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Appearing in "The Legend of the Black Rider!"Edit

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Synopsis for "The Legend of the Black Rider!"Edit

The Black Rider assists Jim and Bobby Lathrop in defending their ranch from a gang of cattle rustlers, wiping out the entire gang. Later, Black Rider and Bobby spend time by the river together. There Bobby asks the Black Rider to explain his origins. The Black Rider explains that his story begins with a young man named Matthew Masters who lived in the town of Jezebel...

... Young Masters parents were murdered by a gang of men who were led by Luke Davis and his gang. Young Matthew Masters vowed to get revenge against Davis for murdering his family. The boy soon became a young outlaw by the name of the Cactus Kid. Eventually his trail of death and carnage led him back to the town of Jezebel where he ran into Davis and his gang in the local saloon. There the Cactus Kid delivered bloody retribution killing his parents murderers. Arrested, Cactus Kid was brought before the governor of Texas and a jury of his peers. Instead of sending the boy to jail, the governor decided to make the best use he could of the boy and they agreed that the Cactus Kid would give up his outlaw ways and go to school and learn to become a doctor.

After years of schooling, Matthew Masters had become a doctor and the meek and peaceable man moved to the town of Leadville, Texas to set up his practice. Soon after setting up his operations, Masters is visited by Marie and Jim Lathrop who need him to patch up one of their ranch hands who was shot by an outlaw named Blast Burrows who has been trying to force ranchers off their land. Burrows suddenly shows up and shoots Masters patient dead as a warning to the Lathrops. When Marie and Jim try to convince Matthew to do something, his pacifist nature prevents him from doing so and they regard him as a coward. Jim goes out to confront Burrows on his own and is shot. Although he will live Marie is even more furious at Masters for his inaction.

Stuck to his vow, the frustrated Masters decides that there is a way to keep true to his promise to the governor and be able to use his old ways for something good. Masters then devised the double identity of the Black Rider. After breaking into a local shop and buying his costume, the Black Rider rides out to the Lathrop Ranch where it is under siege by Burrows and his gang. The Black Rider gunned down the gang, but Burrows escaped with Marie as his prisoner. The Black Rider however catches up and guns down Burrows saving Marie's life. Masters soon found himself in an interesting position: Marie Lathrop had fallen instantly in love with the Black Rider, but despised Matthew Masters.

Appearing in "The Silent Killer!"Edit

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  • a puma

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Synopsis for "The Silent Killer!"Edit

A puma has been stalking and killing the cattle on the Lathrop ranch for days, and ranch hand named Tom has been trying to track down and kill the creature with minimal results. While out hunting for the beats one day, the puma gets the drop on Tom attacking him savagely. Worried about Tom, Marie saddles up a horse and goes out of looking for him and finds him just barely hanging on for dear life. Marie then rushes off to town to get Doctor Matthew Masters to try and save Tom's life.

Leading Matthew to where Tom is, Marie waits impatiently as Matthew treats Tom and starts a fire. Marie then decides to go off to hunt the puma alone despite Matthew and Tom's warnings that it is too dangerous. Masters slips away under the pretence that he is going to town to help, but instead changes into the Black Rider and goes after Marie.

Racing across the land on Satan, the Black Rider comes upon Marie who has been cornered by the puma and is stuck with a jammed gun. The Black Rider manages to land shots on the puma, wounding it. The big cat pounces on the hero, but he tosses it aside and catches it in a lasso. Before the cat can attack, the Black Rider's horse Satan tramples the puma to death. In the aftermath, the Black Rider sees Marie off with a kiss. He soon returns in his civilian guise to find Marie still fluttering over the fact that the Black Rider kissed her.

Appearing in "Terror of the West!"Edit


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Synopsis for "Terror of the West!"Edit

Western story.

Appearing in "Six-Gun Lesson!"Edit

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Synopsis for "Six-Gun Lesson!"Edit

Matthew Masters is killing time with Packrat Pete who is on one of his long winded soapboxes about women when the pair are suddenly visited by the local school marm Miss Larrimore. Larrimore asks Matthew Masters if he can help her with her student Kit Pardee, who has been refusing to focus on his studies complaining that it hurts him to study and work and that his attitude is starting to effect the other students. When she mentions that Purdee idolizes the Black Rider, Masters comes up with a solution to the problem and tells Larrimore that he will try his best to guide the boy back onto the right path.

Changing into the Black Rider, Masters searches around for Kit Pardee and finds the boy playing hookie from school to go fishing. When he learns that the boy hasn't caught anything, he makes a suggestion on how to improve his catches by changing his bait and reeling method and helps the boy catch a catfish. When Kit bets that the Black Rider didn't learn that trick out of a book, the Black Rider shocks the boy by explaining that's exactly where he learned the fishing trick. The Black Rider then teaches Kit all sorts of other things that he also learned from reading: such as path finding, following a map, how to find north, and how to shoot. Kit suddenly realizes the errors of his ways and agrees to go back to school.

The following day Miss Larrimore stops Matthew Masters and Packrat Pete as they are riding through town and thanks Masters for whatever he did to change Kit's view of schooling. When Masters brushes it off as no big deal, Larrimore begins to consider that there is more to Matthew Masters than he lets on.

Appearing in "Creeping Death"Edit


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Synopsis for "Creeping Death"Edit

Western Story.

Appearing in "Death in the Cards!"Edit

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Synopsis for "Death in the Cards!"Edit

Gambler Flush Dawson enters town intent on opening a new gambling den in Leadville. He is confronted by the sheriff and his posse who tries to get him to leave, but has no legal means from stopping Dawson from opening up his casino.

Weeks later the casino open and Dawson and his men plot to use crooked means to insure that they win big and suck the people of Leadville dry. Marie Lathrop soon becomes interested in checking out the casino and invites Matthew Masters to join her, hoping that the experience can teach Masters to live a little. When the pair enter the casino, Marie is soon notices by Flush Dawson who begins to romance her and manages to slip her away leaving Masters along to his own devices. Deciding to try out the gambling operations, Masters soon realizes that all the games are rigged and he soon loses all his money. When he calls the casino workers on their dirty tactics, Dawson has Masters tossed out into the street while Dawson rides Marie home.

Masters comes back at the Black Rider and smashes up the casino, revealing all the dirty tricks that the operators use to cheat people out of their money. The Black Rider then challenges Dawson to a game of cards: Whoever draws the highest card wins. When Dawson pulls a higher card, the Black Rider notices he pulled the card from his sleeve and guns him dead and when Dawson's men try to kill the hero he guns them down as well.

Later that evening, resuming his identity of Matthew Masters, the Black Rider takes Marie out for a late night ride. When he tries to get her to agree that it is much nicer than gambling, Marie agrees to confesses that she wishes she could be having this moment with the Black Rider.

  • The story "Legend of the Black Rider" tells an expanded version of the Black Rider's origin story which was originally told in All Winners #2. The only remarkable differences between the two versions of the story is that the Cactus Kid is tried by a court, as opposed to the original story where the boy has private council with the governor of Texas. Also in the original story Blast Burrows is a member of the Eastern Syndicate, in this story he appears to be working alone.
  • This issue also features two pin-ups of the Black Rider


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Footnotes



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