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Appearing in "The Mystery of the Mad Monk!"

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Synopsis for "The Mystery of the Mad Monk!"

In the western town of Hatter's Gap Hook Creech is confronted by Frank Jepson the man from Wells Fargo who demands that he turn over his sheriff's badge because he has not been elected into the position. Hook refuses to do so as he is determined to capture the outlaw who calls himself the Mad Monk. The situation almost turns out into a full on fight when one of the old drunks tries to tell off Hook and is kicked told to leave by Jepson. Jepson reminds Hook that he has to stop the Mad Monk because the outlaw has robbed four gold shipments.

The old drunk rides out of town and sets up camp for the night, when he is confronted by someone he recognizes and is killed. Kid Colt rides by and comes across the dead body. He is spotted by Frank Jepson catches Kid Colt, and explains that he wants to take the Kid in as a witness since the drunk's head was bashed in just in a way that Hook threatened to do at the saloon earlier that day. Kid Colt refuses, pulling his guns on Jepson and manageing to escape, however Steel's front leg is grazed by a bullet requiring immediate attention. Kid Colt is forced to take his horse into Hatter's Gap. Entering the town he is confronted by Hook Creech who also demands to know what Kid Colt is doing. Kid Colt shoots the gun out of Creech's hands. Kid Colt recognizes Creech from the days when he ran with "Killer" Farnam's outfit. Learning that Hook has gone straight and become sheriff of town, Kid Colt agrees to help him hunt down the Mad Monk. Kid Colt tells Hook about his run in with Jepson who accused him of being the Mad Monk.

Before they can discuss things further they hear gun shots and run out to find out the source. They witness as the Mad Monk and his men flee the town after successfully robbing the bank. Hook rushes to gather a posse while Kid Colt gets his horse look at by a vet before retiring for the night. While resting in bed, Kid Colt realizes that there is a connection between Jepson and the Mad Monk and that's why the old drunk was killed. When Hook returns he tells him as much and prepares to leave to follow Jepson's backtrail. However as he is getting ready to leave, Kid Colt is shot at from the window by the Mad Monk himself, who manages to get away before the Kid can shoot back. When he rushes downstairs, he finds Jepson in the saloon having found the Mad Monk's hood and is blaming Hook Creech of being the Monk.

No longer certain of the identity of the Monk, Kid Colt and Hook follow Jepson's backtrial from the camp. The trail leads them to a hill with a tapped rock at the top. Dismounting their horses and crawling up, they find a cabin which Kid Colt assumes is the Mad Monk's hideout. Suddenly Hook pulls a gun on him and explains that both he and Jepson were both posing as the Mad Monk in order to make people question the true identity of the Monk. However, upon learning that Jepson was accusing him of being the Mad Monk, Hook realizes that there is something going on. Suddenly Jepson arrives and shoots the gun out of Hook's hand. He then orders Kid Colt to stand down. The Kid whistles for Steel who distracts Jepson long enough for the Kid to shoot him dead. Suddenly Hook lunges at him and demands that he drop his guns. The Kid complies, but shoves Hook back into the tapped rock causing it to tumble down crushing the hideout and killing Hook Creech in he process. With the mystery of the Mad Monk solved, Kid Colt rides out of town.

Appearing in "The Black Rider Strikes!"

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Synopsis for "The Black Rider Strikes!"

Matthew Masters is riding back to Leadville after a house call at one of the outer ranches. Along the way he spots Bush Bennett and his men trying to rustle some of the Lathrops horses. He tries to stop them, but he gets grazed on the back of the head by a bullet. Masters falls off his horse and Bennett and his men try to steal Satan as well. However, the horse is too smart and runs off before it can be taken. When Masters revives he finds that the gang has left and Satan returns as he is patching himself up. He rides back into Leadville where he finds that Marie and Bobby are with the sheriff and explains his encounter with Bennett and his gang.

Slipping away to his doctors office, Matthew changes in to the Black Rider and rides out to where the Lathrops are camping out with the batch of horses that have not been stolen yet. Arriving at the scene he finds Bobby and Marie camping out and a posse led by the sheriff hiding out waiting for Bennett and his men. Sure enough, the rustlers arrive with guns blazing and the Black Rider joins the fight. In the confusion, Marie is taken hostage by Brush Bennett who uses her as a means of escaping with his remaining men.

The Black Rider chases after them and soon finds Marie tied up to a tree. When he comes to her aid he soon finds that it is a trap that was set up by Bennett and his men, who catch him in a lasso. The Black Rider still manages to draw his guns and shoot down Bennett's surviving men. Before Bennett can shoot the Black Rider, Satan tramples him to death under his hoofs. Marie is freed and the Black Rider rides off into the night leaving Marie to wonder, once more, when she will ever see him again.

Appearing in "Secret of the Valley of Fear!"

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Synopsis for "Secret of the Valley of Fear!"

While riding the range, Two-Gun Kid and Rusty Randolph spot a lynch mob about to hang a man. Believing that the man deserves a fair trial, the Kid rushes to the scene and cuts the rope before he can be hanged and helps the man escape. Rushing into town, the man introduces himself as Bill Banks to Two-Gun and Rusty, and thanks them for saving his life although he lost his hat. In town they meet with Bill's girl Joan. He explains that he was carrying the savings he had earned so they could get married and crossed paths with a man seeking to sell cattle real cheap. Bill bought up the cattle, however when he got to town someone saw the brands on the herd and accused him of stealing the cattle and a lynch mob tried to string him up.

Two-Gun and Rusty pay their leave but as they are leaving town they are shot at by someone. The shooter escapes and the Kid decides they should double back and help Bill since they have adopted some of his enemies. Telling Bill what happened they all decide to follow him back to the stop where he bought the cattle. While they are doing so, the mastermind of the entire plot hears what happened from his minions and orders them to eliminate Bill before the truth can be learned. One of the men turns over the hat that Bill lose while fleeing the lynch mob, and their leader figures it will be of good use to convince the locals that Bill really is responsible for the local cattle rustling. Meanwhile, Two-Gun, Rusty and Bill arrive at the spot where the transaction took place and begin following the back trail to figure out where the man with the cattle came from.

At that time, the real rustlers steal cattle from another ranch and leave Bill's hat at the scene in order to incriminate him of the crimes. They ride the cattle out to where area that Two-Gun and the others are searching. Their fire causes Two-Gun and the others to take cover and when they come out they find the rustlers and their stolen herd have seemingly disappeared. Meanwhile, big rancher Todd Jordan is gathering a posse to hung down and capture Bill. Hearing this, Joan rides out and warns Bill of what is happening. Two-Gun sends Rusty and Joan back to town while he and Bill continue their search, ordering them to come back when the posse leaves to search for them.

Nearby in a ranch hidden behind the mountains, a baby calf breaks free from the pen and flees the ranch. It finds the exit from the secret passage into the valley and is spotted by Two-Gun Kid and Bill who follow it back to the ranch. However, they are outnumbered by the outlaws there and are captured. Meanwhile, the posse have ridden into the area, with Rusty following along behind them. Rusty stops to drink from a stream and finds the secret entrance to the outlaw ranch and alerts the posse, although Todd Jordan tries to convince them the boy is crazy.

Catching the outlaws, they stop them before they can eliminate Two-Gun Kid and Bill. They expose that Todd is the mastermind behind the rustling and they apprehend him and the outlaws.

Notes

  • This issue also features a one page "Scrap Book of the West" feature about the Siege at the Alamo
  • Online indexes of Marvel creators typically considered the story "The Black Rider Strikes!" to have been penciled by Al Hartley. In the 2010s, this was considered to be an error. The penciler seems to have been John Severin, and not Hartley.
  • The story "Secret of the Valley of Fear!" had two different pencilers. Pages 1 to 3 were attributed to Syd Shores, while pages 4 to 8 were attributed to John Severin.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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