Thursday, August 24, 2017

BRAVADOS "Ride to Vengeance!" Conclusion

...Entering a small town, Gideon sees someone he thinks is Jonas Payne, sadistic commander of the Confederate POW camp where Gideon spent part of the Civil War!
The man claims he's not the Confederate, and the other Bravados pull Gideon off the guy before the enraged cowboy can kill him!
Returning to the bar, Gideon tells the story of how he met Payne and why he carries such a hatred for the man.
(Quick aside: If Gideon is the focus of this story, why is Josh Reno the focus of the cover scene?
Was the creative staff afriaid to show a black cowboy beating up white cowboys?)
And so, the saga of the Bravados ends.
There are rumors of unpublished material for almost all the Skywald color comics, but only a few horror stories for the b/w line have ever surfaced.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

BRAVADOS "Ride to Vengeance!" Part 1

After a three-issue run in Wild Western Action...
...the Bravados graduated to their own title!
Exactly what they will do is the subject of tomorrow's post!
Considering the current controversy about Confederate memorial statues, it's ironic we're presenting this never-reprinted tale with a Confederate atrocity theme now, isn't it?
The same creative team (writer Len Wein, penciler Syd Shores, and inker Mike Esposito) who handled all the previous Bravados stories do the work on this, the final Bravados adventure from 1971!
"Wait!", you may scream.
"Didn't you say the Bravados had just received their own title?"
"So this first issue is the only issue?"
The exact reason is unknown, but all of Skywald's color comics were cancelled in September, 1971.
The company continued another couple of years by concentrating on b/w comic magazines such as Psycho, Nightmare, Hell-Rider, and Crime Machine going head-to-head with Warren and Marvel's b/w lines.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

WILD WESTERN ACTION "Bravados: Guns of the Iron Riders"

Interesting how the Bravados story titles do a "Guns of the..." theme, eh?
The previous story was titled "Five Against the Guns of Diablo"!
Now let's see what lurks behind the never-reprinted cover by Syd Shores and Frank Giacoia!
Though the art on this never-reprinted tale from Skywald's Wild Western Action #3 (1971) is credited to penciler Syd Shores and inker Mike Esposito, there's a lot of John Romita Sr-influenced work here!
Shores died of a heart attack in 1973.
That sort of cardiac problem is cumulative.
He could have had less severe attacks or strokes before that, temporarily-incapacitating him.
Could he have been ill and friends came in to meet the deadline (uncredited) for this issue?
We'll never know...
BTW, this was the final issue of Wild Western Action, but the Bravados still had one more story to you'll see next week!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

WILD WESTERN ACTION "Bravados: Five Against the Guns of Diablo"

...behind the Syd Shores/Frank Giacoia cover of this never-reprinted tale from Skywald's Wild Western Action #2 (1971)!
Writer Len Wein, penciler Syd Shores and inker Mike Esposito certainly wound the whole "Find Santana and avenge our loved ones' deaths" plotline quickly!
Usually the primary motivation for a group of misfits working together runs for the length of the series, with the antagonist always staying one step ahead of the team!
But, wait!
Did they actually see Santana's body?
Or are they assuming he's among the dead?
Be here next week to read the next chapter!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Skywald was a short-lived Bronze Age (early 1970s) publishing company...
...which published both color comics and b/w magazines!
The color comics had no superheroes, but they covered almost every other genre including individual titles about romance, jungle adventure, horror/fantasy, and (with five titles) Westerns!
Why so many Western books?
Nobody knows, but none of the Skywald series went more than four issues!
That's not to say the books were bad.
The 25 52-page titles featured reprints from defunct publishers and new lead stories produced by moonlighting DC and Marvel this never-reprinted premiere tale from Wild Western Action #1 (1971)
Written by up-and-comer Len Wein and illustrated by long-time pros Syd Shores and Mike Esposito, 
the cliche-riddled, socially-relevant, revisionist Western series was equal to almost all the other Old West material being put out by their competitors.
There were four Bravados tales, three in Wild Western Action and one in a self-titled one-shot.
We'll be presenting them throughout August.
Be here next week to read the next chapter!
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