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Comic Book / The Masked Marvel

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The Masked Marvel is a Western Superhero from The Golden Age of Comic Books, created by Graham Ingels and published by Youthful in Gunsmoke #1-16. He's bookworm socialite Chet Fairchild, who secretly brings justice to the West as a skull-faced vigilante.

This comic contains examples of:

  • The Adjectival Superhero: Masked Marvel.
  • Badass Bookworm: The Masked Marvel loves reading in his downtime. He uses this fact to play up his mild-mannered socialite image.
  • The Beastmaster: The villain of Gunsmoke #16 is a Native American shaman who can control animals to do his bidding.
  • Big Dam Plot: Gunsmoke #6 has the Marvel going after a Corrupt Corporate Executive who has placed a dam on the local river to starve the townsfolk into fleeing and selling him their land.
  • Cop Killer: Gunsmoke #3 has the Marvel investigating the assassination of the sheriff.
  • Crime of Self-Defense: Sheriff Turner's brother spent three years in prison for shooting somebody who pulled a gun on him first. His resentment of his brother for arresting him means he's the perfect fall guy for the real baddies, who assassinate the sheriff.
  • Dirty Cop: The Big Bad of Gunsmoke #14 turns out to be the Sheriff of Laredo, who is trying to get some fertile land by masquerading as Satan.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Gunsmoke #4 has the Marvel going after a group of Apaches who are racing cattle. He eventually leads the locals into gunning the raiders down, before going after the men who hired him, ranch hands Monte Durrow and Charlie Briggs.
  • Frame-Up: It's common practice for villains in this comic to frame somebody else for their crimes, and the Masked Marvel has to clear their name. Usually it's a supporting character, but several times the Marvel himself was framed.
  • He Knows Too Much: The baddies of Gunsmoke #12 think they've been discovered by Chet Fairchild, who hears the dying words of one of their victims. They haven't, but the Marvel makes them think he has in order to make one of them crack.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: The Marvel discovers the Big Bad of Gunsmoke #9 by hearing him talk about how quickly he got to a canyon the criminals were invading, which nobody but the Marvel and the gang knew.
  • Leave No Witnesses: Gunsmoke #5 opens with the Marvel stopping some robbers from killing everybody in a stagecoach they just ransacked.
  • Living MacGuffin: Gunsmoke #8 chronicles the Marvel's search for a herd of cattle that vanished off the face of the Earth. It turns out they were embezzled by their owner in an attempt to frame another rancher to get his land, which has oil on it.
  • Loophole Abuse: Royal Brazos, Big Bad of Gunsmoke #6, builds a dam to starve the local city into selling their land to him, and can't be stopped because building a dam on your own land is legal. As it turns out, he's on US government land without a permit, which is illegal.
  • Mistaken Identity: Gunsmoke #13 has the villains confuse Chet Fairchild for a man they swindled a ranch from due to a distinct pair of guns.
  • New Old West: Despite the Old West aesthetics and general lack of technology, it seems like the series is set in the then-modern day of the late 1940's, given references to the Theory of Relativity and other things.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: These are purple, skeletal monsters borne of black magic, who can only be killed by silver bullets or staking.
  • Paranormal Episode: The Masked Marvel spent most of his time fighting regular criminals and bandits, except for the final two issues, where he fights a vampire and a sorcerer, respectively.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The Marvel avenges his framing in at least two different issues.
  • Satan: The Big Bad of Gunsmoke #14 disguises himself as the Devil as part of a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax.
  • The Savage Indian:
    • The main antagonists of Gunsmoke #4 are a local Apache tribe who have taken up cattle rustling.
    • The villains of the last two issues are both Native American sorcerers who use their magic for evil.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax:
    • The villains of Gunsmoke #10 cook up a legend of a monster known as the "Creeping Death" to scare people away while they try to find a map to a goldmine.
    • The villains of Gunsmoke #14 disguise themselves as demons led by Satan himself and summoned by a Native American curse in order to drive people off their land.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: In Gunsmoke #15, the Marvel fights Ha-Ni-Pa, a Native American vampire who was sealed in a cave centuries ago and has been freed by miners.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: The Masked Marvel wears a green skull mask.
  • Starter Villain: Reno, a ranch foreman and secret cattle rustler who framed one side of a family feud for another side's murder so he could use the distraction to make a killing. He's gunned down at the end of the issue.
  • Stock Superhero Day Jobs: Busy socialite.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Deconstructed in Gunsmoke #11. The Marvel has to save his friend from a lynch mob who think he murdered an old man in the beginning of the issue, and soon discovers that the real killer lead the lynching to cover up his crime.