Matt Slade was the son of homesteader Bill Slade. They settled on government land outside of the town of Last Draw but were burned off their land by a wealthy rancher named Kisco Graves. Homeless and penniless, the pair roamed the country looking for work when they ran into Po Jelks and his gang. Unaware that they were outlaws, the two gladly accepted a job to tend to their horses for 10 dollars. They soon realized that they were hired to facilitate in a bank robbery. After the robbery was a success, Bill Slade demanded Po for payment and was shot dead in front of Matt's eyes. Matt buried his father in a nearby canyon and vowed to become a great gunfighter and avenge his father's death.
Growing up, Matt took odd jobs and bought himself a pair of guns and trained how to shoot becoming an expert gunfighter and a "wizard of the cross-draw". However his involvement in the Po Jelks bank robbery had him labelled as an outlaw and his name was further tarnished by other crimes that were erroneously blamed on him. By the time Matt was an adult he was a wanted man with a reward on his head for $1000.00 dead or alive.
One day while getting out of a scrape in the Carson City Hotel, a lantern fell over causing a massive fire that trapped a young girl inside. Unable to leave the young girl to burn alive, Matt went back and saved her life burning his hands in the process, and then fled town. Seeking shelter in an abandoned shack, Matt was approached by Anson Clinton, the governor of the territories and the father of Judy, the young girl he rescued. Anson had come with a pardon, having deduced that Slade was not guilty of any of the crimes he was accused of except for the Jelks robbery of many years ago. However, after hearing Matt tell his tale, Anson decided to go through with the pardon anyway and then offered Slade a job working as an undercover US Marshal.
Matt accepted the job, and his first assignment was to take down the Hole-in-the-Wall gang who had been terrorizing the region for some time. Matt used his reputation as a gunfighter to petition for membership in the gang in the hopes of infiltrating their ranks and taking them down from the inside. However as fate would have it, Slade found that the Hole-in-the-Wall gang's leader was none other than Po Jelks. Matt intentionally blew his cover and single handedly beat the entire gang in a gun fight and took them into custody, sparing Po's life so that he would face justice for his crimes. Shortly thereafter Matt got another opportunity to square his past when his next assignment brought him back to Last Draw where Kisco Graves was still driving homesteaders off the government land. There Matt easily out shot Graves's hired guns and beat Graves in a fist fight, ordering him out of town and warning him of the grave repercussions if he should ever return. Some of Matt's earliest assignments involved clearing out the outlaws from Bucktown along with saloon owner Cobra Cane and the corrupt mayor Brad Ferris. He also helped defend reformed outlaw Ben Trumbull defend himself from his former boss Curly Bill.
On the trail of "Flash" Kellogg, Matt was unable to save him when his horse threw him Flash off a cliff. However his resemblance to Kellogg allowed him to help Flash's sister keep from having her family land swindled away from her by Mr. Bard. Elsewhere in Texas, Slade came to the aid of his friend Don Sebastian, whose property was taken over by Hawk Mosby and his gang who were trying to prevent Sebastian from selling a portion of his land to the local railroad. He also uncovered a plot by Clooney, a local circus owner, and a local Express Office employee to rob the Express office. While on the trail of the Utah Kid in the Mojave Desert, Matt's horse was killed and he was left to die in the desert. He came across a wild grey stallion that was also near death in the desert. Helping the horse get to water he nursed it back to health. After capturing the Utah Kid, the horse insisted that he ride it, and he took it for his own, naming the grey stallion Eagle.
Slade was later framed for robbing a stage coach by an outlaw named Mort and was confined to a jail in Dobbs Wells. However, when the real thief tried to kill Slade, Matt was able to clear his name. Matt soon found himself coming to the defence of the town of Crescent, the place where he earned his reputation as an outlaw when it came under threat from Trigger Clay and his gang. Unaware that Slade had been pardoned and was secretly a US Marshal, the locals refused to let him help until it was too late, but ultimately Slade helped the locals of Crescent stop Clay and his gang. He later stopped Bull "The Schemer" who tried to lure Slade away from town to rob the local bank. He also stopped trader Eric Bard from providing renegade Apaches led by Todecka with firearms.
By this time, Matt had adopted the nickname "Kid" Slade, and continued in his capacity as an undercover US marshal. When a new gang using the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang moniker formed under the leadership of Hawk Talon. He shut the gang down while simultaneously convincing the Utah Kid (no relation to the man he caught in the Mojave) that the life of an outlaw is not worth it. The Kid next assisted the town of Bonanza to get the much needed medicine to combat a fever, clashing with both a tribe of renegade Sioux warriors and Blackie Barret and his gang. Soon after he delivered a pardon to Sam Garret, defending Sam and his son Billy from an outlaw named Maze. Slade then got caught up in the hunt for Emmet Coyle, a young man who was accused of murdering Ben Starr -- aka the outlaw Black Jack Cave -- over stolen gold. Slade caught up with Coyle and soon uncovered that Ben's brother Eric, was responsible for the killing and put out a reward on Coyle's head to cover up his own hand in the killing.
After Kid Slade took down the Cosmo gang, he was framed for a stage coach robbery thanks to the machinations of Frank Warren, the assistant to governor Clinton. Kid Slade broke out of jail and found evidence to clear his name. He was then sent to Docktown where he put an end to the street brawls of some of the locals most wealthy property owners. He also came across yet another attempt to trade guns to renegade Apaches when he stopped wagon leader Bull Benton from selling guns to Pinto and his warriors. He was next hired on as a trouble shooter for the Great Western Railroad, exposing a conspiracy by the company's secretary Jim Tully and saloon owner King Cabot to prevent the railroad from being completed. He also came to the aid of two easterners Helen and Vance from being swindled of their late uncle's property by his former business partner Judd Carter, using his resemblance to Vance to assist after Vance was wounded. On the trail of outlaw Trigger Jones, both the Kid and Jones were captured by Bear Claw and his renegade band. However when Kid Slade challenged Bear Claw to a duel, the Kid managed to win their freedom. Shortly thereafter, Kid Slade was sent to investigate Baron Ulrich von Wolfgang a German immigrant who built a castle and was enslaving American settlers nearby. Slade used his reputation as an outlaw to infiltrate Wolfgang's army of outlaws. To this end he managed to stage a jail break and set the castle ablaze. Wolfgang was slain during the ensuing chaos that saw his castle destroyed and his private milita smashed.
Slade later took down outlaw Scar Cantrell in the town of Pine Creek with the assistance of reformed gunslinger Rory Hearn. While defending government officials and a group seeking reform in the region, Kid Slade was assigned to stop the Bork gang who were seen as the largest oppositions to new laws in the region. In taking down the gang, the Kid also uncovered that the reform group's own leader Miles Anders was responsible for the Bork gang's activities in order to buy land cheaply that would raise in value once order was restored to the region. Travelling to the Black Mountains of Montana, the Kid put an end to a family feud between the Coy and Barton families so that their eldest children could be wed. In his last recorded adventure, Kid Slade was sent to capture Wolf Perry and his gang, and used this as an opportunity to restore the faith of retired sheriff Cal Sloane.
Presumably, Kid Slade retired as a lawman and is presumably dead however his family has continued a tradition of heroics. His son Matt Slade Jr. became a brilliant inventor and in World War II developed what was then considered advanced technology. He helped found and equip the Sky-Wolves during the war. Among their numbers was Matt's grandson Matt Slade III who served as a pilot and munitions expert for the group.
Matt Slade was a master of the cross-draw technique of gunfighting. He was also a good hand-to-hand combatant and a fine horseman.
Slade rode a horse named Eagle
- 33 Appearances of Matt Slade (Earth-616)
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