At the beginning of Geiger Volume one, issue six, Geoff Johns and Gary Frank hint about the expansion characters of the growing Unnamed Universe. The story refers to these characters as “unnamed heroes” and devotes just one pane of the comic strip to the origins of the character… except American Widow X.
Sandwiched between the one-third-page pane of the Vietnam War story, which serves as the “birthplace” for Junkyard Joe, and The Unseen War pane, which takes place in 2025, sits a tiny pane of the storyteller and his audience. They sit in desert sand by firelight and one of his audience mentions “the widow” as he speaks of Joe. Another cajoles him to continue the story of Geiger and the two kids who lost their mother.
Within the Geiger series of seven issues in Volume one, this accounts for the only mention of the widow. From the extraneous materials included with the Giant issue, readers know that her story, “American Widow X” occurs in 1997. She “gets her revenge.”
While a limited amount of information has come out about the growing Unnamed Universe setting, also called Geigerverse by its authors, the placement within the panes and the date of her “revenge” makes it likely that her story ties to Joe’s.
Geiger’s six regular issues and the Giant issue have included snippets of Junkyard Joe. We learn that he started out as a man – a US soldier shot egregiously during the war. One gunshot went straight through his face and cheek as one preview pane reveals. But does this reference the Muddy Davis cartoon or a memory of the cartoonist Muddy Davis from his service in Vietnam?
We don’t know.
As Brian Cunningham notes in a letter to readers that appears in the first look at “Junkyard Joe” in the Giant issue number one of Geiger, “One by one, we’ll bring you more tales of THE UNNAMED as Geiger’s world and timeline continues to grow.”
Those two mentions from two sources with the seven issues of Geiger have mystified yet entranced fans of the series. Who is the character known as the widow or American Widow X? Is the “X” the letter pronounced “ex,” or does it refer to the Roman numeral for ten? No one knows except the writer and illustrator. The pair created an entire four hundred-year timeline and characters from which to write, so we’ll have to wait until Rick sits in the desert by a campfire again in volume two to learn her story.