October 23, 2013

Geronimo and Black Hawk comics

Some Native-themed comics from around 1950.

The Savage Raids of Chief Geronimo v1 #4

Black Hawk--Tomahawk Indian War [nn]

Blackhawk Indian Tomahawk War (1951-oneshot)Avon Periodicals, 1951. Chief Black Hawk in Ambush: Black Hawk wants peace and breaks with the British, but they send two guys after him to kill him. He escapes. The Battle with the Osage Indians: This story tells how Black Hawk got his name. This kind of a story also shows how the Native American tribes were pretty much constantly at war with each other. If they had ever really totally united they might have been able to stop the white man from taking over the land. The Black Hawk Indian Tomahawk War: More on Indian wars, and how various tribes made pacts with the British, which were not honored, and the Americans, which were not honored. General Fremont: Another story showing the dishonesty of the white men as they plan to survey Indian territory to build a new railroad. Kit West and the Prince of Pioneers: Again, the typical woman, large-breasted and short-skirted, this time in buskins. A guy claims to be a prince of a foreign country but seems to bring trouble to the wagon train. He's exiled from the train and then the truth gets revealed.Comment:  Geronimo wasn't a chief and Black Hawk didn't wear a Plains headdress. Neither leader looked much like these drawings.

Obviously the main selling point is the brutal savagery of the Indians. Complete with a damsel in distress in Geronimo's case.

But this was the beginning of the revisionist era, so the contents may not reflect the covers. Around then, stories begin to admit that the white men--a few bad apples, anyway--had cheated the Indians. And the Indians--however savage and barbaric they were--were victims as much as victimizers.

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