Kid from Texas

First Appearance: Kid from Texas #1 (June 1957).
Appearances: Gunsmoke Western #49, 52, Kid from Texas #1-2, Wyatt Earp #23, Rawhide Kid #89, Gunsmoke Western #49, 52, Kid Colt Outlaw #85, 187, Kid from Dodge City #1.
Years Active: 1836-?

The "Kid from Texas" is Dan Hawk, a blond do-gooder cowboy. He rides the range with his aged sidekick Cactus (that's him on the right, in the only expression--faux Gabby Hayes--that he seems to have). Dan is brave and "dauntless," willing to ride to the rescue of a frontier band assailed by a band of Apaches, and he is of course good with his guns, capable of shooting weapons out of the hands of his enemies, but what is most notable about him is that he has an unusual sensitivity towards Indians. After an attack by Apaches he says "We've pushed further and further West, and all the time we took what we wanted! There are ways to win their confidence, and without the use of guns!" Dan stops a cowboy from gunning down a "squaw," and later in the story he and a doctor ride into an Apache village and help heal the son of the chief, thereby ensuring peace in the territory. Similarly, when the Kid and Cactus discover a she bear being attacked by a pack of wolves, they scare the wolves away by shooting in the air; a real cowboy would likely have shot them all and had the bear for dinner.

His origin begins at the Alamo, in 1836, where Jim Hawk, a "gallant (Texas) Ranger...stained the dry earth of this land he loved so well! His was the greatest price of all." "Months later" a young (7 years old, perhaps?) Dan Hawk is told by the head of the Texas Rangers of his father's death. Cactus, Jim Hawk's "best friend," promises to take care of Dan: "it wuz a promise I made to his dad! The best friend OLD CACTUS ever had!"

Cactus takes care of Dan Hawk as the years go by, training him in riding and shooting and all the wilderness skills necessary to survive. Dan's ambition is to be a Texas Ranger, and when he becomes old enough (the date isn't specified, but I'd say he was around 18-21 years old) he goes to Ranger Headquarters to join up, only to be told "But you're only a stripling boy! Time enough to join when you've become a man!" (Dan is certainly drawn like a man--a young man, but a man nonetheless.) Dan isn't happy about this, and puts up an argument, but is interrupted when a group of renegade "Indians" attack the Ranger Headquarters. The Rangers ride out to do battle, but Hawk, wanting to prove himself, sneaks out on his own and takes on both the "Indians" and the white man scheming with them. Hawk proves himself in battle, gunning down many of the "Indians" all by himself and helping save the Rangers.

At the end of the battle the head of the Rangers says that they'd be proud to have Hawk join the Rangers. Dan says, "I was thinking...this land of ours is big, and now I've got a hankering to see MORE of it, and lend a hand whenever it's needed." The head of the Rangers says, "Well said, Dan and I'm making you an HONORARY MEMBER of the TEXAS RANGERS! Good luck, Dan Hawk!" And off Dan and Cactus ride, to do the do-gooding thing whereever they're needed.

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