Western Comics #1 (Jan./Feb. 1948). Artwork by Howard Sherman
|Publication date||Jan./Feb. 1948 – Jan./Feb. 1961|
|Number of issues||85|
Pow Wow Smith|
Matt Savage, Trail Boss
|Writer(s)||Don Cameron, Gardner Fox, France Herron|
|Artist(s)||Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane, Howard Sherman, Leonard Starr|
|Editor(s)||Whitney Ellsworth, Julius Schwartz|
Western Comics was a Western comic book series published by DC Comics. DC's longest-running Western title, it published 85 issues from 1948 to 1961. Western Comics was an anthology series, featuring such characters as the wandering cowboy the Wyoming Kid, the Native American lawman Pow Wow Smith, the Cowboy Marshall, Jim Sawyer, showman Rodeo Rick, and Matt Savage, Trail Boss. The masked Vigilante Greg Saunders appeared in the first four issues of the title, but was soon replaced by itinerant fix-it man Nighthawk.
Whitney Ellsworth edited the book for most of its run, assisted by Julius Schwartz, who took over the editorial reins for the last two years. Originally featuring four or more stories per issue, by issue #70 (July/Aug. 1958), Western Comics reduced the number of stories to three. Western Comics' infrequently appearing letter column was titled "The Hitching Post."
- Wyoming Kid: Co-created by Jack Schiff and Howard Sherman, Bill Polk is a cowboy wandering the West looking for his father's murderer. Bill, with his horse Racer, improves his gunfighting skills while working as a ranch hand, rodeo rider, army scout, and so on, finally bringing the murderer to justice. A good-natured hero, the Wyoming Kid appeared in every issue of Western Comics, often featured on the cover in early issues. He was so popular in Western Comics that his adventures were also chronicled in World's Finest Comics from 1949 – 1953.
- Pow Wow Smith: Moving over from Detective Comics, the character first appeared in Western Comics issue #43 (Jan./Feb. 1954), at that point becoming a principal figure, often appearing on the cover. He appeared in every issue from #43 to the end of the title's run.
- Nighthawk: Masked cowboy Hannibal Hawkes appeared in every issue of Western Comics from #5 (Sept./Oct. 1948) – #76 (July/Aug. 1959)
- Rodeo Rick — Co-created by artist Howard Post, Rick and his horse Comet's adventures were later chronicled by writers Gardner Fox and France Herron, and artists Jimmy Thompson, Ramona Fradon, and Tom Cooke. Rick was featured in most issues of Western Comics from #1 – #69 (May/Jun 1958). For a short time in later issues, he wore a disguise and was known as "The Masked Raider."
- Cowboy Marshall, Jim Sawyer — the Cowboy Marshall was featured in every issue of the title from #1 – #42 (Nov./Dec. 1953).
- Matt Savage, Trail Boss — created by Gardner Fox, Gil Kane, and Joe Giella, the character was a late addition to Western Comics (taking Nighthawk's slot) in issue #77 (Sept./Oct. 1959), but was the title's cover feature until the end. It was later established that Matt was Scalphunter's father, and was also related to Lt. Steve Savage, the World War I pilot briefly featured in All-American Men of War.