Sam Hawk

First Appearance: Gunsmoke Western #60 (September 1960).
Appearances: Gunsmoke Western #60, Kid Colt Outlaw #84, 101, 111, 121, 146, 174, 181, 199.
Years Active: 1870s.

Hawk is "the of the greatest marksmen in the West." He is an older man with a greying mustache; he's a grim and determined marshal who hunts down outlaws, and is quite good at it. ("Of all the marshals whoever (sic) tracked Kid Colt, none were more dedicated--none were more FEARED, than Sam Hawk, the Manhunter!") He is after Kid Colt, and has tangled with him several times, but in each case the Kid has just barely escaped him and his men. (Hawk, being a marshal, almost always summons up a posse to help him capture the Kid.) Hawk is, as I said, grim and determined, but he is not ruthless and he does have standards:

I could gun him down now, before he knew what hit him! But I can't bring myself to shoot ANY hombre in the back--not even Kid Colt! But if we have a shoot-out, man-to-man, a shot may go astray and some innocent hombre might be hurt!
Hawk is also quite capable and brave; in one story, when Colt has holed up in a cave, Hawk's men are chary of going into the cave, for good reasons. Hawk says, "Stand aside, men! I never ask NO hombre to do my work for me! Sam Hawk is marshal here, and Sam Hawk goes after his own owlhoots! I'll bring 'im back or die trying." In that story Hawk does (momentarily) capture the Kid, and when one of Hawk's men jeers at Colt, Hawk slaps him and says, "Don't ever let me hear you say anything like that again, mister! Kid Colt may be my prisoner, but he's as much of a man as any hombre I ever knew! Maybe MORE than most!" Colt frees himself and saves Hawk's life (there was a little matter of some angry Apaches) and Hawk, in return, lets Colt go, deliberately missing an easy shot with his Winchester.

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