Thursday, June 15, 2017


He looks so uncomfortable.

Generally speaking, origin stories are a lot harsher in Western comics than they almost ever are in superhero books. There aren't a lot of brilliant scientists and strange rays or secret lammissarial techniques of mind and body out along the Pecos and all that.

Super-Horse loves death.
What there ARE a lot of, at least back at the turn of the last century and all that, was murderous desperadoes. Which I say as though we don't have any murderous desperadoes today -- Well, let's say these were a different kind of murderous desperadoes, leaner, more natural. A murderous desperado you can trust.

Take, as a for instance, young Peter whose parents are killed by bandits who have attacked the weekly stage. Pete's pop gets lucky, in that he just gets fatally shot within seconds of trying to stand up and defend his wife and child. Mom has to get trapped on a stampeding stage dragged by panicked horses which then shatter an elderly wooden bridge with their frantic hoofbeats, drowning in the rapids below. Moms always have it harder.

Young Peter, though, just gets dragged by the river until it reaches a strange, hidden canyon. There, the young boy is rescued by a beautiful white stallion, and here's where it starts getting erotic.

 Peter is introduced to the canyon's only other human inhabitant, "Old Jeb," a hermit from central casting who's made the canyon his home since accidentally stumbling upon in decades earlier. His subsequent searches for an exit have borne little fruit, so he's built a little cabin in the idyllic spot, and effectively adopts Peter and the super-horse now known as Cloud.

But, oh wait, here's the twist -- the canyon is so deep that the gravity within it is more intense! I don't know if that's right, but let's run with it. The effect of the higher gravity is that Peter develops additional toughness as he grows up, and Cloud becomes fuckin' super and stuff. Not so super than they can exit the canyon on their own, though. It's a deathbed confession from old Jeb, dying from puma wounds as do we all when the time comes, which alerts Peter and Cloud to the existence on an egress hidden behind one of the many waterfalls in the canyon. This place sounds lovely.

When Peter takes advice, he doesn't do it by halves.
Buck naked and soaking wet, Peter and Cloud emerge into the outside world for the first time in decades. Surprisingly, the first thing Peter sees is a wanted poster featuring the face of the man who murdered his father. Short, sharp shocks abound in the upper world, or so Peter has learned.

Decked out in a very discreet all-white ensemble -- think "The Man in the Yellow Hat" but after a bleaching accident -- Peter redubs himself The White Rider and Cloud is also redubbed Super-Horse and they go off to literally murder the man whom Peter is sure killed his father. Like, not to undersell this, but Cloud actually stomps a man to death inside a saloon. These guys have grit.

It's worth mentioning, as I'm sure many of you picked up on, that the title of this story sounds like a white supremacist Golden Book. I'm happy to say that it doesn't really manifest itself that way but, you know ... bad optics right there, White Rider. Consider a more egalitarian handle, I guess.

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