Saturday, August 18, 2012
THE DEVIL’S GAP PLOT
dozens of movies starting in 1944 and continuing through 1951. He
also appeared in TV shows like Judge Roy Bean (1956) and The Life
and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1959-1960). In later years, according to
Wikipedia, he made his living appearing at western film conventions
and as an evangelist on the rodeo and country-music circuits. The
site also reports he had problems with the Internal Revenue Service.
Lash LaRue Western #23 was published by Fawcett Comics and hit the
stands in December 1951, the month of my birth. The Grand Comics Database
lacks credits for the issue, but the Who’s Who of American Comic Books
1928-1999 lists Paul Newman as a Lash LaRue writer of the time and lists
artists Jack Abel, Stan Campbell, Sam Citron, Tom Sgroi and George Tuska.
Frank Doyle, better known as a comics writer, especially at Archie Comics,
is listed among the Lash LaRue artists. More specific credits are not
known at this time.
Fawcett published 46 issues of Lash LaRue Western from Summer 1949
to January 1954. Charlton took over the title with issue #47 and
published another 38 issues, concluding the run with the June 1961
issue. In the 1990s, Bill Black’s AC Comics published three Lash
LaRue reprint comics and has featured stories of the character in
its other reprint anthologies.
Lash LaRue was a master of the bull whip, wielding an 18-foot-long
whip against miscreants. He taught Harrison Ford how to use a bull
whip for the Indiana Jones movies.
Wikipedia offers these intriguing notes from LaRue’s life:
For a time he was married to Reno Browne, a B-western actress, who
together with Dale Evans was one of only two Western actresses ever
to have their own comic book fashioned after her character. He
later married Barbara Fuller who was an accomplished actress of
both radio (Clauda on One Man's Family) and motion pictures and
television, having played opposite Charles Boyer.
Lash LaRue comic books sold over one million copies around the
world and many of them featured Lash and Barbara's godson, J.P.
A role as the villain in a pornographic western, Hard on the Trail,
led him to repentance as a missionary for ten years, as he had not
been informed of the adult nature of the film and would not have
consented to appear in the film. He did not actually appear in any
of the pornographic scenes. The film was later released without the
pornographic scenes and retitled Hard Trail to eliminate the double
Late in his career, he appeared in two low-budget horror films shot
in the South, Alien Outlaw and The Dark Power. In the latter, he
plays a park ranger who makes extensive use of the bullwhip to
battle wild dogs and attacking zombies.
I can’t recall having seen any of Lash LaRue’s films, but I’d like
to see a few representative movies from his western career and the
two horror efforts. Maybe my local library system has them. I’ll
let you know if and when I find them.
Keep watching this bloggy thing of mine for more vintage comic-book
covers from my birth month.
I read a bunch of Spider-Man comics...
While I generally prefer my Spider-Man to be a street-level hero,
Dan Slott’s “Ends of the Earth” serial in Amazing Spider-Man #683-
689 was entertaining. Black Cat’s faith in Spider-Man was moving.
I love the Horizon Labs crew and their role in these adventures.
I enjoyed that “Ends of the Earth” one-shot featuring heroes from
around the globe going into battle against Doctor Octopus’s gang.
Good stuff. But...
I am so tired of J. Jonah Jameson I could plotz. He’s a pathetic
cliche and, repeating what I said in yesterday’s review of the new
Spider-Man, he should be retired...at least until some writer can
come up with something new to do with him.
Slott followed “Ends of the Earth” with a Lizard storyline. I have
only read the first two issues of this, but I applaud him for this
scary new take on the Lizard. See, this is what I’m talking about
when I want to see new takes. It flows naturally from the previous
Lizard appearances, but is shockingly different from what was done
with the character before.
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #39? Yawn.
Avenging Spider-Man? “The Omega Effect” storyline that started in
issue #6 and continued in issues of The Punisher and Daredevil was
very well done. Issue #7's team-up with the She-Hulk was readable,
but not exceptional. Issue #8's flashback was a nice epilogue to
“Ends of the Earth.”
Scarlet Spider started out promising, but has turned deadly dull
with the reappearance of the overused Kraven the Hunter family. I
realize creators may be justifiably leery of creating new villains
- Marvel could cure that by making nice with Jim Starlin, creator
of Thanos - but, for Godzilla’s sake, if you’re going to use these
old villains, do something interesting with them.
Spider-Men? Yawn. In stereo.
I’ll be back as soon as possible with more stuff.
© 2012 Tony Isabella