Anyway, westerns are another genre that Ditko isn't really associated with, although he did quite a few more of them than he did romance, mostly for Charlton, some for Marvel. As I've said before, I think it's a shame, as he does some really nice work in the genre, and a lot of the morality of his independent work would fit nicely in the traditional setting (see the end of this story).
Anyway, again a very over-written story. It features the Utah Kid and his sidekick Golden Eagle, although it's pretty clear from the lettering that it wasn't "Utah" originally. Don't know what it was, something five or six letters, from the looks of it. Don't know if this was a pre-existing character. Looks like the he continued in later issues, though not by Ditko. Anyone with an encyclopedic knowledge of third-tier comic book gunfighters out there?
And oddly, while they changed the name of the lead, they didn't change the character "Ed Begley" (and I just checked he was a pretty well established actor by then). Anyway, the story has the Kid and Eagle coming across a poisoned watering hole and getting in the middle of a conflict between cattlemen, led by Silas Black, and the sheepherders led by Ed Begley, and figuring out that there's something else under the surface driving the conflict.
A pretty good little story, Ditko's art has some really good moments, though a few other bits are overdone, and some of the staging doesn't quite work (but that might be a problem in the script, like how the jailbreak works). Printing seems pretty awful, unfortunately.
Scans adapted to my personal tastes from those found, and available for free download with registration, at the Golden Age Comics Download site. To buy Ditko comics and things on paper, go over here for ordering info on some amazing creator-owned works and over here for info on recent and upcoming releases from all publishers, good and bad.
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