Black Rider 20
It appears that Marvel was playing with how the Black Rider looks right now because he has another change in appearance already. Now he wears a hood with holes for his eyes.
Okay, Black Rider is being charged with high treason, and being sentenced to death. Now we may not know what the hell is going on, but we can guess this is all some sort of misunderstanding, or a setup. As he is tossed in a cell he is to pray for the lives of thirty-six people he had betrayed, and Black Rider thinks ‘I don’t mind dying, but not as a traitor! Who did this to me? How was it done?’ and finally a flashback begins. Black Rider is watching as a group of outlaws is chased from Texas into New Mexico, and thinking how now they’ll just have a new group of people to terrorize. He lightly scolds the men for not caring about their neighbors and rides on.
We now jump to the men who we saw being run out, and others who had been before hand. They know they can’t go at it alone and decide to gang up, and soon there is nowhere safe in New Mexico, as they blaze a trail of destruction. When some of them ride into Leadville (where Doc lives) Doc is asked to fight with the other men, but he refuses because of his oath. Of course he somehow feels that his Hippocratic oath doesn’t apply to the Black Rider, and changes to fight. He arrives before his townsmen, and cleans up the invaders.
Next we see he is talking with some bigwig he calls colonel. He tells the Rider that all of the west is filled with rannys like the ones he took out and asks him to help take them out. He sends him to a man who would lend him men (and was supposed to lead them but was super drunk). Knowing where the leaders of the entire gang are (he doesn’t explain how) he takes some troops and ride for the hideout. Doc takes out the sentries and they ride into the Hallow where the leaders were supposed to be, to find no one there, and once trapped, the criminals descend upon the troops. Black Rider is able to fight clear, but the rest die.
We are back in the cell with Black Rider, who wonders who had leaked the info. He hears a whisper at his barred window and finds Bobby, the one person who knows his true identity. He tells the Rider that he heard the criminals were going to ‘blow the fort’ but no one would believe him as he is just a kid. He hands the Rider his guns, and Satan (Rider’s horse) pulled out the bars. Black Rider goes to the place the criminals were waiting to make their move and kills them. Then he is given an apology, as the drunk man who gave him the troops was the real traitor (never says how this is exposed).
Black Rider is against a wall before a firing squad, but as the countdown begins someone leaps over the wall, and shoots those who were about to shoot the Rider. He grabs his guns, and the stranger leads him to Satan and together they flee. When they gather with the man’s friends they explain just what is going on. Apparently a ‘god’ (I doubt it this early, and in this sort of tale) appeared in a temple and threatened the people with famine and illness if they did not give him gifts. All who rebelled against this god were killed, and it was the gang of cutthroats that were going to kill Black Rider that enforced everything for the god.
So Black Rider goes with the people when they enter the temple, pretending to be bearing gifts for the fake god. A riot breaks out and the leader of the cutthroats runs free and BR goes after him. Obviously he kills him and the town is free of their fake god.
Two-gun stand before another man, hands on hilts, ready to draw. Around him snipers were also ready to shoot the western hero. Before they draw a flashback begins, and we see him astride his steed, about to enter a place called Sagemore City. A bullet narrowly missed him, and he shoots the offending gun out of a young boy’s hands. He had mistaken Two-gun for a killer named Black Bart (the man he is about to duel pre flashback) who had been hired to kill his pa. He, doesn’t wait for an explanation though and runs back into town to warn the people.
While the townsfolk try to run him out he gets greeted by the man who had hired Bart, and gives him the lowdown. Two-gun approaches the man Bart is meant to kill, and explains that he is not Bart, and it is proven soon when the real one arrives. He told the man to take his son and flee, and he faced down the man he had been mistaken for. Black Bart was nothing to our lad, and the rest of his posse was taken out by the angered townsfolk. Then the man who hired Bart tried to sneak up on Kid. He didn’t last long. Two-gun rode out as the battle dwindled.
Back to the main character I guess. Black Rider is being shown along by a Native chief, where all the wildlife has mysteriously vanished. The chief worries for his people, but the Black Rider promises the white men will not let the tribe starve. Returning home Doc petitions his town to lend aid to their neighbors, to resounding ‘ayes’. We then cut to a group of strangers who are driving the last herd of buffalo in the area away. When that is done the people sit down and talk about how they are planning on starving ‘them redskins’ off of their own land.
Black Rider isn’t done looking into the problem though and finds the watering hole that was used by the herd that was just run off, and follows the tracks. Guarding the pass through which they had run the animals, they talk about how the Comanches were unable to get enough food from Leadville and were moving. They planned to ambush an kill the entire tribe, the bastards. But having followed the buffalo the Black Rider had heard all of this and was able to launch an attack at the foul men.
The noise of him taking out the guard brings the rest of the gang, but they too are no match for the Rider. He then blows a load of dynamite to cause a stampede, bringing the herd back to their lands.