Reno Jones

First Appearance: The Gunhawks #1 (October 1972).
Appearances: The Gunhawks #1-7, Blaze of Glory #1-4.
Years Active: 1860s-1885.

Paired with Kid Cassidy, Reno was one-half of the Gunhawks. In the original Gunhawks series Kid Cassidy was the son of a plantation owner, and Reno was a slave on that plantation. Cassidy and Reno had grown up playing together and were best friends. (The former actually happened often enough on plantations in the antebellum South; the latter, never.) During the Civil War Cassidy's father was killed by Union troops and the Cassidy plantation burned down. This was enough to spark a deep resentment in Cassidy, and so he and Reno hit the road, Reno coming along because Cassidy was his best friend. As the "Gunhawks" Cassidy and Reno traveled the West after the Civil War, starring in poorly-written stories and feeling sorry for themselves because they were from the South and the North whipped their slave-owning butts. Cassidy died in the original series, leaving Reno Jones to carry on by himself.

Blaze of Glory gives the character a much needed makeover. The revised origin has Reno Jones playing together with Kid Cassidy while they were children, just as in the original, absurdly-conceived-of stories, but in the words of Reno Jones we grew older he didn't pay me any more mind than he did any of the other house slaves. And then the War broke out. The Ol' Massa died during the War and when his son come back home, there wasn't much left but the house. No good reason for him to stay. Me neither. We did ride out together. Some of our memories of being boys together resurfaced. For awhile, it was all right. But Cassidy got meaner as we went and more bitter until he drew on me one night and I shot him down.
The pair had managed to inspire a Gunhawks dime novel during their time together.

After shooting Cassidy Reno Jones eventually settled down with a wife and a group of Exodusters in the town of Wonderment, in southwest Montana. As of 1885, the time in which Blaze of Glory is set, Jones was still there. In the miniseries Wonderment is under siege by a group of Night Riders, and Reno Jones sends out a call for help. Kid Colt, Two-Gun Kid, the Outlaw Kid, and the Rawhide Kid all come to help. Reno puts on a cowl and becomes the Phantom Rider (IV), and eventually the Night Riders are defeated and their leader, who is Kid Cassidy, is killed.

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