Here are a few examples of Tokenism and Racism In Western Comics…
Tomahawk #128 – 1970
Healer Randolph was a former slave who learned herbal remedies and folk medicine and one day saved his master using his knowledge. His master happened to be a doctor who taught him everything he knew and allowed him to use his last name. During the Revolutionary War, Randolph was freed and he encountered Tomahawk and his Rangers. They needed a medic and he agreed to accompany them provided he just saved people and not carry a weapon or engage in battle himself. After the Tomahawk title ceased it’s run Randolph’s character was never used again.
Source: Dart Adams
Reno Jones & Kid Cassidy, Gunhawks 1-7 – 1972
Blacks Fighting for the Confederacy…
Oh Really Marvel Comics Group!
The Gunhawks were Kid Cassidy and Reno Jones. As introduced in Gunhawks #1 (1972), Cassidy was the son of a plantation-owning family in the antebellum American South, and Jones was a Black employee of the family who was friends with Cassidy. They fought together for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, with Jones fighting the Union because their soldiers had kidnapped his lover, Rachel Brown. After the war, they became wandering gunfighters, the Gunhawks, and continued searching for Rachel. During the course of Gunhawks #6 (1973), Kid Cassidy was shot and killed and Jones was blamed for the crime. (In the Destiny War, published in 1999, the Avenger Hawkeye, revealed that Cassidy had been killed prior to 1873). With the next issue, the series was retitled as Reno Jones, Gunhawk, making Jones Marvel’s second Black character to have his own self-titled series, after Luke Cage, Hero for Hire. (The Black Panther had taken over the lead in the Jungle Action series a few months prior, but the Panther’s name was not included in the series’ title.) As it turned out, Reno Jones, Gunhawk #7 was also the final issue of the series and the Gunhawks vanished into obscurity.
Weird Western Tales #48 – 1978
Weird Western Tales is a Western genre comic book title published by DC Comics, which ran from June/July,1972 to August,1980. It is perhaps best known for featuring the adventures of Jonah Hex until #38 (1977) when the character was promoted to his own eponymous series. Scalphunter, an American raised by Native Americans, took Hex’s place as the featured character in Weird Western Tales. The drama in Weird Western Tales #48 pertains to the character named Cinnamon. Cinnamon is really Katherine “Kate” Manser, the daughter of a sheriff in a small Western town. After her father is killed by bank robbers, she is sent to an orphanage, where she secretly trains herself in gunfighting. Upon leaving the orphange, she becomes a bounty hunter in order to search for her father’s killers. In this issue a boat load of slaves are held in bondage and need to be freed from the grips of the white man. Scalphunter is among those who fight for freedom. He fights the horrors of slavery, everyone is freed until the next time Scalphunter is need to defeat the white man.
Weird Western Tales #29 – 1975
Breakout at Fort Charlotte…
Although this issue is not a part of The Museum Of UnCut Funk Collection it has been added to this blog entry to highlight how comfortable white writers in the 70’s were with using racist language in comic books.
“The commander calls for his orderly, a Black soldier and berates him for allowing Jonah to get into the bedroom. He tells the orderly that Jonah can have free reign of the stockade area. Jonah, mentally notes that it seems like the Black man has no real home in the North or the South. Later, the orderly comes in and explains that he found red clay on the hooves of Jonah’s horse. That may lead them to where Jonah’s platoon is camped. The commander orders that a platoon be sent out to check a nearby marsh. That morning, Jonah’s entire platoon is captured in their bedrolls and not one shot is fired. As they are being taken to Fort Charlotte, some of the men are already blaming Hex, calling him a “sneaky, nigger-lovin’…” before being threatened by Jeb. Once they are all in the fort, the commander has Jonah brought out and publicly thanks him for turning traitor on his friends.”
Need I say more!!!
The Museum Of UnCut Funk Collection
Looking for a Face Like Mine by William Foster lll
DC Comics Database
Marvel Comics Database