Sunday, August 14, 2016


Hello my brothers and sisters! 

    I am back once more with the comic-book info that you adore! I hope that you are are all well, working hard, putting food on the table and smelling the roses when you can. It's not always easy in this world - just keep pushing, keep smiling and don't let yourself fall into a pit of despair. You have what it takes to succeed. 

    Now go and get it.

   It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks. I've been busy to the max, so I haven't been able to write as much as I did in the past couple of months. However, a while ago, I got to see "Suicide Squad," and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. A stand out character, in my opinion, was El Diablo - I liked his character a WHOLE lot more than I thought I would, so I figured that I'd dedicate an episode of my "Back-Issue Quest" to him. 

   Shall we rock? 

    El Diablo's story begins here, in the pages of "All-Star Western" vol 2, #2, published by DC Comics in 1970 - yep, this is my copy. Outlaw was able to snag the cover as it was his first appearance, but El Diablo, who also made his first appearance in this book, only got to peek through out of a small circular panel down by Outlaw's left knee. Since this book has two cool first appearances, how's about I just go ahead and tell you about both? Who doesn't like a 2 fer 1?

    Created by Robert Kanigher and Tony DeZunga, Outlaw is Richard Wilson, son of a Texas Ranger who had dreams of becoming a Texas Ranger himself when he grew into manhood. His father taught him everything a Texas Ranger should know, especially how to shoot. Rick was a natural with a gun and soon became a crack shot. However, when he got old enough, his father didn't give him his blessing to be a Ranger, so Rick angrily left his father's home and after a while, he fell in with a group of outlaws called The Fenton Gang. Rick helped the Fentons rob a stagecoach, and unlike the Fentons promised, people were killed. Rick was recognized, and his own father became determined to bring the full weight of the law down on his only son. When the two meet, Rick wins the gun battle, wounding his father in the shoulder and escaping to try bring justice the Fentons, who, unbeknownst to him, are waiting to do the dirty on him. Luckily, El Diablo, in his first appearance, confronts him and warns him of the danger, giving Rick the edge he needs to get the drop on the Fentons - even though afterwards he must flee the hand of his father, and the long arm of the law. Although we first see El Diablo as a supporting character in Outlaw's debut, "Draw Death," he does get a chance to shine in his own story in the pages of the same book.

   El Diablo I was a western hero who made his solo debut in the story, "The Devil Has Two Faces." Created by Kanigher and Gray Morrow, the first El Diablo was Lazarus Lane, a bank clerk who was too afraid to take action against the thieves who robbed the bank where he worked, robbers who killed a fellow clerk, one who happened to be Lazarus' friend. Guilt drove Lane to seek out and confront the robbers who easily take him down and leave him for dead in a river. A bolt of lightning strikes Rick's body dead in the chest, and soon after, Wise Owl, an Apache, comes upon his body, rescues him and nurses him back to health using ancient medicines. Back from the dead, Lane decides to fight evil as the dark masked avenger of of justice, El Diablo. On to the fun facts!

1. FUN FACT 1: Lazarus Lane, El Diablo, has an arsenal that includes, a six-gun, bolas, a bull whip and a knife.

2. FUN FACT 2: Rick Wilson, Outlaw, has a horse, but his real traveling companion is his friend is a hawk whose life he once saved. El Diablo's friend was his trusted horse, the black-as-night stallion, Lucifer.

3. FUN FACT 3: Rick Wilson's father was named Samuel Wilson. :-D

4. Later, it was revealed that Wise Owl's medicines and magics made Lazarus Lane's body host to a demon which acts as a spirit of vengeance.

5. El Diablo lent himself well to supernatural-based adventures, appearing in some great stories in DC's "Weird Western Tales" vol 1 (which was a continuation of "All-Star Western" with a change to an occult direction):

This book is not in my collection anymore (although I wish it were). The legendary Joe Kubert rocked this cover so hard, and inside, El Diablo gets a stellar treatment with pencils by Neal Adams, and inks by the Master of the Macabre, Berni Wrightson!! Three of the best their ever where, are or will be!

FUN FACT 6: Gray Morrow managed to get some movers and shakers of the comics industry into the story! Al Williamson, Angelo Torres, and Dick Giordano were drawn into the story as outlaws here:

Gil Kane shows up as Doc Anderson:

And Phil Seuling shows up as the sheriff:

Pretty snazzy, right?

    Thus ends part I, of our journey through El Diablo's history! Join me next time for more! If you are interested in knowing more about the Suicide Squad, check out my five-part write up in the following links: Suicide Squad Part I, Suicide Squad Part II, Suicide Squad Part III, Suicide Squad Part IV, Suicide Squad Part V. Next time, we'll talk briefly about the 2nd version of El Diablo, and get into the origin and powers of Chato Santana, El Diablo III!!

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