The Trigger Twins were the longest lasting of the four western series that were introduced when All-Star Comics became All-Star Western during the period 1948 – 1951: End of an Era. Created by Robert Kanigher, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella, Wayne and Walt Trigger were identical twin brothers, one of whom is the sheriff of Rocky City. Oddly, though Wayne is the better fighter and gunslinger, it’s Walt who is the sheriff.
Their first story, in All-Star Western 58, sets the pattern for the series. When Walt gets in over his head, Wayne comes to bail him out, but dresses exactly the same way, so that no one will suspect he is not Walt. I find it pretty hard to like Wayne, who prefers to live life as a storekeeper, despite Walt insisting that Wayne really ought to be the sheriff. There is also a woman, Linda Grey (though just called Linda in this story), who is in love with Walt, imagining him to be a great sheriff. Wayne likes Linda, but not enough to be honest with her.
The debut tale has the brothers dealing with some outlaws, and twice during the course of it Wayne has to dress up as Walt. The romantic element is really twisted, as Linda gives Wayne a passionate kiss, thinking that she is kissing Walt. This series, which ran for quite a while, never delves into the darkness that seems to be at its core.
In their second outing The Trigger Twins capture the Galago Gang, and their lawyer, Vinton, cannot see how Walt could have done it on his own. This leads him to think that Wayne is really helping him, and he decides to turn this "twin" plot against them. Vinton leads a gang in a number of robberies, but has the alibi of always being in the town, and having Walt see him there.
Eventually the brothers realize that Vinton must be having one of his own gang impersonate him, which is exactly what is happening, with the use of an extremely realistic mask for an era before the development of plastic. Oddly, they sort of openly play the double game when taking down Vinton and his men, although the lawyer mixes up which is Wayne and which is Walt.
Their stories tend to be a bit repetitive, even moreso as the series progresses into the next period. But I do need to draw attention to the tale in issue 60. The story deals with a rival town, Boulder Gulch.
The mayors of the two cities wager over which will have a lower crime rate, and then the mayor of Boulder Gulch sends armed men over to Rocky City to cause problems. Walt winds up getting shot, so Wayne takes his place, tracking the bad guys back to Boulder Gulch and exposing the mayor's plan.
But the most important thing in this story is the cutaway of Wayne's secret lair beneath his store, which he uses to get out of town without being seen. Wayne sure does put in a lot of effort for someone who refuses to be the sheriff.
The Trigger Twins continue in the next period, 1952 – 1955: We Don’t Need Another Hero.