Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Revolutionary War Wheel--Tomahawk 102-118 Writers

In "The Attack of the 'Gator God" Bill Finger reuses not only the War Wheel that he originated in Blackhawk 56 (Sept/52) at Quality; his heroes use pretty much the same method to defeat it (and Tomahawk's is a little more ingenious, as he leaves footprints over the trap).

Tomahawk 105 Smasher, Blackhawk 56 War Wheel

Most stories from Tomahawk 102 through 118 are drawn by Fred Ray, but for "The Attack of the 'Gator God" in #105 he only pencils; Bob Brown inks the story. Brown draws "Battle Hat" (#101), "The Frontier Frankenstein" (#103), and "The Ghost of Tomahawk" (#104) as well as the covers through #115. Irv Novick draws "The Mad Miser of Carlyle Castle" (#113).A letter column credits Jerry Grandenetti's pencils along with Joe Orlando's inks (credited for the only time in that combination that I'm aware of, after all the ghosting Grandenetti did for Orlando) on "Tomahawk: Guilty of Murder" (#118). Neal Adams draws the covers of #116-118.

The back-up stories not entered here are reprints; in "The League of Tomahawk Haters" in #113 (from #54), Dan Hunter has been minimally redrawn, recolored, and relettered into the young Ranger, Stovepipe.

Tomahawk 102-118
Writers (underlined=credited on story splash or in another issue's letters page)

J-F/66  #102  The Dragon Killers France Ed Herron
Bring Back a Prisoner—Alive Bill Finger
M-A/      #103  The Frontier Frankenstein Herron
The Super-Ranger with Nine Lives Herron
M-J/      #104  The Fearful Freak of Dunham's Dungeon Herron
Take Me Alive Finger
J-A/      #105  The Attack of the 'Gator God Finger
Hold That Bridge Herron
S-O/      #106  The Ghost of Tomahawk Herron
One-Man Fort Herron
N-D/      #107  The Tribe below the Earth Herron
Last Stand of the 3-in-1 Ranger Herron
J-F/67  #108  New Boss for the Rangers Herron
M-A/       #109  The Caveman Ranger Finger
The Toy Tiger Herron
M-J/      #110  Tomahawk Must Die Finger
J-A/      #111  Vengeance of the Devil-Dogs Herron
S-O/      #112  The Rangers vs. Tomahawk Finger
N-D/     #113  The Mad Miser of Carlyle Castle George Kashdan
J-F/68  #114  The Terrible Power of Chief Iron-Hands Carl Wessler

Traitor of the Totem Pole Finger
M-A/      #115  The Deadly Flaming Ranger Wessler
M-J/      #116  The Last Mile of Massacre Trail Wessler
The Making of a Hero Wessler
J-A/      #117 The Rangers' Last Stand Dave Wood & Murray   Boltinoff
The Gauntlet of Doom Wessler
S-O/      #118 Tomahawk: Guilty of Murder Kashdan
The Ranger Who Wouldn't Fight Herron

Splash page credits begin consistently with #119; the one story thereafter presented uncredited (drawn by Frank Thorne) is this one:

M-A/70  #127  Big Anvil's Big Lie Kashdan


  1. It's become part of comic book lore that Bill Finger was a slow writer; something which I find very hard to believe, especially given he was writing for DC, Quality, and possibly others, all at the same time in the 1940s and 1950s.

  2. Exactly so, Lee; history has been written by the winners.

  3. I'm shocked, do you hear me, shocked that anyone at DC Comics would ever knowingly lie about or slander a freelancer!

  4. He was definitely writing for Timely and probably for Novelty and Lev Gleason back then, too.

  5. Martin do you have any characteristic writing traits of Ed Herron, apart from his "kwaaama" please?

  6. One that jumps out when he uses it is "Ulps"--so you have to be careful on series both Herron and Otto Binder wrote (if I recall, Herron was using it at Fawcett in the early 40s before Binder picked it up there). Herron uses variations like "Ullps" and "Uuulps" that Binder doesn't.

    1. Thanks very much for that, Martin.
      I must bear that in mind as their writing efforts on Superman (at least) overlapped for some years, according to Bail's "Who's Who" online.
      A search of the GCD reveals only one solo Superman story (S/man #98's "Superman's Secret Life!", July 1955) by Herron.