Comics / DC Comics History

DC Comics History: Davy Crockett


By Deejay Dayton
Apr 17, 2017 - 21:03

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Davy Crockett is the first of three historical western characters introduced in the debut issue of Frontier Fighters. As with many western heroes from the period 1955 – 1959: Dawn of the Silver Age, the stories are largely imbued with racism against the natives.

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John Prentice does the art on the Davy Crockett strip, which relates his battles against the Creek tribe.  Davy is shown to be a noble and competent woodsman, in contrast with the evil natives, and bumbling British. In his first story, time is taken to relate an adventure from Davy's childhood, in which he wrestled and defeated a bear. 

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It's clearly a tall tale, but serves as the introduction to the hero. Davy defeats the Black Warrior, the leader of a band of Creeks, and by doing so, ends the big battle between the tribe and the British.

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Davy Crockett's gun Betsy is of central importance in Frontier Fighters 2. Davy Crockett runs into another traveller in the woods, shares his food and then wakes up to find the asshole has stolen his beloved gun.  Davy heads to the nearest fort, which winds up besieged by the Creeks. He manages to fend them off using some other gun, but still wants his own back.

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So he tracks the thief, who has started using the monogrammed gun to pass himself off as Crockett.  But Davy shows up and challenges the man to a shooting match, which proves he is the real Crockett. At least the villain is a white guy in this one.

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Davy Crockett gets captured by two young Creek boys in Frontier Fighters 3. Crockett is battling the Creeks, and two young boys of the tribe decide to join in.  Because Crockett does not want to hurt the kids, he finds it hard to shake them off, and winds up caught by the braves, who see him struggling with the kids. But the two boys start to regret their actions, and we find out that they are really white boys who had been kidnapped by the Creeks, and told their parents were dead. 

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They sneak in at night to free Crockett and explain their situation.  Turns out that the boys' parents are still alive, so Davy takes the kids with him, and re-unites them with their family.

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In Frontier Fighters 5 Crockett is on the hunt for pirates who hide out in the swamps and steal the furs that traders try to carry through.  Crockett has his own troubles in the swamps, but comes across a helper, who calls himself the Swampfox.  The man claims to have wandered in twelve years ago, and never seen another person since. Crockett knows this is a lie, because the man is using a recently invented Bowie knife. 

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In this story, Crockett sends smoke signals to the natives, who wind up playing the role of the cavalry, coming to aid him once Crockett exposes the Swampfox as the leader of the pirates.

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The story in Frontier Fighters 6 is about white traders who are paying very low prices for the skins they are getting from the natives.  Davy Crockett is upset about this, insisting that the furs have higher value, and that the natives should be paid accordingly.  The men buying the furs have a history with this tribe, who know how deadly they can be, which is probably why they are selling cheap.

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But Crockett stops the sale and makes enemies of the traders.  So in this instance, Crockett is completely acting on the side of the natives, and battling the whites who are exploiting them.  A total reversal from the first story.

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Davy Crockett’s story in Frontier Fighters 8 veers as far from reality as this series would get.  While bringing a couple of thieves back to a fort, Crockett gets caught by a landslide, which brings him to a hidden valley, populated by a group of natives who live sort of an Aztec style life.  They have a prophecy of a white man coming to be their king, and assume this refers to Crockett. He takes the role of king long enough to determine how the medicine man for the people is tricking them in order to control their society. 

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He exposes the man's games.  Later, the medicine man hooks up with the two thieves to try to get revenge on Crockett.  This fails, but does reveal to Davy the way out of the valley.  He resigns his kingship, and heads back to civilization. This also brings an end to the Davy Crockett series.

Davy Crockett: Frontier Fighters 1 – 8 (Sept/Oct 55 – Nov/Dec 56)

Next up – Buffalo Bill!


Last Updated: May 15, 2017 - 12:13

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