Comics / DC Comics History

DC Comics History: Trigger Twins (1955 - 1959: Dawn of the Silver Age)


By Deejay Dayton
Mar 30, 2017 - 10:58

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Wayne and Walt Trigger continue their odd deception, pretending to be the one and only sheriff for Rocky City, as the Trigger Twins series keeps its place as the cover feature for All-Star Western for most of the period 1955 – 1959: Dawn of the Silver Age. As before, there are a couple of stories in which Walt quits, or tries to, and many tale that show how useless he is in the role of sheriff. Two new supporting characters get introduced late in the period as well.

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All-Star Western 89 contains one of those tales that demonstrates how wonderfully adept Wayne is, and how useless Walt is. The story opens with a shooting contest in Rocky City.  At first, Walt is not expected to compete, being a professional gun man.  But then the crowd demands it, and Walt gets all nervous.  He misses dismally, which makes some outlaws, who have come to attend to festival, think this town will be an easy mark. Which means it's up to Wayne to save the day. 

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He tracks down the outlaws after Walt gets shot.  Walt gets shot an awful lot in this series.  Then Wayne performs some impressive horse tricks before firing off an amazing shot, all to make it look like Walt is competent at his job.

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The scam the Trigger brothers are pulling almost gets revealed in All-Star Western 93, as a man sees the two together. Once again, useless Walt gets injured, this time thrown from his horse, and Wayne changes clothes to take his place.  But this get seen by Jabez, who in turn is seen by the Trigger Twins.  Jabez runs off to tell the Anvil Gang about there being two sheriffs.  You would think this would make the Anvil Gang decide to head off for safer territory, but in fact it makes them want to take out the Trigger Twins.

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The story does reach an entertaining climax, playing off the cover image.  Wayne constructs two scarecrows, who look like them, and send them down a log flume with blasting guns, while he sneaks up behind the Anvil Gang and captures them.  By the end, even Jabez thinks that what he saw was simply a scarecrow being made.

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The cover scene for All-Star Western 98 does occur in the Trigger Twins story, but it gets even more absurd than that. The story opens with useless Walt tied to stakes in the middle of the desert by some bad guys who got the best of him.  Wayne finds and frees him, but by this time the sunlight has temporarily blinded him.  As they pursue the Zero Gang, the wagon they are travelling in overturns, and Wayne's legs get injured, so they get into the silly position on the cover. But they do it underwater! 

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Blind Walt has to hold his breath while sighted Wayne rides on his shoulders to shoot away at the Zero Gang.  They force the gang to blindfold themselves, and do it pretty quick, so Walt does not drown.  How on earth they get them into the town like this is left unanswered. This scene highly resembles one from the 1960's movie, The Parent Trap. Could it have inspired the scriptwriter of that film?

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The Trigger Twins tale in All-Star Western 99 opens as too many other Trigger Twins tales have began, with Walt resigning from being the sheriff, insisting that Wayne take his place.  This time he just leaves a note and takes off.  Wayne finds and removes the note, and goes off in search of his brother, to once again talk him out of resigning. But this time, Walt has decided to take up a brand new identity. 

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This clearly indicates that the root of his problems is his relationship with his twin brother, and his desire to create an identity of his own.  But Walt's over-riding incompetence prevents this plan from working.  The bad guy just takes his gun away and turns it on him. So it's up to Wayne to save the day again, although Walt does prove some small help.  In this story, they allow the bad guys to see the two of them in costume together, and do not worry about it at all, unlike every other tale.

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The Trigger Twins become a prize at the fair in All-Star Western 100. Raffle tickets are being sold to win a day with Sheriff Trigger, and not only does a bad guy want to win, to keep the sheriff out of his hair, but so do two new supporting characters. 

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Rita replaces Linda as the love interest in the series, which is fine.  Linda hasn't been around for a few years anyway.  The other is Jimmy, a young boy who idolizes Sheriff Trigger, although he, like everyone else, believes Walt is the big hero. Wayne goes in with Rita and Jimmy on buying three tickets, all agreeing to share Walt if they win.  The bad guy buys up all the rest of the tickets, so is really upset when he loses.  But his whole plan is to kill Walt, so he and his men spend the day doing that, attacking him at each of the three locations he spends with the winners. 

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The fight in the store is the most enjoyable, art-wise. As usual, Wayne has to sub for the incompetent Walt, who nevertheless reaps all the adulation from Rita and Jimmy.

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Walt hasn't resigned from being sheriff for a while, so it's not that much of a surprise when he does it again in All-Star Western 101. Unlike his earlier resignations, we don't actually see this occur.  Instead, we learn about it when Wayne confronts him, having read and torn down his resignation letter. A gunman, Doc Doom, is coming to town and Walt is just plain out scared to face him in a shootout.  Wayne reminds Walt of his occasional previous acts of courage, but all Walt can think of is his failures. Shockingly, Walt does decide to do this himself, rather than have Wayne take his place.

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By far the best page of the story is the one in which Doc Doom arrives in town. Doom succeeds at shooting Walt's guns out of his hands, but Walt does not run away.  Instead he walks right up to Doom and punches him.  Jimmy is there for the big finale, and for once Walt has actually earned the admiration the boy gives him. It’s about time.

The Trigger Twins continue in the next period, 1960 – 1964: the Silver Age.

Trigger Twins: All-Star Western 84 – 110 (Aug/Sept 55 – Dec/ Jan 59/60)

Next up – Strong Bow!


Last Updated: May 15, 2017 - 12:13

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