Real Name: Matt Slade
Identity/Class: Normal human
Occupation: Gunfighter, later United States Marshal
Affiliations: Eagle (horse), Governor Anson Clinton (governor who pardoned him, and for whom he sometimes works for)
Enemies: Po (killer of his father)
Known Relatives: Unnamed father ("Pa")
Base of Operations: Wild West, c.1870s
First Appearance: Matt Slade, Gunfighter #1 (Atlas, May 1956)
Powers/Abilities: Kid Slade is an excellent shootist, specialising in the high-speed crossdraw.
History: (Matt Slade Gunfighter #1-4, Kid Slade Gunfighter #5-8, Kid Colt Outlaw #89, Mighty Marvel Western #25-42, 44-46, Western Gunfighters #10-15) Young Matt Slade and his father had a small plot of land which they worked hard to improve, hoping to eventually have it deeded to them by the government. Greedy cattlemen ended this dream, driving them off the land, and forcing them to become wanderers. Angered by this, Matt said he would grow-up a gunslinger so that no one would push them around again, but his father made him foreswear this, insisting he pick a peaceful lifestyle.
Soon afterwards they encountered a group of men also travelling on the road. The men fed them, and accompanied them to the next town, where they asked the Slades to hold their horses in return for ten dollars. Little did the pair realise they were with criminals, and when the gang fled following a bank robbery, the Slades were forced to do so as well. To top it all off, when Slade Senior asked for his money, the leader of the gang, Po, shot him dead. Matt vowed to become a gunfighter, and to track down and kill Po. Years of hard practice made saw Matt grow into a formidable shootist, but also gave him a terrible reputation. Though he never committed any crimes, he became blamed for many, leaving him a wanted man.
Things changed eventually because of one gunfight. When a bullet broke a lantern, starting a fire which engulfed a nearby hotel, Matt realised a young girl was trapped inside, and ignoring the danger to himself, he rushed in and rescued her. Afterwards he swiftly rode off, but not before he was recognised. The girl proved to be the daughter of the Governor, and Matt's heroic actions led the politician to re-check the cases against Kid Slade. Realising Matt was innocent of the crimes he had been accused of, Governor Clinton pardoned him, and offered him a job as a U.S. Marshal. Matt readily accepted, although his reputation remained so strong that he often used it to go undercover, even after rumours of his new status had spread.
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 Kids
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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