- 1 History
- 2 Powers and Abilities
- 3 Paraphernalia
- 4 Notes
- 5 Links and References
There is some question as to if Clay Harder truly existed or was a work of fiction. Matt Hawk, who also took up the name Two-Gun Kid, was inspired by dime store novels based on Clay Harder's exploits. However, sources have stated that many of the stories about the various heroes of the American Frontier were often fictionalized in dime novels. This provides a strong case that Clay Harder was a real person.
Notes on Chronology
Based on records available, it is difficult to state when exactly the Two-Gun Kid was active, had he been a real individual and not a fictional character. His successor Matt Hawk became active as the Two-Gun Kid in 1870. Suggesting that the original Two-Gun Kid had retired his activities after that point. However, another account pins the Two-Gun Kid's early activities happening around the year 1885, as said adventure was cited as happening 20 years after the end of the American Civil War. Yet another tale suggests that the original Two-Gun Kid was active as late as February 14, 1912. Yet another tale states that the Kid was active May 1857.
However, as it is a known fact that Matt Hawk succeeded Clay Harder in 1870, it can be presumed that the activities that happened after are works of fiction based on the adventures of Clay Harder. Especially when considering the time frame of these tales. In all of Clay Harder's adventures he is depicted as a young man in his mid-to-late 20s. However all dated tales between 1857 to 1912 show him as a young man, which is improbably in face of the fact that to all accounts the Two-Gun Kid was merely a mortal man. Confusing matters further a number of Clay Harder's adventures have been retold as though they were those of Matt Hawk.
With the adventures of the original Kid steeped in legend, and his actual existence in question his adventures presented here in the order of publication except for in the case when they deal with his early life and origins.
There are a number of different accounts that depict the origins of the Two-Gun Kid. All of which contradict the other.
In the first, it suggests that he was the son of Sam Destry. When Destry discovered gold his rival Luke Oland attempted to learn its location but Destry refused to tell. Challenged to a gun battle, Oland cheated, shooting Destry dead. After burying the father the future Two-Gun Kid left town and became the legend he was now known as.
A second account was told by the Two-Gun Kid himself, this tale the Kid did not reveal his real name. He told those hearing the tale that his father Frank was a sheriff of the town of Mesquite. There he met his future wife Milly, and the two were married within a month of meeting each other. Milly endured his role as a lawman, but Frank eventually gave it up after the Kid was born. The family moved to a small Kansas farm. As a young boy, the future Two-Gun Kid found his father's old gun and used it to practice, finding that he was a natural gunfighter. When Frank found his son shooting, he had his son promise never to use a gun. However not long after this, Frank was offered a job as the local sheriff, with his farm struggling Frank took the job despite his wife's reservations. When Frank was sworn in the town was attacked by the Corbett brothers who came to raid the town for supplies. Frank was shot and during the chaos the horse pulling the family wagon panicked, wrecking the wagon and sending Milly to the ground in a neck breaking fall. Dying, Frank told his son that he was no longer held by his promise Frank's dying words to his son were to use guns for the just and help those in needs. The boy decided to use his father's gun and the gun dropped by Snake Corbett as his trademark weapons, so that he always kept good and evil in perspective. This earned him the nickname of the Two-Gun Kid.
In another account of his origins, the original Two-Gun Kid was identified as Clay Harder the son of rancher Seth Harder. At some point while Clay was growing up, his father was crippled in a gunfight and as a result had made his son promise to never raise a gun against another man to avoid the same fate. After some time away from home the 18 year old Clay Harder returned home on his horse Cyclone to find his father was being harassed by Bull Yaeger who sought to take Seth's ranch. Encountering Bull himself, Clay kept his father's promise and avoided fighting Bull or drawing his guns. However when Bull shot Seth dead, Clay realized that he was no longer held by his father's promise and went after Bull and his men for revenge. The Kid outshot and beat Bull in a fist fight and turned him over to the authorities. Called a "real two gun kid" Clay decided to take on the name "The Two-Gun Kid". Young Clay Harder earned a reputation as a gunfighter and outlaws came to Sundown to challenge him in gun duels. Also during this time Clay began dating Ann Nortion. However her father disapproved of their relationship, especially after Ann was almost hurt in a gunfight between Clay and another gunfighter. Shamed by Ann's father, Clay decided to leave town and entered into legend.
While Clay had later gotten revenge against Luke Oland and has referenced the fact that he has carried the guns of his father and his father's killer in subsequent adventures. Given the fact that many legendary gunfighters of the American Frontier were commonly the subject of novelization, and stories mixed up by locals, it's entirely possible that the contradicting origins are false. In the case of the Oland and Corbett vendettas, it's entirely possible that the Two-Gun Kid dispensed justice by falsely claiming that he was the grown up son of their victims, using his reputation to strike fear into his opponents by making them think that he had a very personal reason to hunt them down.
Given the frequency of the Seth Harder/Bull Yaeger story, which has been told four times, and his later interactions with Ann Norton would suggest that the Clay Harder/Seth Harder origins are likely accurate.
According to one tale, the Two-Gun Kid spent some time as a Texas Ranger, at some point in his past.
In his first recorded adventure, Two-Gun rode into the town of Sundown, Arizona where he learned that local businessman Brett Dawson who had ownership of mortgages of local property owners was forcing them off their properties. When Dawson went mad and attempted to kill his girl Claire, Two-Gun sent him falling from a rope bridge to his death, saving Claire's life. In Dry Gultch, Nevada, Two-Gun Kid was accused of robbing the local bank, but with he aid of Kittie Wynn helped clear his name by exposing her own sheriff father as the real thief. Shortly after this, Two-Gun came to the aid of the Tennyson family who were being terrorized by the Phantom Raiders, exposing their leader as Ace Biddle, who was posing as the Tennyson's supposedly invalid father to try and steal their cattle.
On the range again, Two-Gun Kid witnessed a daring robbery of a Well Fargo bank and followed the crooks to Outlaw City a town run by the Black and Yellow Gangs. Two-Gun used the gangs mistrust of each other to cause them to fight each other until the cavalry arrived to arrest the survivors. Two-Gun next appeared in the town of Tartleton and learned that a train shipment of gold from Grange City mysteriously vanished. Investigating with Penelope Watson, they tracked hastily made tracks constructed by Canyon Pete and his gang. The Kid gunned down Pete and recovered the gold. In the town of Trail's End, Texas, the Two-Gun Kid quelled a local uprising of Native Americans by battling their de facto leader Red Coyote to the death. When Two-Gun spared Red Coyote's life, the shamed warrior killed himself and his people vowed to cease hostilities.
Riding into the town of Trouble City, Two-Gun Kid assists the local sheriff in stopping a gang of outlaws led by Blackie Benson and financed by local real-estate broker John Angell. In another western town, Two-Gun Kid comes to the aid of the people being terrorized by Killer King, and convinces a young boy that the life of an outlaw is not one to emulate. Two-Gun Kid later learns that he has inherited the land owned by his friend Billy Bailey in Cactus County, Arizona. There he believes that local property broker "Honest" John Blanchard is trying to obtain the property by crooked means, but learns that it's his sister Glory who is attempting to claim the land. After Glory is killed under a hail of bullets, Two-Gun finds Bill alive and well and returns the property over to his friend. While Cyclone is being reshoed, the Kid went into Cimmeron City to watch the boxing match between Curly Collins and Gus Matzo. However, Two-Gun finds himself fighting in Curly's place when his own manager tries to orchestrate a forfeit in the match so he can cash on the bets placed against his client. Two-Gun wins the match and guns down Collins manager.
Riding through Texas, Two-Gun ends up in Blainesville where wins back Jane Collins land from crooked businessman "Smiling Joe" Bates, then in El Toro exposed banker Wells plot to swindle the local Mexican migrant workers out of their hard earned money. In Buckhorn, Wyoming, Two-Gun is framed for robbing a stage coach and manages to clear his name by exposing Ace Turmbull as the person impersonating him. In the town of Silver City, Two-Gun is once more framed for a crime he did not commit: This time the murder of Ted French who had a secret silver mine. Two-Gun freed himself and managed to clear his name once more, exposing local named Dunmar from obtaining the map to the mine (hidden in Ted's unique saddle). Riding into Mexico, Two-Gun Kid changes the opinion of a local village that all white men are not evil when he stops a gang of men from robbing the treasures of a local Aztec temple. Back in the United States, Two-Gun rode into the town of Central City, nevada where he prevents Jack Hanley from courting the daughter of Pat Baldwin, after he murdered Baldwin in an bid to try and claim his property. In Vulture Valley, Two-Gun Kid assists Ned Kincaid protect his parents hidden home behind Balancing Rock Plateau from crooked sheriff Floyd Manders, then helps clear the name of his friend Montana who had been framed by the local sheriff for the murder of local gambler Nate Banks.
The Kid had more of a hard time nabbing the mysterious Black Rider an outlaw that seemed to commit crimes for the fun of it. When Two-Gun learns that the Black Rider apparently kidnapped stunt rider Kim Lewis, Two-Gun captured the Black Rider and learns that the Rider is really Kim Lewis herself, having developed the identity to break some of the boredom in her life. When the Kid returned her to her uncles ranch he could not bring himself to reveal the truth and let the girl off after she kissed him. Later, Two-Gun came to the aid of Molly Prentice who is secretly being forced out of her inheritance of her fathers ranch by her guardian Brad Brandcroft and her step-brother Stephen. In another town, Two-Gun comes to the aid of a sheriff who took his position after his brother was murdered by a local mobster named Samson. Two-Gun teaches the sheriff how to use a shotgun and helps him eliminate Samson.
Two-Gun next accepted a job working for Nancy Calhoun and her father in delivering a package to the government in order to win a contract for delivery services. This was impeded by Hate Morgan who was trying to drive the Calhoun's out of business and buy their land and sell it for a profit to a railroad. Two-Gun delivered the package, learning it was all a ruse, and returned back and stopped Morgan and his men before it was too late. The Kid next travelled to Big Bend to visit his friend sheriff Chuck Delany. They witness the trial of outlaw Bill Barnes, who swore revenge against those who convicted him. To their surprise, Barnes appeared to carry out this threat even though he was locked up in the jail. However, Two-Gun and Chuck exposed that it was Bill's twin brother who was doing the killings and also attempting to spring Bill out of prison. After this, Two-Gun was hired by the governor of Texas to track down wanted outlaw Chet "Limp" Saunders, last seen in the town of Farnum Flats. Going there, Two-Gun learned that Saunders redeemed himself by becoming the sheriff of the town. The Kid then assisted Saunders in gunning down outlaw Lash McKinley, whom Two-Gun then reported back was an alias of Limp Saunders, so that the real Saunders could continue living in peace. Two-Gun later came to the aid of rancher Steve Evans who needed water to feed his cattle. The Kid brought in a water prospector and prevented rival rancher Sam Stone from impeding the efforts. Similarly, Two-Gun came to the aid of two young ranchers named Billy and Betty whose horses were being poisoned by rival rancher Morgan in an effort to force them to sell their land.
Travelling to Spring Creek, Two-Gun investigated claims by a local saddle tramp named Duecy Danvers that he obtained his guns from Two-Gun. The Kid finds that Danvers had been coerced into being the sheriff by crooked businessman Blackie Trent, and while posing as Danvers, wipes out Trent and his gang. While out on the range, Two-Gun Kid was captured and enslaved by the Six-Gun Empire. However, he soon organized the other slaves into a revolt and crushed their organization. In Ring Corners, Two-Gun assisted Jonathan Carruthers reclaim his inherited ranch land from Dude Ring and his posse. In Horn City, The Two-Gun Kid assists Billy Horn who had been framed by Buzz Nelson for murdering his father. Soon after, Two-Gun clashed with Jeremiah Mooney, mayor of Mooneyville who was pressuring the railroad construction at Rail's End to pass through his town. After smashing this opposition with the aid of railroad detective Pat McCune, Two-Gun tracked Mooney back to his town to find it deserted and Mooney completely insane. Also during this period, Two-Gun helps protect the ranch owned by Louella Welstad and her father from Mr. Cullen.
While travelling through Malpais Flats, the Two-Gun Kid came across young Rusty Randolph, a young boy run out of town because his father was hanged for cattle stealing. Two-Gun brought the boy back to town and tried to convince the boy to stay there. He then beat up local tough guy Jake Ledbetter, who he finds out is the school marm's husband. Leaving the teacher with $100 to look after Rusty, the Kid then left town. However, Rusty followed after him soon afterward insisting on being Two-Gun's sidekick. Two-Gun resigned to this and agreed to take the boy under his wing, However he continued to try to find the boy a decent place to live and a good education.
Two-Gun sends Rusty to safety as he and his sheriff friend Burt Stockton investigate a series of train robberies. Two-Gun guns down the outlaws, and learns that Burt was responsible for providing them information and brings him to justice. While away from Rusty, the Two-Gun Kid becomes prisoner of the Baron a millionaire who built a castle of a radium mine that forced those around into slave labour. Much like with the Six-Gun Syndicate, Two-Gun organized a revolt that saw the prisoners freed, and the Baron left to die in his radium mines. Reunited with Rusty, Two-Gun was ambushed by an outlaw named Skull who mistook Rusty for the son of Havershaw his former business partner. With Rusty kidnapped, the Kid learned from Havershaw that the Skull was seeking the location of hidden loot they stole years prior. Two-Gun agrees to lead Skull to the location, and is able to gun him down thanks to Rusty's ability to imitate the sound of a rattlesnake. Also during this period he helped liberate the town of Lawson from it's crooked sheriff and judge, broke up the slave camp owned by Brad Bagley in Mojave, and broke down Carl Connor's secret prison chain-gang, who were disguised as cavemen in order to frighten off interlopers.
Reunited with Rusty, Two-Gun rescues Bill Banks from a lynch mob and helps clear him of cattle rustling charges by finding the hidden valley where a group of outlaws hid the stolen steers. In Roaring Valley, Montana, the Kid and Rusty stumble upon Blackie Benson and his gang who are looking for the lost gold of Pegleg Pete. They shut down the gang and expose that the supposed "ghost" of Pegleg is really a local rancher named Jeb Crandall who was also attempting to learn the location of the lost gold. Later, Two-Gun and Rusty are invited to spend time at the ranch owned by Rusty's uncle Fred. Along the way they cross paths with Shark Storm, and Two-Gun suffers a head wound. Stricken with amnesia, Two-Gun Kid is convinced that he is really Killer Karns and is sent to wipe out Fred Randolph. However, Rusty manages to restore the Kid's memories and he ventilates Shark Storm and his gang. Next the two were mistaken for outlaws Poison Palmer and Killer Kid, and used this mix up to prevent a train robbery. Determined to have Rusty continue his studies, Two-Gun takes him to Wolf Creek. There, studies fall by the way side when local Marshal Keene Sabre is gunned down by a local outlaw named Slink. Two-Gun manages to rescue Keene's twin brother Sam, and has him pose as Keene long enough to wipe out Slink and his gang. Still seeking to get Rusty some schooling, the pair ride into another town. There they learn that a jewel thief known as the Cobra had hidden the stolen Genghis Jewel in the area and as coincidence would have it, they rent out a library book that has the jewel hidden inside. The two expose the Cobra to be insurance agent Herman Dill and prevent him from recovering the stolen jewel.
Taking some time to himself, Two-Gun Kid visits his cousin Jeff Peters and learns that he is being pressured to sell his property to the Slash-K Ranch. When Jeff's wife is kidnapped, Two-Gun poses as Jeff in order to recover her from the ranch owner's unscrupulous lawyer Nick Wells. Two-Gun and Rusty then begin searching for the lost town of Hidden City Hill, which was swallowed up in an earthquake years earlier. Along the way they cross paths with Chet Larabee and help him recover broncos stolen from him by Lizard Galt. During the clash, Chet is knocked out by the hermit that lives in Hidden City. The Kid and Rusty follow after them and discover the hidden city. Striking a blow to the hermit's head, they learn that the hermit is really Chet's grandfather who survived the earthquake when the town was swallowed up. Chet's grandfather helps them escape with the broncs as the cavern collapses taking Lizard Galt and the hidden city with it. The pair also got in the middle of a family feud between the Bensons and Waltons. They discover that two men working for either ranch had purposely flared up hostilities in order to make both families wipe each other out so they could claim the gold they discovered in the river that divided the properties owned by both families.
Two-Gun and Rusty next rode into the town of Brimstone to drop off cattle for a friend. Brimstone they find is a law and order town where the motto is that the law protects everyone and all guns have to be turned in within town limits. However, Two-Gun and Rusty soon find that the local sheriff is in cahoots with a local mob of outlaws who have been robbing locals and bring them to justice. The Brimstone incident was Two-Gun's last adventure with Rusty, what happened to Rusty is unknown. Two-Gun next was invited to the wedding of his friend sheriff Johnny Wilson. Arriving in Wilson's town Two-Gun found that Johnny was replaced with a sheriff who was loyal to crooked businessman Mr. McCabe. Mistaken for an outlaw named Pecos Charlie, Two-Gun foiled McCabe's attempted robbery of the local bank, springing Johnny from the local jail in the process. After McCabe was gunned down, Two-Gun attended Johnny's wedding.
The Two-Gun Kid and Rusty eventually parted ways for reasons that have yet to be revealed, but likely to get the boy of the constant violence in his life. After a time, the Two-Gun Kid grew tired of outlaws going after him to make a name for themselves. Adopting the identity of "Sandy", Two-Gun helped a local rancher recover his stolen cattle, revealing that it was his brother who stole it. After convincing the rancher's son that the life of an outlaw is not to be glorified, Two-Gun Kid resumed his normal life with renewed purpose.
Soon after, the Two-Gun Kid was hired by the Southwestern Railroad Company as a troubleshooter for the troubled railroad. Two-Gun shut down the operations of Cal Brett, whose saloon in the rail town was causing workers to get drunk and fight constantly, delaying construction. Travelling in the desert, the Kid ran low of water and helped liberate the town of Taos when it was taken of by El Toro and his gang, just to get some water. Later, Harder found himself in a situation remarkably similar to when he posed as boxer Curly Collins when he was forced to pose as boxer Lefty Benton to fight Ox Leach. This was a similar gambling scam organized by Lefty's manager and his wife-to-be Helen, but the Two-Gun Kid exposed the ruse. In the town of Sagamore, the Two-Gun Kid was mistaken for outlaw Black Bart by local Cass Furman who sought to murder Adam North the leader of the local nesters. The Kid played along long enough until the real Black Bart arrived and eliminated both Furman and Bart, saving the nesters.
Since then, the Two-Gun Kid found himself back in the saddle, resuming his seemingly never ending fight for justice. Riding into the town of Colbyville, the Kid put a stop to Bull Tullock's protection racket, then in Wolf Creek the Two-Gun Kid avenged the death of of his friend Paw Comstock who was murdered by outlaws Marc Denby and Ox Brant, he then came to the aid of a Cheyenne tribe and saved them from the bigoted Major Ralph Marks, who was revealed to be half-white half-Native American. Travelling to Mesquite Falls, the Kid helped local ranchers protect their lands from a rival rancher named Wolf. Two-Gun then came to the aid of his friend Johnny Savage and took his place to win the prize money a rodeo to save Savage's ranch after Johnny was injured by rival Boss Cagle. When the Kid's friend Hoss Saba was murdered by a bandit named Flaminco during a Wells Fargo coach delivers, the Two-Gun Kid got revenge against the Mexican bandit. After getting roughed up in a stampede, the Kid rode into the town of Buckhorn and was mistaken for a hobo and forced into the position of sheriff by crooked gambler Bets Jackson who sought to run the town through a puppet sheriff. Instead the Two-Gun Kid cleaned up town and eliminated Jackson and his men. En route to help his friend Tom Wayne, the Two-Gun Kid was stricken with amnesia while battling the Bloody Mountain Raiders, who then tricked him into attacking the Wayne ranch. The Kid eventually had his memory restored and helped his friend eliminate the gang.
Travelling to Pinament, Wyoming, the Two-Gun Kid avenged Clyde Demning when his dog and sheep herd are killed by crooked rancher Boss Cagle, then later liberated the town of Nuggetville whose shop owners were terrorized by a band of outlaws. He later exposed crooked traders who stole pelts from a Comanche tribe by tricking them into smoking Opium, then stopped outlaw Charlie Driscoll. Two-Gun Kid later came to the aid of Billy Dawson, helping the boy protect his prize winning horse from a man named Simms.
While saving a stagecoach the Two-Gun Kid accidentally killed an outlaw he only intended to wound, making him fear that he was losing his skills. Testing out his guns, the Kid was relieved to find that it wasn't high eyesight that was going, only that his guns needed repair. Going to a gunsmith, the Two-Gun Kid turned in his Colt .45's for repairs and was offered a pair of gold plated .44 Colt Dragoons to use in the meantime. Learning that they were sold to the gunsmith recently, the Two-Gun Kid tested the Dragoons out and found that he was an even better shot with them and fell immediately in love with them, and bought them outright. However as it turned out the guns were originally the property of a wealthy Mexican family and the location of their family mine was hidden in a secret compartment in one of the gun handles. This made him a target of bandits who sought the map hidden in his guns, but the the Kid wiped them out and learning the secret of the map returned it to its rightful owners. The grateful family allowed the Two-Gun Kid to keep the guns. From that moment on, not only did the highly stylized Dragoons improve the Two-Gun Kid's prowess as a gunslinger, but also increased his notoriety as an outlaw fighter.
Not long after obtaining his Dragoons, the Two-Gun Kid helped local blacksmith Anvil Smith clean up the lawless town of Bedlam. Soon after that the Kid earned the ire of gambler Deuce Kimball who put a price on his head, but every assassin that went after the Kid fell under his guns, and eventually the Kid killed Kimball as well. Shortly thereafter the Kid helped his friend Chet Morrison drive his cattle to sale, and helped the Kilmer family get back money that was swindled from them by Duke Desmond. After refusing to join Shotgun Shanks posse, the Two-Gun Kid was decidedly indifferent of the outlaws pillaging until he saw how it effected those who were robbed and rendered homeless from the fires Shanks razed towns with. The Kid then tracked Shanks to the town of Mecca and slew his entire gang single handed. After the Shanks incident the Two-Gun Kid put down Hutch Haines after he robbed the bank in the town of Big Gap. Sent to the town of Devil's Horn to deliver a message telling the local sheriff he could retire and to choose a successor, the Two-Gun Kid arrived too late to stop the local outlaws from fatally shooting him. The dying sheriff then assigned Two-Gun Kid to be his replacement charging him with cleaning up town. The no-nonsense hero gave the outlaws 24 hours to clear out and those who didn't he literally tossed out of town. After completing his task the Two-Gun Kid resigned his post and resumed his travels.
In Mexico, the Two-Gun Kid was too late to stop the slaughter of his friend Don Esteban Rodriquez and his family, but put a stop to the Mexican bandits and their American gun runners who were responsible. Back stateside, the Kid inadvertently helped to protect the land deed owned by rancher Jim Dodge from falling into the hands of rival Cass Badger when Dodge gave the Kid his saddle which had the deed concealed inside it after Dodge's cattle trampled the Kid's own saddle. Later, the Two-Gun Kid stopped an Ute uprising when he helped their leader Totonka expose Link Farnum, the Indian Land Agent assigned to their reservation, was selling the cattle meant to feed his people and pocketing the money. The Kid next participated in a rodeo in order to donate the prize money to the town so they could build a new school house. He beat out Sierra Sloan and won the money, but Sloan bitterly forced the land owner the school rented from to sell his property and barred anyone from using the school until the Two-Gun Kid shot him down.
In the town of Bullet Creek, the Two-Gun Kid exposed a group of crooked arms dealers who were selling faulty firearms to a group of Native Americans. He later came to the aid of Tumbleweed Gazette whose freedom of the press was being threatened by outlaw Luke "The Ox" Curtis and his gang terrorized for publishing stories accusing them of the crimes they committed. Shortly thereafter the Kid helped the Lazy W Ranch stop a gang of cattle rustlers who were posing as the Lazy W's ranch hands. He also exposed Frank Case of murdering his uncle Billy in order to force nesters off family land that Billy donated to them. Travelling to Taos, New Mexico, Two-Gun Kid was once more mistaken for an outlaw -- this time Utah Nash -- and got in the middle of Whit Martel's attempt to murder rival rancher Esteban Terrero. He later tricked the real Utah Nash to help him slay Martel and his gang, Nash dying of a fatal gunshot during the shoot out. Travelling to the west coast, the Two-Gun Kid helped the local cattlemen's association expose their leader as a cattle rustler who was using the city's proximity to the ocean to rustle the cattle into a sailing ship for slaughtering. Not long after, the Two-Gun Kid rescued a lawman known only as the Banshee but found that his legendary gunslinging hands were crippled in an attack. Two-Gun helped keep this a secret by secretly helping the Banshee clean out the town of Riata of outlaws who had taken over the town.
Two-Gun continued coming to the aid of those in need both man and beast, such as when he helped Dan Fraser stop a forced marriage between his girl Nan Ford and gambler Dusty Gore and later he came to the aid of a panther trapped by Pawnee renegades. When the Kid was forced to kill whip crazy Loon Boice, he felt remorse for having to kill the mentally ill man and decided to give up his life of killing and sold his guns. However, when the guns were later purchased Ramrod Kane, who then used the legendary golden Dragoons to terrorize people, Two-Gun came to reclaim his weapons. Amazingly, the Kid confronted Ramrod empty handed and in the course of the fight the Dragoons somehow leap out of Kane's hands and into the Kid's own. Two-Gun then wiped out the gang and decided and reclaimed his former life.
While visiting his friend Frisco Bates, the Two-Gun Kid narrowly survived an ambush by El Tigre and his men. This attack left Frisco and his entire family dead. The Two-Gun Kid went after El Tigre, and avenged his friend while also smashing an attempt by the outlaw to amass an army to try and overthrow the government. The Two-Gun Kid later got in the middle of a dispute between the US Army and what appeared to be a renegade army of Apache warriors, which threatened to pressure the Army into going to war with the Apaches. The Kid exposed that a man known only as the Albino, a bounty hunter hired by the Army, was posing as an Apache to raise tensions. He later helped police an area of land in a zoning dispute between the states of Utah and Arizona, defending the region from outlaw Buzzard Skagg, until the government could determine which state the land belong to. Two-Gun Kid was briefly deputized by the government to hunt down three outlaws: Cantrell, Holly, and Baker. Following them into the desert he found Baker who had been left to die in the desert and learned that Holly and Cantrell had framed him for the murder of a US Marshall. The Kid tracked down the two killers and executed them. In the town of Jericho, the Two-Gun Kid liberated its people from the tyranny of an outlaw gambler named Domino. Travelling to the town of Lava, he investigated the apparent haunting of the area by Dade Pike, who was said to have been executed. The Kid exposed that Pike had faked his own death and then executed the killer. The Kid later insured that the government documents allowing settlers to expand outside of the town of New Hope, quashing the plans of an outlaw named Murdock to prevent the documents from being signed into law.
Suddenly, the Two-Gun Kid had drastically changed his ways, and had apparently renounced killing. Possibly to find some balance between his need to help people and his dislike of having to kill outlaws constantly. He stopped killing people with his guns, usually opting to use his shooting skills to shoot the guns out of the outlaws hands and resorting to fighting them into submission.
Not long after this change, the Two-Gun Kid was framed for a series of robberies by Turk Mars, who wanted to get revenge against the Kid for killing his two brothers. The Kid was able to expose Turk and clear his name. Later, the Kid took on a job helping Jack Forrest get his cattle across Texas, preventing Slick Tulane form trying to swindle Jack out of his beef. In Coppertown, the Kid halted Silent Jess Simms attempt at creating a range war between the Brent Mining Company and the Dane ranch. Soon after he stopped outlaw boss Montano from robbing a wagon train and after scared a young man straight by introducing him to legendary outlaw Lightning Bellows who was now nothing more than a paranoid and broken old man. The Kid hit some misfortune when a gang of outlaws stole his golden Dragoons and attempted to put them up for auction. The Kid then purchased a Winchester Model 73 rifle and used it to force the outlaws to return his stolen property. The Kid was so impressed with the rifle he made it part of his arsenol, but seldom used it thereafter preferring his Dragoons as his standard weapons.
Two-Gun later came to the aid of Jane Halliday, preventing her crooked uncle from stealing the family ranch she had inherited. In Railtown, the Kid prevented the Black Cobals gang from framing Pedro Cortez for a series of train robberies. He later stopped Bret Cannon from taking control of the Martin estate by forcing a marriage with Dina Martin, his ward. In another town, the Two-Gun Kid prevented Mark Cabot from fixing an election for a new sheriff that would have seen his goon Ape Bozeman elected as sheriff, so he could force local nesters out of the area and claim the land. He then assisted the people of Red Valley in capturing outlaw Snake Diamond and his gang. He also brought salvation to the town of Laribee when he fought to insure that a much needed serum got to the ill nesters who lived there, stopping a local named Trevor from stopping him. In the town of Gunville, the Kid stopped outlaw Lee Marcy and his gang from robbing the box office during the local rodeo. He then came to the aid of his friend Sheriff Ike Everett and stopped a range war between the local cattlemen and sheepherders. By this time, the Two-Gun Kid had befriended a tribe of Cheyenne people who dubbed him "Tonna Watika", he later assisted them ins topping the bigoted Captain Baird from starving them by withholding government supplied beef during the middle of the winter season in order to get at the tribe's gold. He later stopped a series of train robberies along the Bullion train line orchestrated by Luke Castle, who worked for the company. The Two-Gun Kid later went undercover for Marshall Jim Cobb, posing as the outlaw known as the Utah Kid to infiltrate and disassemble Lash Bannock's gang and rescue Cobb's son Pete who was being manipulated by the gang. He then stopped outlaw Bronco Riatt and his gang from rustling cattle owned by retired sheriff Johnny Linford.
During this period in his life, the Two-Gun Kid uncovers proof that Bull Murdock murdered his friend Cass Cumber in order to take his ranch. He also stopped gun runners from illegal guns into Mexico for outlaw Bat Bradley. At the behest of reformed outlaw Cal Bond, the Kid later liberated a small Montana town from the control of Lew Carpus. The Kid was later tricked by actor turned outlaw James "Gunner" Blake, who was posing as a British tourist named Frederick Marsden in order to escape with money he and his wife stole from a stagecoach. However the Kid eventually uncovered the truth and brought them to justice. Later he looked up his old friend in the Texas Rangers, Pedro Mendez, to learn that he went crazy after being injured by outlaw Bull Walker. The Kid helped capture Walker, and restored Mendez's sanity in the process. He also came to the aid of area ranchers whose town was taken over by by a big rancher named Bartell. Working with his friends Utah and Shorty, the Kid and his friends were kidnapped by some sailors who sought to force them to work on their ship, however the trio broke free and fought their way to freedom. The Kid next assisted a ranch owner named Madge find a new source of water for her property while preventing Trigger Malloy's tactics to pressure her into selling the property. After finding a new source of water, the Kid also exposed that Madge's fiancée Howard Destry and being in league with Malloy.
In the town of Hayes City, the Two-Gun Kid stopped the decades old grudge between Colonel Brockett and his long time friend Bill Telland. He then went on the trail of an outlaw named the Gunslinger from Twin Rocks to Malpais. Discovering that the Gunslinger was merely a young man, the Kid used his superior gunfighting skills to scare him straight. Meeting outlaw Chick Branch in the town of Buckhorn. Learning that Chick was framed for the murder of his twin brother, the Kid helped him expose Gabe Trench the real killer. He also stopped Cal Rust from forcing ranchers to sell to an eastern cattle syndicate. When the Kid's friend banker Frank Bond was murdered, the Two-Gun Kid was tricked into hunting outlaw Trigger March, until he discovered that Frank's partner Alex Fry was really behind the murder. Two-Gun also came to the assistance of British immigrant Daniel E. Bull locate his long lost brother Raymond, but the pair discovered that Raymond had become the notorious outlaw Cactus Bill. Raymond was slain in the encounter, the first time the Kid took a life since he seemingly stopped killing his opponents. He also helped rancher Ben Baker defend his property from a big time rancher named Mahler. He also stopped Ace Barstock's attempts to fame a local Pawnee tribe for stage robberies. In Bellstown, the Two-Gun Kid took down an outlaw named Pete Brande who possessed the gun once used by legendary outlaw Jesse Ringo. With the help of an outlaw known only as Trigger, the Two-Gun Kid helped his friend Barney Smith defend his mine from Ben Corbin, a crooked gold assayer. While trying to leave New Mexico, the Kid's train was attacked by Apache warriors. The attack caused quarantined sailor named Caleb Cane. The Kid hunted down Cane and captured him before he could spread his illness, and found himself quarantined for a few weeks for his troubles. Given a clean bill of health, the Kid travelled to the Colorado River where he convinced Johnny Barrat to leave the employ of Gila Course's gang and return to his fiancée.
The Two-Gun Kid was next manipulated into helping Miss Stella, who was being harassed by Moose Miller who was attempting to force her to marry him so he could take over her ranch. Although the Kid drove Miller out of town, he learned of how Stella manipulated him into helping her and left her employ. In yet another adventure that was incredibly similar to the Curly Collins and Lefty Benson incidents, the Kid found himself posing as boxer Rocky Steele to fight Rimrock boxing champ Gunner Mack. Like in the previous two incidents, the Kid expose an attempt to rob the box office perpetuated by Steele's manager. The Kid next defended the town of Lodestone from Quantrelle's border raiders, he then assisted outlaw Ben Pardee and area rancher defend their properties from cattle baron King Cossard. The Kid next came to the aid of historian Earl Quincy Hale in trying to find the long lost treasure of Maximillian of Mexico. He also came to the aid of Shelltown sheriff Wayne Cune liberate the town from Cole Judson and his gang. He also came to the aid of the people of Sweetwater, helping them clear out Bart Kelso and his gang. He later travelled to Valleytown where the Kid prevented Alex Bennock from framing rival rancher Verne Lane of cattle rustling.
Man of Legend
By this point, the Kid began hunting down the Corbett brothers, telling those he met that he was after them for murdering his parents. He also began telling people that he carried both his father's gun and that of his killer. He eventually captured the Corbett's and brought them to justice. The Kid continued to tell the story of how he got his guns and his name, likely to inspire people and likely to create a legend that was more impressive than the comparably mundane reality of how he became a famous gunslinger. In the town of Rimrock, the Kid helped defend Fen Trask's mine from Bets Maddon, then travelled to a small mountain town where he fended off some outlaws and taught a young man the errors of trying to be a famous gunslinger. Shortly thereafter he stopped arms dealer Greg Maitland from manipulating the Calvary and a local Comanche tribe into going to war. He later took the job assisting the B & L Company move their wagon train travel through Native American land, along the way he exposed Lin Baker -- one of B & L's partners -- was attempting to make an illegal deal to sell weapons to the local natives. He also assisted some homesteaders to revitalize their land after having their water cut off by Black Bart Morgan. He also briefly became a deputy sheriff when he liberated a town under the control of outlaw Blinky Draper. Back in the town of Rimrock, the Two-Gun Kid prevented the Albino's attempts to rustle cattle and disrupt the telegraph network in the region. In Gulchtown, the Two-Gun Kid helped clear the name of Ben Frost who was framed for the murder of Jess King, exposing the real killer as Jess King's nephew Marty. Travelling to Deerfoot, the Kid stopped a range war between Dolan and Corby and stopped an outbreak of the Black Plague. He later came to the aid of a small town on the brink of violence during a powerful drought. The Kid soon inherited the Box-O ranch after his friend Seth Maples is murdered. The Kid then uncovered a plot by a wealthy man named Turnbull who was attempting to purchase the land and swindle the neighbouring gold rich property owned by Pop Hart.
The Kid next came to the aid of his friend Sam Colby to move to a new location due to the fact that the locals were always making fun of his mentally challenged son Charlie "Bobo" Colby. However when Bobo turned out to be a crack shot and decided to try and take over the town after outdrawing outlaws Scar Travis and Trigger Ratel, the Kid convinced Bobo that it was all a practical joke, convincing the boy to renounce using guns. The Kid was hired as a trouble shooter for a local railroad to investigate who has been robbing their trains. The Kid shut down the gang and exposed their ringleader as Mike Corey, a dispatcher working for the railroad. Helping his friend Jim Stack bring cattle to a waterfront town to sell. The Kid was then kidnapped by sailor Black Barney who attempted to enslave the Kid. The Kid beat Black Barney in a fight. Jim placed a bet on the Kid winning the fight, earning him the money he needed to save his ranch. Later the Kid helped stop a war from erupting between the people of Boomtown and a local Sioux tribe. In the town of Nugget Rock, the Two-Gun Kid gunned down outlaws Fargo Dirk and Moose Larson. He later took a job helping his friend Dusty move cattle, preventing outlaw Blink Carstairs from infecting the herd with Hoof and Mouth Disease. In the town of Sioux City, the Kid exposed a Well Fargo robbery perpetuated by Wells Fargo clerk Fred Cotton and general store owner Jim Dace with the assistance of photographer Max Botley. He then travelled to the town of Clayhorn where he briefly signed on as sheriff to help clean up the Red Malloy gang.
While travelling on a coach, the Kid prevented three outlaws named Spade, Hunk and Kitty from robbing it. Travelling into Crowtown, the Kid found that it's owner Matt Crow was terrorizing the locals. Beating Crow in a fight, the Kid convinced him to become a deputy to help people in town instead of terrorize them. In the town of Rawhide Ridge, the Kid forced Morgan Turnbull to allow other ranchers to use his water from barring his ability to move cattle to market. Moving on to Mustang Mesa he helped Wade Thompson capture the man rustling his cattle, exposing his neighbour Sam Murdock as the thief. In the town of Cayute, the Kid taught a young boy the errors of wanting to be a famous gunslinger, telling the boy about how he lost the love of Ann Norton because of his guns.
The Two-Gun Kid then answered a call from Ann Norton to return to his hometown of Sundown, Arizona. There he helped liberate the town from the control of the Dalton gang. When Ann tried to rekindle their romance, the Kid told her she could do better than him and rode off once again. He then travelled to Gila Rock the so called "wildest town in the west" and helped clear out Big Ben Bronson and his men. While camping out, the Kid was robbed by Big Hank Jessup. However Jessup was later captured by Apache warriors, and the Kid came to his rescue. Instead of accepting a payoff from Jessup, the Kid turned him over to the authorities. The Kid then helped liberate the town of Rawhide Ridge from the control of Slash Norbull. In Rock River, the Kid was framed for a bank robbery by Will Hickey who disguised himself as the Two-Gun Kid. Arrested, the Kid managed to expose Hickey as the real thief. Later in a badland saloon, the Kid put down Clem and Hunk Yarger.
In the town of Cody's Landing the Two-Gun Kid prevents crooked politician Jonathan Park from forcing people to vote for him as sheriff. Later with the help of Apache warrior Proud Eagle, the Kid prevented Bill Lindo from starting a war between Roaring Bear's Apache tribe and a local tribe to profit from the sale of guns. While out on the trail, the Kid was struck across his brow by a bullet fired by the Youngers gang. Even though he was struck with amnesia the Two-Gun Kid still managed to liberate the town of Red Rock from the Youngers, restoring his memory in the process. Soon after he helped a wagon train stave a Comanche war party by defeating their leader in hand-to-hand combat. The Kid was next challenged by by Ace Norman to a gun duel, a challenge the the Kid won easily. In the town of Sagebrush, the Kid clashed with outlaw Deuce Dillon, but the pair are threatened to be run out of town by the local sheriff. The Kid later prevented Dillon from manipulating the sheriff's son into helping him out with a crime. Travelling to Rock City, the Kid defeated local bully Trigger Storm in a fight. Trigger in turn had a local woman named Sally Nesbit romance him in an attempt to manipulate him into swearing off violence. The Kid quickly fell in love with the woman and agreed to give up his guns. However the Kid soon uncovered the manipulation and ran Trigger out of town, and left Sally who realized that she had fallen in love with the Kid as well and lost him. He later came to the aid of school teacher John Fenton, who lost his entire class when they were convinced to give up school by local outlaw Flash Carter. The Kid defeated Carter in a fight, and convinced the children to return to school.
Participating in a shooting competition in the town of in the town of Sunset. He was challenged by Caleb Hodlen to a draw, but the Kid easily defeated Holden, putting the braggart in his place. He then taught a youngster named Jeff Cranton the errors of idolizing outlaws by introducing the young man to a increasingly paranoid Billy the Kid. The Kid was once again challenged in a draw, this time by an outlaw named Scragg, a man who was actually a faster draw than the Two-Gun Kid. However, when faced with shooting an actual human being, Scragg choked under the pressure. On the trail against an outlaw and master of disguise known as the Fox, the Two-Gun Kid caught him in Gopher Gulch when he attempted to frame the Kid for a purse snatching by disguising himself as a woman. He later hunted down outlaw Hank Quantrelle, when Hank was captured by Sioux warriors the Kid freed him and brought Quantrelle to face justice. In the town of Tumbleweed, Texas, the Kid helped defend the town from the Younger gang. Later he was struck temporarily blind by a blow to the head, and was able to stand up against gunslinger Nick Vargas relying on his sense of hearing alone. In Silver City, the Kid came to the aid of his friend Mary Sue Lester to liberate the town from crooked mine owner Boss Turnbull. In the town of Trail's End, the Two-Gun Kid posed as reporter Cuthbert Smith to put a stop to Spade Samson and Lunk Murdock's run of the town.
Fall From Grace
Coming to the close of his career, the Two-Gun Kid's fame and notoriety caused him to be a frequent target of those seeking to make a name for themselves by trying to out draw him, and going from town to town. He frequently struggled to make money to fend for himself, often taking jobs wherever he could get them. People's opinion of the Kid also soured, his reputation bringing trouble and making lawmen and other officials to run him out of towns due to the fact he would attract those seeking fame, by challenging him.
After stopping the Jethroe gang from robbing a stagecoach, he found himself low on money and quickly took up a job working for Sam Klaw a big time rancher. When he learned that Klaw was attempting to force Jess Murdock and his daughter off their land, the Kid gave up a months wages to put a stop to Klaw. Later the Two-Gun Kid was challenged to a draw by Caleb Hayes, the first of many gunfighters to try and make a reputation trying to gun down the Kid. In this instance, the Kid's gun misfired and exploded in his hand. The Kid was briefly struck with a fear of guns until Hayes started threatening others, forcing the Kid to overcome his fear and put Hayes in his place. The Kid took a job at Corbett's Rodeo, earning the ire of it's star attraction Lightnin' Lawson. When Lawson causes the Kid to get injured by a horse, the two settle it with a draw, the Kid winning. When Corbett learned he had the Two-Gun Kid on his payroll he briefly had the Kid appear as his star attraction to replace Lawson's departure. When an epidemic struck the town of Fargo Falls, the Two-Gun Kid rode a stagecoach through Apache territory to get the medicine there. Shortly thereafter he stopped a trio of outlaws who tried to hold him up on a remote trail, whose leader posed as a damsel in distress to trick passing riders.
When outlaw Dance Drago and his men were gunning for sheriff Ned Smith in the town of Riata, the Kid tried to offer his help but Smith refused the help of a gunfighter. The Kid ran Drago and his men out of town in secret. He next travelled to Gila City, liberating it from the control of the Harper gang. In Booneville, the Kid was almost thrown out for violating public decency laws due to his reputation as a gunfighter. The Kid however won the respect of the people when he help defend the town when it wa attacked by "Navaho". While in another town, the Kid was hassled by local bully Storm Smith, but the Kid put him in his place and made him promise to be nicer to strangers in the future. Shortly thereafter, the Kid was accused of the murder of another small town bully, this time a man named Ox Opper. However the testimony of a young boy named Billy who overcame his inability to talk helped clear the Two-Gun's name. Travelling to Nashtown, the Two-Gun Kid cleared out Blackie Nash, the outlaw that ran the town. He also came to the aid of homesteaders who were being driven from their land from Sam Savage.
After a shoot out in another town, the Kid was ordered out by Mayor Gray. When the Kid refused to leave the mayor got his son the sheriff. Seeing that nobody respected Sheriff Grey and the young man was afraid of him, Two-Gun pretended to be afraid of the sheriff and pretended to flee town. In the town of Tombstone, the Kid was challenged to a gun fight with Natchez Krull. Krull won when the Kid slipped during the draw and was wounded. The Kid laid low, disguised as an old man for a number of weeks, until he healed enough to re-challenge Natchez, winning the fight and driving him out of town. He also stopped the Butler brothers from forcing miners to sell off their stakes, and soon after trounced Ox Miller in a fist fight instigated by the bully. The Kid was challenged to yet another gun fight, this time by a young gunfighter named Waco Pete. The Kid won this gun fight, but took no joy in the victory, having come to fear the possibility that someday he may kill someone in a gunfight. After accidentally preventing the sheriff of Eagle's Pass from capturing outlaw Blackie Nash (no relation to the outlaw the Kid clashed in Nashville), the Kid promised to not use his guns in the area. Two-Gun however stumbled upon Blackie and his gang, and managed to capture them using the guns of one of Blackie's minions to round them up so as not to break his promise. Back in Boontown, the Kid came to the aid of an elderly mop-boy named Charlie by pretending to be the long lost son he imagined.
After capturing Barker brothers, the Two-Gun Kid managed to prevent Blackie Spade from trying to free his comrades, taking him prisoner as well. The Kid next came to the aid of the people of Abeline who were under the control of Sundance Spade. Spade challenged the Kid to a gunfight insisting that he drink before the fight it out. Unaware that Spade had the drink spiked, the Kid lost the draw and was wounded. However the Kid refused to crawl out of town and challenged Spade again, refusing a drink this time and easily beating him and driving him out of town. Returning to Red Rock, the Kid fell for the words of Preacher Brown that the civilized people don't need guns. However Brown turned out to be a fraud who travelled to towns with his minions convincing people to give up their guns and rob them. The Kid defeated Brown and his men, once more reminded that trouble does not come from guns, but the people who use them. In one of his more bizarre adventures, the Kid rode into Hidden Valley to come to the aid of his friend Ben Carter whose cattle have been stolen amid sightings of a so called monster outside of town. The Kid uncovered that another local named Morgan Yancy stole the cattle, and disguised an abnormally large ox with a monster costume to keep the locals away from the cattle he stole from Ben.
In the town of Lone Pine, the Kid attempted to stop Wolf Waco's rampage, severely burning his hands when saving a young boy from a fire started during his clash with Waco. With his hands injured for weeks, the Kid was forced to pretend he is working with Waco when Wolf threatened to kill the doctor treating his hands, intending on using the Kid's reputation to strike fear in the locals until the Kid's hands healed enough to make him a threat again, in which case Waco intended to kill the gunslinging hero. However, as it turned out the boy the Kid rescued in the fire was the doctor's son, and as such the doctor kept the Kid's full recovery a secret allowing the Kid to catch Wolf off guard during a train robbery and bring him to justice. In his last recorded appearance, the Two-Gun Kid faced a most undignified end. He was ambushed by Lunk Morton and Wyoming Bates, two outlaws seeking to make a name for themselves. The Kid was wounded in their initial assault, the Kid was becoming weak from blood loss. Out of sheer luck he managed to dodge a shot from Wyoming Bates that struck down Lunk Morton. Then before Wyoming could finish the job, he was ambushed by the local lawmen. The Kid eventually collapsed from his injuries. If he survived these injuries remains unrevealed.
One tale of the original Two-Gun Kid suggests that he assisted lawmakers in bringing documents to the government of Arizona when it was only a territory over the days before it officially became a State of the Union. If the original Two-Gun Kid was a real individual, as opposed to a fictional character, then this seems unlikely given the time period in which the Two-Gun Kid was active. Arizona entered into the United States on February 14, 1912. By that point in time Clay Harder ceased his activities as the Two-Gun Kid, as his successor Matt Hawk took over the identity in 1870.
The Two-Gun Kid was a crack shot with his duel pistols, as well as an excellent singer and guitarist. He was also a fine horseman.
The Two-Gun Kid wore an all-black suit with a placket shirt, a broad-brimmed black hat, and packed two long-barreled pistols with individual overlapping gun belts. In his early adventures he carried a guitar that he strummed while riding across the range.
He rode his horse named Cyclone
Originally the Two-Gun Kid carried two Colt .45 pistols. However he later replaced them with a pair of golden Colt Dragoons that fired .44 caliber rounds. He later obtained a Winchester Model 73 rifle.
- Clay Harder is not to be confused with Matthew Liebowicz/Matt Hawk, the second Two-Gun Kid.
- 107 Appearances of Clay Harder (Earth-616)
- Minor Appearances of Clay Harder (Earth-616)
- Media Clay Harder (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 21 Images featuring Clay Harder (Earth-616)
- Quotations by or about Clay Harder (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Clay Harder (Earth-616)
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