All American Western 121 – Johnny Thunder admits his secret, and a Texas Ranger stops a hanging

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One of the best Johnny Thunder stories from his run gets a mediocre cover on All American Western 121 (Aug/Sept. 52).

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Kanigher and Toth are joined by Sy Barry as Sheriff Tane publicly expresses his dismay about his school teacher son, John, while praising Johnny Thunder’s courage and skill.

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The crappy father then gets lured into an ambush, and shot.  The men who took him send his star back to Mesa, planning to lure and capture Johnny Thunder.

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Everyone, including Johnny, believes the sheriff to be dead.  Distraught, Johnny announces to the town that he really is the sheriff’s son. He is about to prove it when news comes about the gang that took the sheriff, and Johnny rides out after them.

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Johnny frees his father and captures the men who took him.  He brings the sheriff back to town, where he finds that his confession was assumed to be metaphoric, rather than real.  As in, he is more of the sheriff’s son than worthless John Tane.  Even the sheriff thinks this, which is particularly sad, as it’s the second time he has been informed of his son’s double identity.  His intense hatred of his own child must be preventing him from seeing what is right in front of him.

I think I am going to start rooting for those who are out to kill the sheriff.

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This issue also contains the best chapter of Epics of the Texas Rangers so far, a two page tale of lovely Kubert art.  The story is pretty simple.  A man is about to be lynched by a mob for a crime he says he did not commit.  The Texas Ranger shoots the rope, freeing the man.  He insists there must be a trial.  The leader of the mob argues with the ranger, but in doing so reveals more knowledge of the crime than he could possibly have, unless he were the guilty party.

Short and sweet.

 

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