Wednesday, August 29, 2012

MASKED MARSHAL "Introducing the Masked Marshal"

You've probably never heard of...
 ...or its' lead feature!
It's understandable for several reasons.
1) The 1950 one-shot, self-cover title from Metropolitan Printing is very fragile.
("Self-cover" means the cover is the same as the inside pages, cheap newsprint instead of the usual heavier "slick stock" almost all other comics used.)
2) It's an unusual format...5 1/2" wide and 8 1/2" tall, smaller than the usual 7 1/4 x 10 1/2!
3) It was part of a bagged set of five similarly-formatted comics for a dime which apparently had very limited distribution.
But enough about those mundane aspects!
Let's look at the tale itself and see the things that make this title unique among Western heroes...
Yeah, it was printed sideways!
But that's not the only unique attribute!
Read on...
The Masked Marshal was the only Western hero to wear a mask to cover a physical disfigurement!
Most of the other titles distributed with Boots & Saddles were reworkings of previous stories published by Spark Publications.
Green Jet featured a retitled Green Lama story and New World featured the first AtoMan story recolored and re-named AtoMaster!
But there was no previous Spark Comics Western material!
So, where did Masked Marshal come from, or was it new material done to expand the range of genres in the packaged comics?
Whatever happened to Steve Lawrence?
Did he catch Hooker and his gang?
And, what of poor Sylvia?
Sadly, we'll never know the answers...
Be here tomorrow for another tale of a Masked Western Hero!

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