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Space Western #42
Charlton Comics, Inc.
As Hank surmises correctly, it has something to do with the eclipse going on later. "Since you're interested," Strong Bow replies, "I'll give you the details."
Strong Bow relays the story of how, hundreds of years prior, Aztecs o called themselves Fire Gods showed up at the Pueblo of his ancestors. They say they left Mexico because of the white invaders there. When asked why they couldn't handle the invaders, being Gods, the Aztecs explained the white men were Gods too. The speaker also said it was written in their Sacred Book, "In times of trouble, go to the fiery mountain of the North and watch the Sun die!"
Ignoring their hosts when they explain they only left because of the smoke, not because of fire, the Aztec continues. "It is written in our Sacred Book, The Popol Vuh: Where there is smoke, there is fire!"
The Aztecs took over the village, and began to build strange skyships from diagrams in the Popul Vuh.
Strong Bow continues, "Then, according to the legend, the mountain flared and rocked while the Aztecs rocketed skyward in their queer craft. After that, the volcano subsided."
Hank suggests the tribe gathers for the ritual in hopes of the Aztecs' return so they can fly away with them. Strong Bow sets the record straight, saying they are trying to keep the Aztecs from returning.
Strong Bow participates in the ritual of shooting arrows into the sky, though he thinks it's silly like many other traditions. The arrows from the bowmen strike a spaceship of the returning Aztecs. Alighting from the craft, the Aztec leader says, "We are descendants of the Aztec Fire Gods! We have returned with weapons that will destroy the white strangers! Your silly ceremony cannot stop us!"
re-assuring the tribal member Laughing Frog, Strong Bow rushes off to find Hank to bring back help, but the Aztecs capture him.
Seeing that Strong Bow is in trouble, Hank leaves in the Jeep to find assistance. Strong Bow watches one of the Aztec archers prepare to fire an arrow from a bow. Strong Bow remarks their weapons aren't as advanced as that of modern white strangers, who had improved their weaponry considerably.
The Aztec archer replies, "So have we, watch!"
The arrow goes over Hank's Jeep. He exclaims, "Wow! Those arrows turn into streaks of flame and burst like bombs! At a mile range too!"
One of the Aztecs notes the fact the "Sunburst Arrows" missed Hank, and suggests they use the "Brimstone Blasters". The Aztec archer thinks it better to let Hank get help, and imprison Strong Bow in the meanwhile.
Strong Bow overcomes two if the Aztecs with one stone striking their heads. He takes the outfit of one of the unconscious Aztecs, intending to infiltrate the invading group.
Hank meets with an Army Colonel who thinks the story sounds like a hoax, but hopes it is not so the military might test some new flame-throwing tanks. When the tanks arrive, the Aztec charge the army machines, one of the Aztecs calling them, "White Gods in their new war chariots!"
Observing from the overlooking cliff, one of the Aztecs is glad he was chosen to guard the prisoners. Another Aztec says living on the planet Vulcan made them immune to fire. "We are immune to explosions too, because Vulcan is so near to the Sun our blood has absorbed atomic rays! We're so hot blooded, the 110 degree temperature of the desert actually chills us!"
The first Aztec speaker, who is the disguised Strong Bow, replies, "There's something that will chill you out!" With that, he knocks out the Aztec with the butt of his 'Brimstone Blaster'.
Strong Bow tells the now-freed prisoners to take the Aztec's gun and follow him to the volcanic cavern under the cliff. Laughing Frog tries to tell Strong Bow something. Strong Bow just tells him to save his breath. The other guard Strong Bow knocked out comes to. He tells the other Aztecs the prisoners fled to the cavern. Another decides they must overtake the tribal members and occupy the cave.
When the Aztecs try to demand the tribe members come out of the cave, Strong Bow fires at them, demanding they come in to get the escaped prisoners. He leads them deeper into the cave.
The Aztecs follow, only to discover the cavern is an ice cave. The Aztecs freeze in their tracks, becoming a boost to the tourist attraction as petrified statues.
Powers and Abilities
The Vulcan Aztecs are capable of long-distance space travel in their Aztec-designed spaceships, based on diagrams in the book sacred to the Aztecs; the Popol Vuh . Their weapons are "Sunburst Arrows", fired by bow. They are explosive and accurate to a one-mile range. The "Brimstone Blaster" is a type of energy rifle.
The Vulcan Aztecs are immune to explosions, heat, fire, and radiation.
Public Domain Appearances
- Space Western #42
- Space Western #42 at Digital Comic Museum