I was seven years old when I first saw the above page...and it rocked my world! What a great piece of art by Ramon Sola. Flesh had to be one of the most violent strips I'd ever read as a kid and Sola's scratchy loose artwork just blew me away and his style added to the horror of the strip.
We last left off with Reagan and his rangers making their way to Carver City to get the rookie Joe some medical attention. Joe had suffered from a tyrannosaur bite and it was infected. Reagan thought he had killed the Tyrannosaur but all he did was gouge it's eye out and stun it. Now, the newly named Old One Eye has Reagans scent...and she wants revenge.
There's that crazy word 'Kronj' again!
Reagan decides that only he and Joe should enter the city because it's run by maniac called 'Claw' Carver. Reagan explains to a member of his crew that Carver used to be a trail Boss like him and made so much money from slaughtering dinosaurs that he retired and set up the 'Carver City' trading post.
Leaving the rangers and the herd behind, Reagan approaches the city dome and is greeted by a robot sheriff. The robot tells him that no guns are allowed inside the dome and also tells him the whereabouts of the trading post doctor. No surprise that the crusty old Doc is at the saloon, drinking and gambling. Reagan sobers him up the tough way...
The doctor examines Joe and tells Reagan that he's suffering from an infection from the dinosaur bite and that the only cure is take a special gland from a tyrannosaurs mouth and inject the fluid into Joe. But Reagan has another problem...by bringing the infected ranger into the dome he's risked the whole city catching plague. The doctor tells him that Claw Carver ain't going to like it when he finds out.
But it's too late. Carver already knows...and he's fighting mad! (If you look at the above image, in the right hand corner, you can see that Carver was sitting, playing cards with the Doc, at the table when Reagan entered the saloon.)
Looks like Carver and Reagan have a history. Carver gives Reagan a nice welcome.
Both men go brawling out into the street.
The robot sheriff appears and he's programmed to shoot the men if they don't stop fighting. Just as the sheriff is about to fire, Reagan kicks Carver on top of him and he fires wild, hitting the dome of the city and cracking it.
Outside, Old One Eye and her pack have arrived. She sees the flash of laser fire and the crack in the dome and breaks through. She chews on a human but isn't satisfied, it's not the human she'd been looking for, and then she smells it...the scent of the human she'd been tracking, the human that took her eye.
Carver is nowhere to be seen and Reagan and Old One Eye face off! Great cliffhanger! This episode had everything...robot sheriffs and a bar room brawl interrupted by bloodthirtsy dinosaurs and the first appearance of a great 2000ad villain, 'Claw' Carver!
Carver would get his comeuppance at the end of 'Flesh Book II' and his origin story wasn't told until 30 years later in Prog 1526(2/28/2007) in 'Hand of Glory' written by Pat Mills and drawn by Sola.