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Origins

Dave "Blaze" Carson was a sheriff active during the days of the American Frontier.

Prior to becoming a sheriff, Dave Carson was a young cattleman working for Dean Hart in Texas sometime after the year 1881. Dave's first drive ended in Dodge City, where he and the other cowboys and drivers stopped to sell their cattle. But a group of thieves stampeded and rustled the herd. Dave and Dean Hart went looking for the rustlers, but the first one they found was packing the gun of Billy the Kid, and in the shootout Dean Hart was killed and Dave Carson wounded by a shot to the head. Dave, however, killed the rustler, and when he recovered he was handed the marshall's star and Billy's gun. The marshall of Dodge City had been killed by Billy the Kid's gun earlier in the week, and the town needed a marshall, so Dave accepted the job.

Dave, still suffered from the head pains, but began well as sheriff, but as time went by he slowly changed into a grim, ruthless, killing machine. Eventually he heard of a shipment of $100,000 in gold, and, seemingly possessed by the gun, set out to steal the money. When Dave arrived at the house where the $100K was being kept, he found a trio of men robbing the safe that contained the money. Dave gunned them down, taking another bullet in the head during the struggle. He was found by townsmen who thought he'd stopped the robbery, and was brought back to town. When he recovered he found that he had no memory except that of the gunfight in which he gained Billy the Kid's gun and the pains in his head. The town doctor told him that head wounds can affect the memory and cause people to change personalities and even bring on criminal tendencies. Blaze, having realised what he'd done, rode out to an arroyo and threw Billy the Kid's gun into the gulley, believing it to be cursed[1].

Sheriff of Red Dog

He eventually settled in Texas as the sheriff of a small town of Red Dog, and married a woman named Jane. Jane had a no-good brother named Durango who was always getting into trouble. Jane fell ill with a fatal illness and on her deathbed she had Dave promise to her that he would do nothing to harm her brother. Dave promised and his wife soon passed away and Durango left town[2]. Dave continued to operate as sheriff in the town and was fair and easy going about his job, seeking to help people steer away from crime. However he was also fast with his guns earning the nickname "Blaze".

One of his first recorded acts as sheriff, Blaze stopped local outlaw Bat Miller from abusing his horse. When Miller later attempted to rob a bank, his horse threw Miller off allowing Blaze to easily arrest the man[3]. Blaze was soon pressured by the local newspaper to investigate a rash of horse rustling in town, and question it's likely suspect Dwight Emerson. In his investigation Carson exposed Dwight's father as the leader of the gang[4]. Next Blaze got in the middle of a dispute between Dan Brewster and his father-in-law Buck Masters. Masters accused Dan of killing some of his cattle, but Carson helped them discover that the cattle were really being killed by a cougar[5]. When a coach carrying gold had been robbed while being protected by his friend Ned's son Jed, Carson became suspicious of the boys lack of action in preventing the theft. When Ned took over the job, Carson followed Jed out of town and learned that he was involved with the bandits robbing the coach. Jed was fatally shot when trying to protest the bandits from robbing the coach his father would be protecting. Blaze Carson gunned the men down and told Ned that his son died a hero[6]. In a similar case, Blaze Carson uncovered that coach rider Lars Johnson was robbing his own shipments and covering it up to appear that he was robbed. Blaze apprehended Johnson whose life ended on a hangman's rope[7].

Dave's past came back to haunt him when the gun owned by Billy the Kid turned up in a pawn shop and was purchased by a local named Jeff Sanders. Sanders getting big ideas that he was going to be a big outlaw was pulled aside by Carson who explained his own experience with the weapon and convinced Jeff that he should consider his wife and child before taking up the life of a gunslinger. Jeff saw reason and turned the gun over the Blaze, who then disposed of it once more. Blaze next prevented local gambler Ace Cassell from stealing young Johnny Butler's prized horse Midnight to use to win the horse race. In one of his more mundane cases, Blaze Carson was asked by Miz Cribble to track down who stole her prized pig Percy. Blaze finds out that the pig was stolen by outlaw Alonzo Miles who cooked it for dinner and brings him to justice. Taking a challenge that he was just as brave without his sheriffs star protecting him, Blaze Carson stops "Murderin'" Lynn Hobb from robbing a coach. Taking a bullet in the chest, Blaze managed to survive the shot thanks to his sheriffs star which he kept in his breast pocket[1]. Blaze Carson next helped Old Joe protect his gold prospects from Jesse Forbes and his gang[8].

Blaze once more found his past coming back to haunt him when his brother-in-law Durango returned to town. By this time he had earned a reputation as "Durango the Killer". When the locals pressured Blaze to do something about the outlaw, Carson could not bring himself to break the vow he made to his dead wife and Durango gave Blaze an ultimatum: Leave town in 24 hours or die. After his time was up, Blaze was confronted by Durango to see him out of town or see him eat lead. Seeing Blaze's picture of his sister, Durango blasted it with his gun. This convinced Blaze that he no longer needed to keep his vow to his late wife and easily beat Durango with his bare hands. Blaze told Durango to leave town, and warned him that if he ever returned he would be killed[2]. Tensions in town were soon raised when gambler Tod Heskel came in from Boston and began acting tough. Tired of his antics, Blaze ran him out of town. However, Carson soon tracked him down and brought him back to marry his girl Lydia, who informed Blaze that the theft that Heskel was accused for in Boston was really the work of someone else[9].

When the cattle owned by John and Mary Hankin were stolen in the night, Blaze used the lone calf left to track down its mother, leading him to the ranch owned by Hoot Larabee. When the calf identified its mothers, Blaze beat Larabee into submission and recovered the stolen property. When Blaze captured a bank robber he learns that it is Joe MacKey, son of his lifelong friend Ned. Arresting Joe, he lets him go after Ned tells him a story about how his brother's life of crime led him to an early grave. Later, Ross Leggetti takes over the local bank from the previous owner Sam Randel and begins to force people off their land. Blaze, finding Randel's sudden departure suspicious discovered that Leggetti had locked Randel in his own bank vault and rescued him, gunning down Leggetti in the process[10]. Blaze Carson later exposed another plot, this time carried out by Banker Lathrop who attempted to pin thefts of his own bank and local businesses on outlaw Jesse Jessup, who Lathrop murdered to cover up his involvement. Carson exposed Lathrop and gunned him down when he tried to pull a gun on the sheriff[11].

Deputy Tumbleweed

Soon an election for sheriff came up in the town of Red Dog, and Blaze was running up against "Honest" John Dabney, a newcomer in town whom Carson thought was familiar but could not place the face. It took an unexpected visit by Blaze's artistically inclined nephew Peter, drawing on Dabney's election poster for Blaze to recognize him as outlaw Jesse Douglas. When Douglas tried to gun down Blaze, Peter threw off his aim by throwing a box of crayons at the outlaw, allowing Blaze to shoot him dead. Blaze then won the election by a landslide, securing his position as sheriff of Red Dog. His first task after re-election was to clear out the outlaws hiding out in nearby Owl Hoot Gap, where he briefly posed as an outlaw run out of town in order to clear it out, slaying their leader, Oakhurst. Shortly after this victory, Blaze took on the elderly gunfighter Tumbleweed as a deputy. While Blaze was off in the town of Sagebrush investigating a robbery he returned to town just in time to witness Tumbleweed capture local outlaws Red Lannigan and Shorty Simms[10]. Soon after, Blaze was plagued by a toothache and was forced to leave it untreated as he investigated a murder perpetuated by Blackjack Jackson. Jackson, trying to kill Blaze in his office accidentally drank his toothache medicine (stored in a Whiskey bottle) and died. Next, Blaze Carson and Tumbleweed discover that outlaw Jack Carstairs is hiding out in Red Dog after he was accused of murdering Hank McCoy in Frisco City. However, they soon find that McCoy had faked his death to frame Carstairs and moved to Red Dog himself under an assumed alias. Blaze and Tumbleweed then helped capture McCoy and clear Jack's name. With Tumbleweed briefly out of town, Blaze Carson was able to root out Rick Walton's crooked gambling operation with the help of the brutish Tiny Telson, who Carson later deputized until Tumbleweed returned[12].

Still on his own, Blaze came to the aid of Jed and Sarah Wilson who were being terrorized by outlaws trying to drive them from their mineral rich property[13]; and went on the manhunt for a modern day Robin Hood outlaw named Luke Matson, proving him to be a heartless killer[14]. With Tumbleweed back, Blaze was on the look out for outlaw the Fargo Kid who was in the area. When a local man named Kansas murdered a poor gold prospector he tried to pin it on the Fargo Kid. Blaze exposed the lie after gunning down the Fargo Kid and brought Kansas to justice[15]. With Tumbleweed once more absent, Blaze Carson continued to defend Red Dog on his own. First Blaze investigate a series of robberies of gold minors by a masked thief whom Blaze exposed as Guy Mahler[16]; and Exposed that Banker Morton was involved in the robbery of his own bank in order to pay his gambling debts[17].Blaze Carson was later framed for the murder of Bull Clanton during an arrest being made at the Longhorn Saloon. Although Blaze was arrested by visiting US Marshall Jay Kenton, Blaze broke out of jail and was able to clear his name by capturing the real killer, Ace Dorman[18]. Later, while visiting his friend Ben Adams, Blaze got involved in the troubled romance life of his daughter Viola and her husband Shad Denton. Blaze learned that Shad was having an affair with a bar dancer named Millie and that he owed a large gambling debt. When Shad is murdered, both Viola and Millie confess to the murder. However, after investigation Blaze discovered that the local Mexican gambler named Franco was really responsible[19].

With Tumbleweed back on duty, Blaze Carson began defending local ranches from horse rustling. He soon uncovered a plot by local rancher Tom and Betty Lackridge to steal the cattle and frame David Jensen, a reformed outlaw, and brought them to justice. Troubled by young Johnny Baxter's idolization of a local outlaw, both Blaze and Tumbleweed try to steer the youngster out of trouble. When the boy is implicated in a robbery, Blaze tells the boy a story of his youth about how he got involved with an outlaw and ended up with innocent blood on his hands, scaring the boy straight. After Jimmy leaves however, Blaze reveals to the astonished Tumbleweed that the story was entirely made up[20]. Tumbleweed was again on a leave of absence when Blaze uncovered that the magician the Great Bardello and his circus troupe used their performances as a smokescreen to distract local law enforcement when they committed their robberies[21]. He also prevents banker Ira Stone from framing gambler Diamond Gamer of the murder of newspaper man Will Stebbins[21] and later when he foiled the Shuffler's attempt to frame Jem Hartley of murdering his partner Ace[22].

For unknown reasons Carson began calling himself "Speed Larson", and under this moniker help bust local rancher Charlie Tyler for the murder of reformed con Fred Kraus[23].

The Shuffler mystery was Blaze Carson's last recorded adventure. His fate is unknown.

Powers

None

Abilities

Blaze Carson was a skilled gunfighter and horseman

Weaknesses

After the first gunshot Blaze took to the head his personality began to change for the worse, it is still unclear whether this was a consequence of the head injury or because his gun was cursed.



Weapons

Like many lawmen of the era, Blaze Carson was armed with two Colt Muzzle's a .44 calibre pistol, later upgrading to the Colt frontier model. Occasionally he would use a 30-30 Winchester Carbine.

In his first appearance and early stories, Blaze Carson was referred to simply as "The Sheriff" until he was formally named in Blaze Carson #1.

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