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All-Star Western

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All-Star Western was the name of two American comic book series published by DC Comics, each a Western fiction omnibus featuring both continuing characters and anthological stories. The first ran from 1951 to 1961, the second from 1970 to 1972.

Volume 1Edit

The original All-Star Western began with #58 (May 1951), having taken over the number of its predecessor title, All Star Comics — a superhero omnibus that years before had introduced the enduring team the Justice Society of America. With the postwar decline in the popularity of superheroes, publisher DC Comics changed the series format and title. All-Star Western ran 62 bimonthly issues through #119 (July 1961). The cover logo did not include a hyphen until issue #108 (Sept. 1959), when it was much reduced in size and placed above the much larger logo for what was then the title feature, "Johnny Thunder". Johnny Thunder remained on the cover until the final issue, #119, occasionally sharing it with Madame .44, "the masked outlaw queen."

The first issue contained the features "The Trigger Twins", created by writer Robert Kanigher and penciler Carmine Infantino and running through #116; "Don Caballero", drawn by Gil Kane, and "Roving Ranger", penciled by Alex Toth, the writer-creator uncredited; and "Strong Bow", created by writer David Wood and artist Frank Giacoia. Other features that appeared through the years included "Super-Chief", by writer Gardner Fox and artist Infantino; and, beginning with #67 (Nov. 1952), "Johnny Thunder", featuring the masked, vigilante persona of a schoolteacher in an Old West Mormon settlement. The character had been created by writer Kanigher and artist Toth in DC's All-American Comics in 1948.

Volume 2Edit

The series was revived in the following decade, and ran 11 bimonthly issues (Sept. 1970 - May 1972) before changing its title and, slightly its format to become Weird Western Tales. All-Star Western vol. 2, #1 starred Pow-Wow Smith, scripted by John Broome, with art by Carmine Infantino. The next four starred the characters Outlaw and El Diablo. With issue #5, the character Outlaw was dropped, with the cover logo "Outlaw" now referring to the replacement-feature star, Billy the Kid. The Western "all-stars" now included such historical characters as Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill and Davy Crockett, in a mix of new stories and reprints, as well as DC stalwarts Pow-Wow Smith, El Diablo and Bat Lash.

Issue #10 (Sept. 1972) introduced the enduring and popular character Jonah Hex, created by writer John Albano and artist Tony DeZuniga. Hex continued as the star of the comic when it changed its name to Weird Western Tales with issue #12 (July 1972), and he continued into issue #38 (Feb. 1977) of the 59-issue series.

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