Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The War Between Sultan Malevo and Cowboy Sahib!

Much has been speculated about Cowboy Sahib, possibly the greatest western character ever to grace the pages of a comic book. Little is known about Joe King, the man who would be Cowboy Sahib, because his adventures were until recently long out of print and unavailable outside of the rare collection or anthology reprint. The character's main claim to fame thus far in the world of comic books is that he was first shown only as an advertisement for a future story on the cover of The Hooded Horseman #25 (September-October 1952). The image of a rootin-tootin' cowboy riding a tiger into battle is a classic for the ages and is one of my favorite comic book covers.

It must have been a disappointment to comic book readers that Cowboy Sahib was not actually featured in the issue that heralded his first appearance. By featuring Cowboy Sahib on the cover of #25 the publisher undoubtedly tried to interest buyers into picking up future issues of The Hooded Horseman but unfortunately it could not save the title.

The buyers of the 1950s were notoriously fickle and readers probably felt deceived by the cover, even though the blurb clearly stated that the character would be featured in later issues. Undoubtedly wise to the usual bait and switch promises from comic book publishers that were infamous for their cover disconnects to the interior story, readers probably did not stick around for his senses-shattering debut in the following issue of The Hooded Horseman #26 (November-December 1952). In spite of the anticipatory advertising of issue #25 the title was canceled. A few more stories were published in a revived Hooded Horseman title but that book was also canceled.

I often questioned if the actual story could possibly meet my expectations and I am glad to say that once I read it that I was not disappointed. The tale of the tiger-bustin' Cowboy Sahib is ably accomplished in both the script and art by veteran creator Leonard Starr and is a very fun read.

Lasso the picture below for a set of the first Cowboy Sahib adventure.


Cowboy Sahib


  1. Why does Cowboy Sahib even carrying guns? His tiger can just eat the other guy.

  2. Christ on Toast.


  3. What, no "Will he save the West... or ruin it?"


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