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    Arrowhead #1 Arrowhead #2 Arrowhead #3 Arrowhead #4

     

     

     

 

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Arrowhead #1-4 (April 1954 - Nov. 1954).

Arrowhead #4Arrowhead is a Pawnee warrior, falsely accused of a crime and "outlawed by both white man and red." (We're never told exactly what the crime ways, though--at least, never in any of the Arrowhead stories I've read.) An outlaw to everyone, he wanders the plains and mountains of the Old West, accompanied only by his horse Eagle, helping people and then moving on. He is shirtless, wearing only a pair of buckskin pants and war paint, and is somewhat more bloodthirsty than the average heroic cowboy. His arch-enemy among the Pawnee is Running Wolf, who seems to have been responsible for his outcast status.

Actually, Arrowhead is notably more bloodthirsty than the average heroic cowboy, as are his stories. It might be said (with some accuracy, I think) that the Arrowhead stories are much closer to what the "real West" was like than most other Atlas cowboy strips. No mercy is asked or given by either the whites or the Native Americans, with Arrowhead himself racking up an impressive body count, killing his enemies with arrows, knives, axes, nooses, and his bare hands, in one story breaking an enemy's back via a crushing bear hug and in another throwing a victim, kicking and screaming, over a cliff. The Pawnee show a range of personalities, with some wishing only to live in peace in their traditional lands and others bearing a grudge against Whitey for what has been done to the Pawnee and the other members of the First Nations. Arrowhead himself is almost vehemently anti-Anglo; he only trusts one white man, the scout Andy, and that's because Andy, who acts as a translator and intermediary between the Pawnee and Whitey, "is, at heart, like an Indian!" Arrowhead's love interest is Doe Eyes, a fair Pawnee maiden whose life Arrowhead saves on at least one occasion and who loves him but who Arrowhead refuses to take with him because "I live like a wolf and this life I could NOT have YOU share!" Arrowhead #2

Arrowhead seems to work mostly out of the area in and around Monument Valley, although of course he ranges far and wide across the Old West and helps other First Peoples, like the Sioux, who eventually make him a member of their tribe. (He doesn't stay long with them, however; he wanted to wipe out all of the "palefaces," while the Sioux were content to just defeat them in battle.) Arrowhead and the Pawnee of his tribe live around Fort Kearney; unfortunately, Fort Kearney is commanded by the virulent racist Colonel Farren, along with the U.S. 6th Cavalry and Farren's brother Captain Farren, and the Farrens and their Anglo troops betray and slaughter a number of the Pawnee, including Arrowhead's uncle, a "sub-chief" of the Pawnee. Arrowhead avenges them, of course, killing both Farrens as well as a number of other crackers.

The Arrowhead stories are really surprisingly sympathetic towards the Native Americans, the issues of Arrowhead even presenting historical events from the points of view of the Native Americans. The stories are, if anything, biased against the Anglos, but that's such a rarity in 1950s cowboy comics that I can't find it objectionable.

From http://www.oocities.org/jjnevins/main.html

Arrowhead #3