Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The Bravados

Here's a real blink and you missed it from Len Wein, Syd Shores & Mike Esposito, all moonlighting at Skywald, the company who normally specialized in brilliantly trashy horror.
The Bravados ran in three issues of Wild Western Action, and one of their own title, before riding off again into comic book oblivion.
They're probably more interesting in the potential than the actuality, but there's enough here to feel that maybe they deserved a longer shelf life than they got and, like a few cowboy books of the time, they do have a nice pseudo spaghetti western feel.
The Bravados are a gang of disparate misfits, brought together by vengeance, and staying together for justice. Hey, that's a great tag line.
As you can probably tell from the cover, they're really a collection of cliches, consisting of tortured leader Reno, angry black guy Gideon, mute Injun Charade, free-wheelin' good ol' boy Drum, and my favourite, tough chick Hellion.
Which means, of course, that they're a collection of the kind of cliches we all love. After all, if Len hadn't invented a female character named Hellion, somebody would've at some point.
This is really a Marvel book actually, and The Bravados are like a Wild West version of The Defenders, what with the way they constantly bicker and snipe at each other.
The following issues give the gang their revenge, then set them off on the justice trail, them wandering into adventures simply because they don't have much else to do but travel together, plus we start to find out a little more about each member, such as the tale about Gideon's civil war past, so it's safe to assume succeding issues would've explored the back stories of the rest of the team, but hey, we've all read enough of this kind of thing, so can probably write those issues in our heads anyway.
Would've been fun, for instance, for a moustachioed and top-hatted bad guy to be tying Hellion to a railroad track roundabout ish #7 though. You can almost see the cover, can't you?

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