August 19, 2008

Red Raven the Western villain

Red RavenHistory: (Rawhide Kid I #38)--"Red" Raven was a red-headed bank robber who led his own gang in a series of robberies, until they ran afoul of the Rawhide Kid, who outfought them all, and turned them over to the authorities.

In county prison, Raven shared his cell with a former Navajo medicine man on his last legs. The medicine man decided to share his great secret with Red--he had designed a winged harness that could be worn by a man, and permit him the ability to glide upon the winds, thanks to a special Indian herb. The old Navajo trained Raven in the use of his wings, until, overcome by his illness, he passed on. Raven tricked the guard into letting him escape by hovering to the ceiling and slipping out, and was able to safely escape the prison by simply flying out of range of the guards.

Raven decided that his first action would be to revenge himself upon the Rawhide Kid, and purposefully sought him out for a showdown. Not suspecting Raven's new power, the Kid drew and fired--but missed as Raven took to the air! Raven took the Kid by surprise, shot him, and left him for dead.

But as luck would have it, the Kid was found by a young Navajo Indian--the son of the very man who had taught Raven the secret of his wings! The son nursed Rawhide Kid back to health, then taught him how to use his father's wings to even the odds.

It didn't take long for the Kid to find Red Raven again, but while his newfound wings surprised Raven at first, Raven proved more adept in their use. But at a crucial moment, Raven made the mistake of flying in front of the sun, granting the Kid a perfect target! He shot Raven's gun from his hand, then wrestled him down mid-air. Raven fell from the sky, and was retrieved by the Kid. The son of the medicine man arrived, and burnt both pairs of wings to protect his secret.
Comment:  This story isn't as lame as some of the ones I've read about Indians. At least it mentions the Navajo tribe by name, and there's a good Indian as well as a bad one.

For more on the subject, see Comic Books Featuring Indians.

No comments: