Monday, August 27, 2012

BLACK BULL "Bullets at Salt Lick"

Zorro, what hath thou wrought?
See if you can spot the similarities between Johnston McCulley's character and Black Bull in his premiere appearance (but not an origin story)!
How many tropes did you spot in this never-reprinted tale from Prize Comics Western #71 (1948)?
Masked avenger who protects the innocent.
Dressed in black
Named after animal ("Zorro" is Spanish for "fox".)
Secret identity is wealthy layabout who lives at home with his father.
Uncertain relationship with authorities and law-enforcement.
And, with the next tale, a loyal servant who knows his dual identities.
The Black Bull had a fascinating pedigree...
He was created by Dick Briefer, best known for his amazing work on Prize Comics' Monster of Frankenstein series which ran the gamut from humor to horror during it's run.
You can see an interesting mixture of Briefer's humorous and dramatic styles in this tale, as if he's trying to figure out what approach to take as he's doing the story!
But, as of his second appearance, the character was taken over by a most unusual team...John Severin and Will Elder!
If those names are familiar, it's because they were the artists on last week's feature, American Eagle, who, ironically, debuted in Black Bull's final issue of Prize Comics Western!
Despite Severin & Elder producing all the remaining Black Bull tales from #71 to #85, the character never made the cover slot even once!
Be here tomorrow for another tale of a Masked Western Hero!

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