Issue by Issue – Red Wolf #5

red-wolf-5Writer – Gardner Fox
Artist – Syd Shores
Inker – Chic Stone
Letters – Denise Vladimer

Red Wolf has faced a number of foes in this series thus far and as of this issue, they have all been different in some way. His latest is a professional gunfighter who goes by the name of Fast John Silver. There is nothing personal in what he does, but Silver is hired by a local rancher and money talks in Silver’s world and Red Wolf just so happens to be on the wrong side of the barrel. For a moment in this story, Gardner Fox almost makes the reader believe that Red Wolf did indeed bite the bullet, but thankfully and with a little luck, Red Wolf managed to survive. Though most issues see our hero straddling his duties to both peoples, those of his birth and that of the white man, Fox focuses a bit more on the Native Americans in the story and the land that they consider holy – land which the rancher wanted and that which started this whole mess in the first place. Watching Red Wolf trying to stop the two sides from going to war over the land in contention, trying to appease each side while also trying to stay ahead of the gunfighter is a ballet that none would wish to do and yet, Red Wolf does so because he must. Also interesting to see is Molly Brennan making yet another appearance. She only has a line or two, but seeing her moon over Red Wolf is quite humourous and what would be great to see is a little movement on the romance front. While seeing villains come and go in the book on a regular basis for Red Wolf to battle is a lot of fun, seeing him court Molly and battle people’s preconceived notions would make for a much more exciting story. It would also be a tale that mattered, one rarely seen in comics of the day, especially in a western and in this specific time period. Whatever might happen, this story finds Red Wolf victorious once again using a combination of fisticuffs and smart thinking. Not only did he stop everyone from going to war, he manages to defeat Fast John Silver and gain a measure of justice for not only his people, but for himself. A fantastic issue once again courtesy of Fox and artist Syd Shores.

4 out of 5

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