Appearing in "The Town that Vanished!"
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "The Town that Vanished!"
The Black Rider is on the tail of Juan de Lupo and his gang when the hero suddenly takes a bullet to the shoulder, knocking him off his horse and allowing the bandits to get away. Changing back into Matthew Masters, the Black Rider then begins treating his wound when he is confronted by a posse that is also out to get Juan de Lupo and his men. They explain that de Lupo and his gang rode into New Mexico from all points and began killing a path along the way, including the slaughter of innocent women and children. After the posse leaves, Masters finishes treating his wound and climbs back up on his horse Ichabod. As he rides off after de Lupo he recalls how he cornered the outlaw in Pond City, and he managed to escape by holding a girl hostage. The Black Rider lose ground that time when de Lupo wounded the girl he took prisoner in order to slow the hero up. As he continues on his hunt, Masters begins to become dizzy from his wound and swears that he can hear the sound of beating drums.
Not to far away, de Lupo and his men have come to the location they have been seeking out: the ghost town of La Muerto, where Lupo's ancestor was said to have hidden gold somewhere in the year 1554. As they approach the town to rendezvous with other outlaws, they are surprised when they see a band of Native Americans killing some of their men. De Lupo and his men seek cover in the village and are surprised to see more of de Lupo's outlaws wearing old Spanish armour and carrying ancient guns. De Lupo is furious when they call him the name of his ancestor, but before Juan can get answers the Natives attack, forcing a counter attack.
Hearing the shots, Matthew Masters changes into the Black Rider once more and rides into the thick of battle. Entering the building where the Spanish conquistadors are he realizes that the men are not from the year 1854, but ghost that apparently have lived in the town since 1554. Gaining the trust of the Spanish spirits, the Black Rider learns that the silver has been hidden in a nearby church and that is where Juan has gone. He follows after his target he confronts Juan and his gang below the town where the treasure has been hidden for over 300 years. During the course of the fight a stray shot from Juan hits some barrels of TNT that causes a massive explosion that destroys the whole town and kills Juan and his gang. Surviving the blast, the Black Rider crawls out of the cavern and into the laps of the posse that was after Juan. They believe the town was swallowed up by an earthquake as opposed to an explosion. In the aftermath of the battle, the Black Rider can't be too sure if what he experienced was real, or if it was all a hallucination brought on by his bullet wound.
Appearing in "Marked for Murder!"
- Lenore Van Ryn
- Lon Van Ryn (Lenore's uncle)
- Mr. Johnson (Lenore's bodyguard) (Only appearance; dies)
- Zeb (stableman)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Marked for Murder!"
Matthew Masters is riding a train home from St. Louis after attending a medical convention. On his way back their train is attacked by outlaws seeking to kill a young woman named Miss Van Ryn, and her body guard is shot dead in the process. Masters slips away and changes into the Black Rider and tries to attack the outlaws as they board the train. Gunning down some, they escape when the Black Rider trips over one of the passengers legs and manage to get away. Changing back into Matthew Masters, the Black Rider begins learning what was the cause of the attack: Miss Van Ryn had inherited a large amount of land that she intends to inspect before selling off. Accompanying her was her bodyguard who was killed, as well as her fiancée Douglas Kyle, and her uncle. Masters offers to show them around Leadville and they accept his offer. When they arrive at the train station, Masters remembers that he was supposed to meat Marie Lathrop at the train station, and when Marie sees him getting off the train with another woman, she is embarrassed and angrily leaves the station. Escorting Lenore Van Ryn and her party to the local hotel, Masters offers the aid of the Black Rider in showing her the properties that she owns in the morning.
Later, the Black Rider pays a visit to his friend Packrat Pete and has him show the property that is owned by Van Ryn and nothing seems out of the ordinary about it, but it used to be rich with gold and silver mines. The Black Rider then decides to ride back into town and make time with Marie Lathrop. Marie accepts the offer for a date hoping to make Matthew Masters jealous, however things are cut short when the Black Rider spots the hotel on fire. With the help of Satan, he helps rescue Lenore Van Ryn from the fire and when outlaws attempt to stop him from doing so he easily disarms them and sends them fleeing. The Black Rider explains to Lenore that someone is trying to kill her because the property must still have some valuable gold and silver on it and asks that they meet on the land the next morning.
When they do go to the mine, the Black Rider and Lenore go in first and men hired by Douglas blow up the entrance. Douglas then knocks out his future uncle-in-law and gloats over his victory. However the plan quickly falls apart when Satan grabs a bundle of TNT and finds a hole into the cavern that the Black Rider and Lenore are trapped in. Tossing the TNT down to his master, Satan gives the Black Rider the means of escaping his tomb. Blowing an opening out of the tunnel, the Black Rider causes a rock slide that kills Kyle and his men and also unearths a fortune of gold.
In the aftermath of the mystery, the Black Rider and Marie see Lenore off after she has sold her rich property.
Appearing in "Torture"
- Appearances not yet listed
Synopsis for "Torture"
Appearing in "Last Chance"
- Appearances not yet listed
Synopsis for "Last Chance"
Appearing in "Trek of Terror!"
- Desalse gang
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Trek of Terror!"
The Black Rider is on the trail of the Desalse gang and as he approaches the town of Edgeville, he decides to change back into Matthew Masters to ask around and try and pick up the Desalse trail. Arriving in town he finds the locals are upset that a wagon train of Mormons have rolled into town looking to settle in. When the locals start a fight with the Mormons, Masters tries to get the sheriff to help, but he refuses as he is also prejudice of the Mormons as well.
Masters then slips away and changes into the Black Rider and comes to the Mormon's aid, forcing the bigoted locals back. He scolds the people of Granger County, telling them that proud Americans should not judge those with different beliefs. However, when the people scoff at his position, the Black Rider scares them off with gun fire. He then agrees to help the Mormon's relocate to a new place to settle while he is on the hunt for the Desalse gang. What he Black Rider doesn't know is that Desalse and his gang have sneaked into one of the wagons and are using it for cover.
The wagon train takes a pause when the Black Rider leads them into Native territory and warns that they need to be on their guard. That night as the train takes a rest, Quirt Desalse and his gang plot to make a deal with Big Snake of the local Native tribe. When their forced wagon rider baulks at this they kill him and Quirt rides off to talk to Big Snake, leaving the others to remain on the wagon. The following morning the other occupants of the wagon decide that their lives are worthless if they cannot warn the others and tip off the Black Rider that there are outlaws in their wagon. The Black Rider makes short work of the outlaws and the surviving member informs the Black Rider that Quirt intends to get Big Snake and his people to help ambush the Mormons and then attack Edgeville. When Quirt and an army of Natives arrive, the Black Rider and the Mormons are ready for him and the attackers are all gunned down and Quirt taken prisoner.
They then ride back to Edgeville where they assist in driving off the Native American attack. After winning the battle thanks to the Mormons, the people of Edgeville realize the errors of their ways and invite the Mormons to settle in their town, much to the Black Rider's approval.
Appearing in "Hot-Lead Reunion!"
- Clarissa Martin
- Eddie (bartender)
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Synopsis for "Hot-Lead Reunion!"
Matthew Masters is in Gladwin Junction getting a refreshment when a young boy comes in looking for a doctor. Doc learns from the boy that Mrs. Martin passed out from the heat and is being looked after by her husband. When Masters arrives at the Martin property he is surprised to see that it is Pitchfork Martin, the former marshal Craig Creek who the Black Rider assisted over four years ago. Masters treats Pitchfork's wife for heat exhaustion and then leaves. He then changes into the Black Rider and pays a visit to Pitchfork for "old times" and soon learns that Pitchfork has been totally whipped by his wife into giving up violence and that the she has him under his thumb.
Despite this, the Black Rider convinces her to allow Pitchfork to spend a few hours catching up at the local saloon. Along the way both men talk about old times, such as when they took in Laredo Larson, who vowed to get revenge against Pitchfork for sending him to jail. As fate would have it, Laredo Larson appears at the saloon looking for revenge. However when the Black Rider tries to get Pitchfork to do something, the former marshal refuses to cross his wife and worries about being late home. While the Black Rider blazes a path through the gang of outlaws he is surprised by the incredible sight of Pitchfork running through the crossfire punching out anyone who gets in his way in an effort to make it home on time so his wife will not get mad at him.
In the aftermath, Black Rider returns to the Martin ranch to find that even though he was a minute late, his wife didn't yell at him.
Appearing in "The Man Who Couldn't Fight!"
- Appearances not yet listed
Synopsis for "The Man Who Couldn't Fight!"
Appearing in "Six-Gun Salute!"
- Sam Bragg (Death)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Six-Gun Salute!"
Matthew Masters comes around and finds himself surrounded by the sheriff in a saloon with a smoking gun in his hand. The sheriff accuses Masters of murdering Sam Bragg, the local rancher. Masters pleads his innocence however with the smoking gun and a swatch of Matthew's coat fabric in the deceased hands point to the fact that Masters killed him. However, one of the locals named Josh insists that Masters is innocent. Masters explains his side of the story: he was assisting a local blacksmith with a horse birth when Josh came running to inform him that Sam Bragg was sick. Masters then rushed to Bragg's ranch only to find him shot dead. Before Masters could do anything, someone pistol whipped him with the butt of a gun, knocking him out. He also tells them at he had never drank, however the sheriff had found a letter from Bragg stating that someone was after him, but was killed before he could finish. When he came around he found himself at the saloon in the situation that he was in.
However, the sheriff insists that Masters turn himself in and begins escorting him out. As this is being done, Josh helps Masters escape, and the doctor slips away to change into the Black Rider in order to clear his name. He rides to the Briggs ranch and catches some men burning Briggs' paperwork, he forces the men out and begins searching for clues. On Briggs' office chair he finds bullet holes and blood and when he compares the warning letter from Briggs and confirms that it was in Briggs' handwriting. The Black Rider then begins second guessing himself wondering if perhaps he has killed in his alter ego of Matthew Masters and perhaps he is losing his mind. The Black Rider then decides to turn himself in and changes back to Matthew Masters and turns himself over to the authorities.
Later that night, a lynch mob arrives to hang Masters for the murder and Masters has a visitor at his cell window: Josh. Josh wishes to help Masters escapes and hands him a gun to do so. Masters sees notches on the gun butt and realizes that this was the same gun that was used to club him over the head earlier. Masters escapes from his cell and then changes into the Black Rider, then rounds up Josh. Josh then is taken to court and confesses that he was stealing cattle and money until he was caught by Briggs who threatened to tell the authorities. Josh then murdered him, intending to frame Masters for the job in the hope of getting away scott free. With this testimony Masters is cleared of all wrong doing.
- This issue marks a change of pace in Black Rider tales: Doc Masters becomes a roving frontier doctor, taking him out of Leadville the town of his home. The town, and it's supporting cast is featured less predominantly in the series at this point as Masters (or the Black Rider) travels all over the west.
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