Comics / DC Comics History

DC Comics History: Wyoming Kid (1955 - 1959: Dawn of the Silver Age)


By Deejay Dayton
Mar 14, 2017 - 10:24

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Wyoming Kid was no longer the cover feature of Western Comics, but his run in that book during the period 1955 – 1959: Dawn of the Silver Age did see the hero get a new origin. It bore no resemblance to the vengeance based one he had been given at the start of his run, but the series itself no longer did as well anyway. In the back pages, Wyoming Kid’s strip suffered page reductions, removing what little made it stand out.

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In Western Comics 65 the Wyoming Kid relates the story of his childhood, his training by natives, and his earliest efforts fighting crime to some young boys.  His parents are briefly referred to, but only in so far as they kept travelling around, so he has no idea what state he was born in, nor does he feel a tie to any particular state, despite his moniker. 

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There is no quest for vengeance, no murder at the core of this origin story. We find out that he was given the name Wyoming Tadlia by some grateful natives, which means wandering boy.  He chose to partially anglicize that into Wyoming Kid.  Frankly, the first origin story is the better one.

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Western Comics 54 features a decent variation on the identical evil double story. It begins as many do, with a gang of outlaws running into a man who looks just like the Wyoming Kid. They enlist him in their plan to rob a stagecoach, having him impersonate the Wyoming Kid and ride shotgun on the stage, allowing them to rob it and pretending to simply fail at stopping them.
But this really is the Wyoming Kid, pretending to be his evil double. He was needing proof in order to bring them in. True, he does go along with the plan much longer than is truly necessary, but it makes for a good tale.

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In Western Comics 60 the Wyoming Kid deals with the Racing Bandit. At first, he is simply amazed at how one rider, on a horse named Black Arrow, wins a race in a time that seems almost impossible to achieve. Wyoming Kid examines the horseshoe tracks, which seem to confirm that the same horse ran the entire distance. But as he pursues the situation further, he learns about a stagecoach robbery that occurred while the race was going on.

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By careful examination of the tracks along the way, Wyoming Kid deduces that the rider of Black Arrow had a similarly dressed double who covered part of the course, while he went and robber the stagecoach. Money changing hands, horses being traded off, it was a very complex scheme. Probably too complicated, as the thief just wound up drawing more attention to himself because of the race.

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In Western Comics 63 Wyoming Kid shows his softer side. He runs into an old friend, a sheriff about to retire, who had hoped his son would succeed him, but the boy lacks confidence. The kid is very young, probably too young to take his father’s job. But Wyoming Kid decides to go about boosting the boy’s confidence. The Wyoming Kid starts off by bragging about his various achievements, which irritates the boy.

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But as the story progresses, and the two pursue some outlaws, the boy winds up out-shooting, out-jumping, and out-roping the Wyoming Kid. By the end, the boy realizes how the Wyoming Kid had played him all along, but as he did succeed in building the boy’s confidence, all is good, and the boy is ready to become sheriff.

The Wyoming Kid continues in the next period, 1960 – 1964: the Silver Age.

Wyoming Kid: Western Comics 53 - 78 (Sept/Oct 55 – Nov/Dec 59)

Next up – Nighthawk!


Last Updated: Mar 14, 2017 - 10:28

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