Six-Gun Heroes was a long-running western anthology that first began with an undated issue in 1950 from Fawcett. The first five issues chronicled the adventures of Hopalong Cassidy, Smiley Burnette, and Rocky Lane. Issue number 6 added Lash Larue to the line-up By issue 18,.Smiley Burnette -- a sidekick who really couldn't be called a "six-gun hero" -- was dropped in favor of Monte Hale. With issue 24, Charlton comics took over publication of the title and added Tex Ritter to the mix. Charlton would soon drop the photo covers in favor of line art and begin moving the book into new territory. The next issue would drop Hoppy (who had been the main focus of the comic book since its inception) from the cover. Issue 26 added Rod Cameron. Tom Mix came on for ten issues beginning with number 27. Issue 38 began an emphasis on television, rather than movie, characters. Top billing went to Jingles, the Andy Devine character, followed by Wild Bill Hickok. Jingles remained on the cover for the next five issues, when he and Wild Bill were replaced by Bill Williams' Kit Carson, who had the cover spotlight for only two issues. Issue 46 returned to a cover line-up a various characters: Annie Oakley, Lash Larue, Jesse James, and a non-television, non-Jingles Wild Bill Hickok. Presumably because Jesse was an outlaw rather than a hero, he was dropped two issues late in favor of Wyatt Earp. Issue 58 introduced a new (non-film,non-television) character: The Gunmaster. The Gunmaster was Clay Boone, an itinerant gunsmith who donned the mask and costume of The Gunmaster when trouble called. The superhero-ish Gunsmith would eventually have his own comic book The Hunmaster would soon have his own "boy wonder" sidekick, bulltet the gun boy.The advent of The Gunmaster soon pushed Lash Larue to the sidelines. An improbale "six-gun hero" was the wild horse Black Fury, whose adventures were chronicled in his own comic book, as well as fillers in other Charlton titles, including this one. The Gunmaster, Annie, and Wyatt stayed with Six-Gun Heroes until issue 83, when the title folded (of sorts) in 1965.
I say "of sorts" because the numbering continued in June 1966 with a new title, The Gunmaster, which ran for five issues until a newer title, Judomaster, took over the numbering with issue 89, running until December 1967's issue 98. To confuse matters more, The Gunmaster returned for a single issue in October 1967 (after a year and a half hiatus) as issue 89, the same issue number given to the June 1966 inaugural issue of Judomaster. Phew!
The September 1963 issue of Six-Gun Heroes linked below features The Gunmaster, Annie Oakley, and Wyatt Earp.
Wyatt Earp matches wits against Sharpe Dodson, a gambler who never loses at cards, in "The Big Gamble." Townspeople of Dodge City have lost a lot of money to Dodson and they turn to Wyatt for help before the situation escalates into violence. Trouble is. Dodson seems to be winning fair and square and Wyatt can do nothing about it. Or can he?
In "Squaw for a Warrior," the Cheyenne Indian White Wolf decides to take Annie Oakley as his squaw. Annie's Aunt Martha has been thinking it was high time Annie settled down and got married. Annie has two suitors -- Johnny Temple and Cliff Hinton -- but Annie's not impressed with their fancified ways of courting; she's looking for a man who can does things better than she can. Nonetheless, Annie feels she has to decide between the two swains. A local rancher asks Annie to help round-up his herd of cattle because marauding Cheyenne are rumored to be in the area. Annie gets Johnny and Cliff to go with them as a way to test their mettle and help her choose between the to. Of course, the three get captured by the Cheyenne and of course the warrior White Wolf devlops a hankering for the pretty blonde girl. To prove who is the best mate for Annie, a riding and shooting contest is held between the three men. White Wolf wins and goes to take his prize, not knowing that Annie can outride and outshoot the best of them.
And finally, The Gunmaster enters "The Castle of Hate." Juan Rodrigues Valdes has set up his own little fiefdom in the southwest, ruling over it with an iron fist. Rumors of "Valdesia" are just begining to come to the small town where The Gunmaster lives, when Valdes and his army seize the town, taking what they want, and riding off with their spoils and with the beautiful and spunky redhead, Nancy. The Gunmaster heads out to save Nancy and, along the way, joins up and inspires the down-trodden peops to revolt against Valdes. Bang! Bang! Bang! Blam! Blam! Blam! The army destroyed and the peons take Valdez's loot and go back to Mexico to buy small little ranches for themselves. Nancy is saved. And Valdez? Seems he escaped. Hmm, could he return for a future confrontation with The Gunmaster?
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