Reno Browne

First Appearance: Reno Browne #50 (April 1950).
Appearances. Reno Browne, Hollywood's Greatest Cowgirl #50-52.
Years Active: 1870s.

Reno Browne is just an old-fashioned cowgirl, albeit one based on a real actress' character. I'm informed that her adventures, like Annie Oakley's, were not serious ones, but much closer to Millie the Model-type stories, with light comedy and a general singing-cowboy/non-serious approach to the Old West--much different from the Whip Wilson or Wyatt Earp stories. Reno was a blonde with blue eyes, wearing a yellow and red vest and a blue kerchief, and she was skilled with a lasso.

I've now had more luck in finding issues of Reno Browne, and can report a few more facts about her. Her adventures, contrary to what I was told, were actually in a serious vein, with Reno and her compatriots tangling with various outlaw cowboys and angered Sioux. (The tribe of local chief Lone Wolf had its sacred idol, the golden Thunderbird, stolen by two convicts, and the Sioux blamed Reno and her friends.) Reno is as described (I'm working on getting a copy of an issue of Reno Browne so that I can get a better image of her than the one here), although, like Atlas' other, serious cowboy heroes, she's not just a dizzy cowboy dame; she's good with her fists and feet, quite capable of knocking out several men in a fight, and is skilled with a lasso and a crack shot.

She lives and works on the Lazy-X Ranch, which is owned by her grandfather, Smoky McLean. She's the foreman of the ranch, something that the other ranch hands accept, although they continue to think that "no gal is any good" when there's gun-play involved. (She naturally proves them wrong, being a better shot than any of them.) Among the regulars on the ranch are doughy white guy and woman-hater Windy Collins, "hard-bitten cow hand," balding coot and ranch cook Curly, the portly Widow Kent, whose matrimonial pursuit of Curly arouses brays of sexist laughter from the other men on the Lazy-X, and Stretch Wilson, "top hand of the Lazy-X." Stretch is a handsome brute, equally capable driving cattle or fighting with his fists and guns, but he gets tongue-tied around Reno and can't tell her how much he loves her, while she, impatient, keeps hoping for something romantic from him but naturally can't be the first one to make a move. Stretch is also somewhat doubtful of Reno's abilities, despite her repeatedly rescuing him from harm.

Notes: In the Monogram movies Reno Browne and Whip Wilson were boyfriend/girlfriend. (It's hard to think of any characters in 1950s cowboy films as being "lovers;" they were so resolutely chaste that the idea of them going beyond the occasional lips-only kiss seems absurd.) But neither one's comic mentions the other character, and there's no textual evidence that "Stretch Wilson" is meant to be "Whip Wilson."

Write me!

Go back to the Pre-FF #1 Heroes page.