Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Friday, October 21, 2022


 Here's a pretty jumbled mess.  I'm not sure what Fox Features Syndicate was thinking.  The cover is for a one-shot, Women Outlaws; what should have been page (which includes the indicia) showup as page 37 here and indicates that this is the first issue of Cody of the Pony Express.


In "Wagons of Death" Will Cody "had been in many a tight corner before, but never had death lurked so close as now!  Would he live to avenge the bloody death of his pard?"  [Spoiler:  Yes]  Will's pard, Buck, was guiding a wagon train through Indian territory when they were attacked -- supposedly by Indians, but we know better.  As Will holds his dying friend, Buck gives a message for Will to give to his (Buck's) fiance:  "Tell Helen...ARRRGGHH!"  Not the best message to deliver to anyone's betrothed, so Will lets Linda Graham (the daughter of the man who runs the way station for the stage and the pony express at Nugget City) deliver the bad news while he rides off to settle scores.  With guns blazing (and the held of Chief White Cloud and his warriors) will manages to payback outlaw leader Pecos and his gang.  What's the most amazing thing about Will Cody?  After interupting his pony express route to check out the ruined wagon train, find his frind Buck, watch him die, and them bury him, Cody made it to the way station only three minutes late!  What a man!

Next, Cody faces a "Powdersmoke Payoff" after his horse has been "shot out from under him...afoot on the savage prairieand stalked by a gang of gun-hung killers.  The bad guy this time is Ace Torrent, the Cactus Pprings gambler "whose ambition goes beyond a deck of crooked card and a pair of loaded dice" and who aims to take over a lucrative Wells Fargo contract by stopping Will, who is carrying the bid for honest Jeff Cabot.  What's Will to do?  His shot out from under him and now alone on the prairie with no help of getting Jeff Cabot's bid in on time?  There's nothing to do except capture the legendary wild black stallion folks call "The Panther" who has been stealing mares to build up his harem, tame him, and ride him like lightning to Larribee City.  Easy peasy for a hero like Will Cody.  Of course there's some fancy gun shootin' involved.  In the end, all is well and Will, realizing that The Panther "needs his freedom...the wild, unbridled life he was born to," lets the stallion go to "roam free until the trumpets blow."

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for some Women Outlaws.

Instead I get Will Cody again, this time in "Sleepy Time Six-Shooters."  Exhausted after riding for twenty-four hours straight for th Pony Express, Will is looking forward to a good night's sleep at Graham's way station.  There has been bandit trouble all alone the line to Cactus City and one of the riders, Reins, left his gold shipment at the waystation for fear of being help up.  We all know how that is going to play out for Will...

So now we have just one more chance for some Women Outlaws but -- dang it! -- the last story is about Jim Coulter, fearless veteran of the Lewis and Clark expedition, who "tries to establish a fablous fur empire in hostile Blackfoot territory," only to have to "Race for Life."  His first attempt left his Crow guides slaughtered and Jim spent two months recovering from his wounds.  His next attempt left his friend Steve dead and Jim captured and being forced to run barefoot through a cactus patch chased by bloodthirsty Blackfoot (Blackfeet?  Blackfoots?).  Jim survived that ordeal and a year later was at it again, this time guiding the U.S. Calvary and routing the Blackfoot tribe.  As stories go, this one rates a meh.

So no Women Outlaws, unless they were hiding behind some sagebrush in one of the panels.  **sigh**

Give this one try, anyway.

No comments:

Post a Comment