Real Name: Matthew Masters
Identity/Class: Normal human
Affiliations: Satan (his horse, a.k.a. Ichabod)
Known Relatives: None.
Aliases: Cactus Kid, Black Mask
Base of Operations: Leadville, Texas
First Appearance: All-Western Winners #2 (Timely, Winter 1948)
Powers/Abilities: Skilled gunfighter, good horseman.
History: (All-Western Winners #2-4, Best Western #58-59, Black Rider #8-27, Black Rider Rides Again! #1, Kid Colt Outlaw #33-45, 74, 86, Outlaw Kid #1-2, Rex Hart #6, Ringo Kid Western #2, Two-Gun Kid #5, 9, 11-12, Two Gun Western v1 #13, Two-Gun Western v2 #5, Western Gunfighters #3-7, Western Outlaws and Sheriffs #73, Western Tales of the Black Rider #28-31, Western Winners #5-6, Wild Western #5, 9-19, 33-34) The Cactus Kid was a youthful outlaw who had made himself a reputation which belied his lack of years. He was wanted across Texas by the time he rode into Jefferson County and a fateful encounter in the Last Chance Saloon. A gang of thugs had taken the area hostage, but something happened between them and the Kid which left them all dead, and the Kid in custody. The Governor himself asked to meet the Kid, and convinced of his remorse for his past wrongdoings, he granted the Kid a pardon and a scholarship to medical school.
A few years later the town of Leadville got a new doctor, Matthew Masters. Now a healer by choice, Matthew was reluctant to take up arms when a man hired to drive settlers off their land murdered one of his patient in front of him and witnesses. Because he did nothing to stop this, the locals branded him a coward. Unwilling to let evil continue unchallenged, Matthew created a new identity for himself, that of the masked Black Rider, so he could confront the criminals without raising questions about his past.
Comments: Thanks to Jess Nevins for allowing me to use information from his excellent Golden Age Heroes Directory and his Guide to Golden Age Marvel Characters. Thanks also to Richard Boucher & Darrin Wiltshire @ PR-Publications for permission to use information from their equally brilliant collection of Golden Age Sites, PR Publications. Their knowledge of Golden Age characters far outstrips my own.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
any other Black characters
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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