Space Western #40 (1952)
Charlton Comics, Inc.
Walter Gibson and John Belfi
Introduction from Space Western #40:
"Spurs Jackson, cowboy and rancher likes to ride the Arizona range on his horse, "Pronto"---but by profession Spurs is an electronic engineer---he has charge of a 1000-foot radio tower erected on his ranch, the Bar-Z to check the flight of guided missiles now being projected from Earth to the Moon."
In their first adventure, Hank and Strong Bow are discussing recent flying saucer sightings. Strong Bow doesn't believe in the saucers, as he overheard a conversation between Spurs and some other scientists in which the scientists tell Spurs the saucers are an illusion. For this reason, Strong Bow prefers to play horseshoes than consider it. Shortly, an alien saucer melts the tower on the Bar-Z ranch, surprising both Long Bow and Hank. Hank says that confirms the saucers. When Spurs rides up as several more saucers land. A helmeted alien of fairly human appearance alights from one of the spacecraft. The alien's name is Korok, and he is the leader of the invaders.
Spurs tells Korok, "Well, well! Don't tell me you are from Mars!"
The alien leader replies, "Naturally, we are from Mars--" Telling Spurs he finds the language primitive and readily translatable. Spurs tells them to take off their helmets and he'll tell them about the rockets being launched to the moon.The alien is angry, saying Spurs knows the invaders cannot survive without their helmets. The alien orders Spurs, Hank, and Strong Bow be captured and disarmed. The aliens examine the weapons of Spurs, Strong Bow, and Hank, and decide they are merely child's toys. These weapons include the lasso Hank carries, Strong Bow's bow-and-arrow, and Spurs's whip.
Korok allows the weapons to be brought with them back to Mars, giving them "one zuba" to pack for the trip, (a zuba being equal to 17-and-one-half minutes). Korok also orders that Spur's horse, Pronto, also be brought along. Hank decides to bring his guns as they retrieve items from the ranch house. Spurs packs "his plutonium guns which fire miniature atom bombs." He also brings "special space masks and other equipment of his own invention."
Korok orders Spurs to go with him in his ship, while Strong Bow and Hank are to go in different ships. Korok also plans on taking the horse Pronto. The pressure changes in Korok's ship, permitting him to remove his helmet. The Martian saucers spin with an incredible velocity, which permits them to leave the Earth.
When landing on Mars, Korok is amazed at the outfit Spurs is wearing and asks him where he got it. Spurs informs the Martian the clothing is of his own invention in anticipation of eventually traveling to space. The kidnapping by the Martians provided Spurs with ample opportunity to test the spacesuit.
Spurs asked to meet Queen Thula, a request Korok is pleased to oblige forthwith. When Korok introduces Spurs to the queen, she is sad. She explains she must abandon her throne right away. One of the Martian attendants proclaims, "All hail King Korok!"
When Spurs asks why as he walks away with her, she says there was an agreement that Thula would abdicate her throne if Korok conquered Earth.
"Korok conquered Earth?" Spurs says. "Why that phoney! He only stayed long enough to talk us into a saucer ride!"
Hank shows up to see Spurs consoling Thula. Hank asks what's going on, with Spurs informing him of the deposed queen losing her throne on their account.
"Well, strike me for a maverick! No queen is going to be dethroned while I'm toting a pair of sixguns!"
When Hank shoots at a Martian guard, the guard laughs and tells Hank the electronic curtain protects the palace from all attacks with metal projectiles. This, Spurs realizes, includes his plutonium gun pellets.
Queen Thula says they are helplessly barred from the palace. Strong Bow has a different idea, shooting the guard with a flint-tipped arrow with a wooden shaft. The guard is dismayed at his own death by the arrow. Hank uses his lasso to subdue another guard, allowing Spurs to pass into the palace.
Once inside, Spurs approaches the guard to throne room with his plutonium gun. Brandishing his own gun, the guard calls Spurs a fool, saying a one-way electronic curtain protects him from a shot from Spurs, but Spurs isn't protected from Korok.
Strong Bow appears to assist, firing the gun out of the guard's hand with an arrow. Spurs enters the throne to address Korok; "Hold it Korok! Before you do anything official, you'd better prove your title to that throne!"
Korok demands Spurs dispose of his gun. Spurs does so, but Korok retrieves his own weapon. Using his bullwhip to avoid the electronic curtain, Spur disarms Korok by lashing the pretender's hand and numbing it.
Spurs says, "And there's nothing better than a bullwhip for snaking phoney kings out of thrones they don't belong in!"
Strong Bow and Hank readily dispatch the other guards with their own weapons of an arrow and a lasso.
Queen Thula offers Spurs Jackson the throne to rule with her as Prime Minister. As a court member proclaims, "Hail Queen Thula!", another shouts, "All hail the new Prime Minister Jackson!" Spurs sits next to the lovely queen, stating, "You know this could only happen on Mars!"
Spurs is an excellent equestrian, a skilled gun-fighter, good at management, and effective in use of a bull-whip. He is also a trained Electrical Engineer, trained in electronics, invention, usage, design, and repair,
Public Domain Appearances
- Space Western #40-45
- Cowboy Western Comics #46
- Space Western #40 from Digital Comic Museum