she was ready to claw the Kid's eyes out, she accused him of intentionally ruining her career, not knowing that a totaled car was the least of her problems: Superboy had managed to locate the real monster this time, and it was bearing straight at them! Just then, an unknown assailant opened fire on the creature, but succeeded only in devastating the Left Bank and burying Hex and the hero under the rubble. They managed to escape, but the creature -- a huge gargoyle-like thing that belched fire with a roar of "GROKK!" -- wasn't finished with them.
Superboy ushered Hex to safety before taking on the monster once again-at least, he thought she'd be safe. Instead, she ran into soldiers from a group called the Agenda, who were also responsible for the explosion. They wanted Superboy at all costs, and Hex was little more than a slight distraction that needed to be eliminated. Brandishing a knife, one of the soldiers grabbed her just as the Kid was swooping in to save her. While he prevented her death, the soldier sliced open the right side of Hex's face, and she staggered off in shock as the two of them duked it out. The soldier later stumbled across her again, this time armed with a high-tech pistol. Once again she was rescued, but by an unlikely source: "Grokk" came down and bit the soldier in two after he'd emptied his clip at the creature. It then turned its attention to Hex, but seemed more curious about her than menacing, taking the time to sniff at her as she waited to be its next victim. The Boy of Steel reentered the fray at that moment, carrying Grokk away to continue the fight at a safer distance. From his new position, though, he couldn't see more of the Agenda's soldiers lining up on a nearby rooftop, getting ready to open fire on him. Hex did her best to shout a warning, but they'd moved too far away to hear her. Tears pouring from her left eye, blood from the right, she began to collapse in defeat then she suddenly drew herself up, gritting her teeth and a cold steely look coming into her eye. Ah cain't help him by sittin' here, thet's fer damn sure! she growled in a voice that was quite unlike her usual one. She ripped off part of her tattered dress to bandage her wound, grabbed the dead soldier's gun, then joined the fight herself, opening fire on the rooftop snipers. As Superboy continued to grapple with Grokk, Hex headed to the roof to finish off any remaining soldiers. She ran into the Guardian, who was in the middle of a standoff with one of them. The soldier was under cover, though, with no clear path to shoot at him, so Hex made one by bouncing a shot off of Guardian's shield and hitting the Agenda's man square in the face. Obviously confused over the supermodel's attitude change, Gaurdian pointed out that the two of them hadn't been properly introduced.
Reaching out a hand, she said in a Southern drawl, The name's Hex, suh. Jonah Then she stopped, dropping the gun and nearly fainting. Guardian managed to keep her on her feet, but to make matters worse, Superboy picked that moment to end his fight with Grokk by tossing it at the building they were standing on! Guardian pushed Hex out of the way, but she later disappeared in the confusion. The battle finally over, Superboy commented on how strangely the now-vanished woman had been acting at the end.
It gets worse, Guardian told him, and picked up the pistol Hex had been using, showing the Kid the empty chamber. She shot a gun that doesn't even have a clip in it -- and she seemed to think she was an Old West bounty hunter.
For months after the Paris incident, Hex dropped off the face of the Earth, finally resurfacing to break into Project Cadmus back in the States. Believing Grokk to be a creation of the Agenda, she was planning on releasing from the facility in the hopes that it could lead her to the Agenda's headquarters -- she blamed them for the strange blackouts she'd been having ever since the soldier scarred her face, and wanted revenge on them. Little did she know, the Agenda had recently taken over Cadmus, and she was walking right into their midst! They quickly found her, and she confronted them about her blackouts, thinking that they may have given her a virus or something along with disfiguring her. While they disavowed any knowledge of what may or may not have been done to her, they did admit that with any experiment comes setbacks, failures, unforeseen side-effects
If, if that's all I am she began to say, then her bowed her head. When it came back up, the thin scar on her face had twisted until it covered the entire right side, her eye becoming opaque. then Ah suggest yuh be a mite more careful in the future, missy! she finished in a snarling voice, then opened fire on the Agenda agents -- just like in Paris, the gun she was using was out of ammunition, yet it blasted off bolts of energy like it had a full charge -- it appeared that she possessed some sort of psionic ability, but required a weapon to discharge it. She managed to take out quite a few guards before being subdued again, but her recaputre didn't last long: one of Cadmus's resident creatures, a lumbering pink monster named Angry Charlie, busted in and caused enough distraction for her to escape into the bowels of the facility.
Hex quickly found her way down to the holding cell for Grokk and set him free. As before, the Living Gargoyle had no interest in harming her, and let her climb on its back for a ride. The two of them then proceeded to tear through Cadmus, Hex blasting away at soldiers and Grokk flash-frying them. They soon ran into Superboy who, along with Guardian and two other members of Project Cadmus, had recently broken out of the Agenda's clutches. Together, they found a way out of the facility and rode Grokk to freedom. Unfortunately, the gargoyle turned out to not be the easiest thing to steer, and crashed into an incoming Agenda transport. While everyone made it through with minimal injuries (and, ironically, rescued some more of Superboy's friends who were being held captive on the transport), Hex awoke from her latest blackout, depriving her of her psionic ability.
As they hid in the woods surrounding Cadmus, the group plotted on how to best retake the facility from the Agenda. Hex volunteered herself and Grokk as a diversion, but admitted that, in her current state, she wasn't very useful -- they'd have to find a way to bring forth whatever or whoever she became during her blackouts. She let one of the Cadmus scientists hypnotize her, and as her other half woke up, it called itself Jonah Hex, though whether she was somehow channeling the dead gunfighter's spirit or was just suffering from some deep-set delusion was unclear. Either way, Hex was now more than capable of leading the assault on the facility, and the group drove out the Agenda, but not before having to go up against Agenda-crafted clones of Superboy and the Guardian. Ironically, the final blow in the battle came not from the heroes, but from Dabney Donovan, a mad scientist in the custody of Cadmus. In an attempt to escape, he released a virus that destroyed only clones with the Agenda's genetic signature -- since nearly all of their agents were clones, the opposition literally melted away. Unfortunately, with no one in the Agenda left to question, Hex could get no answers as to whether or not they really were the cause of her condition, and if anything could be done about it.
In the end, Hex took Grokk and left Cadmus, telling Superboy that
she'd try and rebuild her life, but not as a supermodel -- declaring
that it was a good enough life for Jonah Hex, she told Superboy that
she'd try her hand at being a bounty hunter. Yeah, but you aren't
Jonah Hex, he said to her, you only think you are
sometimes! That wasn't enough to make her change her mind,
though, and she left the facility for parts unknown. What happened to
her afterward, and what sort of connection she had to the real Jonah
Hex has never been revealed, with series writer Karl Kesel telling
Q&A, Whether she really channels Hex, or has mental
problems of her own-or both!-has yet to be sorted