10. Six Gun Gorilla
This might be cheating, because is he a cowboy? Well, the story is certainly a space western, the Gorilla wears a poncho, and has two six guns. So…yes? The uncertainty is the only reason he is number ten, and not actually every position on the list. Also he’s not a human? But…I mean…Six Gun Gorilla. If you’re not sold by the title alone, I’m not sure you really are a fan of comic books. Though this story takes place on a world colonized by humans, and not in the old west, Mr. Six Gun clearly posses the spirit of a cowboy and will be more of a western hero than you or I ever will be.
In the rough and tough men’s world of cowboys, Cinnamon stands out because she’s a rough and tough cowgirl. Nay, she’s a cow woman. That doesn’t sound as good. Anyway, Cinnamon is a character from the annals of DCs western comics. Why is she on this list? Her father, the sheriff, was killed (classic sheriff murder) and so she trained herself to be a gunfighter and hunts down the men that killed her father. Not only can she hold her own against the roughest cowboys, she apparently used her dead father’s sheriff badge as a shuriken!
8. Tellulah Black
Tellulah Black is probably the toughest cowgirl ever created? Yes, I think so. She appeared in the pages of Jonah Hex with a tragic western backstory. Her family was killed, and she survived some terrible things. Then when the gang that killed her family found her, they slashed her up with a knife. She lost an eye. Instead of dying, she decided to become a bounty hunter and get her revenge. That’s western as hell. Besides being a tough character/antihero, I remember thinking her look was perfect. I think it’s the eyepatch. How often do you see a cowgirl with an eyepatch?
7. Bat Lash
Bartholomew Aloysius Lash is an interesting cowpoke. Published by DC Comics, his are the adventures of a peaceful cowboy that always finds trouble. I think that has everything to do with him being created in the late 60s. See, Bat Lash was a rambling gambling ladies man who is known for wearing a flower. As much as I love me the usual cowboy, I think Bat Lash makes this list precisely for being so different among his peers. He is also usually much more lighthearted than (most of) the other people on this list. Bat just wants to gamble, get some money, make some love, and live his best life.
6. Rawhide Kid
The Rawhide Kid the first, and only, Marvel cowboy on this list. Sorry, Marvel, it was a tough choice. But the Rawhide Kid, to me, is the quintessential Marvel cowboy. There are lots of other good Westerns from the House of Ideas but the way the Kid walks, talks, and looks makes him the top dog. He’s a gunfighter pushed into the position by a murder he was framed for, making him a man on the run. In a cowboy hat! Rawhide Kid also appeared under the Marvel MAX title (which means it was MATURE!) which I think is a good fit for a western. Plus, he’s an openly gay cowboy. I literally can’t think of one other gay cowboy, can you?
5. Lucky Luke
You might laugh at me for putting Lucky Luke this high on the list. You might also be asking, “who is Lucky Luke?” Well the answer to both of those things is: he’s a legend. Lucky Luke is a long running Franco-Belgian (I know, I know, I’m a comic hipster) western title. The thing I like about Luke is that he’s a comedy cowboy. Kind of like Bat Lash, but much more cartoony. He’s also known as the man faster than his own shadow, so how is that not cool? Plus he’s a loving homage to the cowboy stories of America, through the eyes of a Belgian and it still comes off as a true western. He’s been adventuring in the old west since 1946, so he also has tenure.
4. The Lone Ranger
Ah yes, the Lone Ranger, the cowboy of cowboys. Why isn’t he number one on the list? Well, mostly because he didn’t originate as a comic book character. But, since he’s being published by Dynamite and has been for a while, he counts! What can I say about the Lone Ranger? Everyone knows him. His look is iconic, his horse is famous, and he won’t stay dead. He is probably the most famous cowboy on the list, if not for the sole reason that he most likely spawned the creation of everyone else on the list. He’s also probably the most heroic because of his old times sense of right and wrong and Tanto to help keep him in line.
3. Saint of Killers
Oh boy, if Lone Ranger is the most heroic and just of the cowboys, the Saint of Killers is the exact opposite. If you haven’t read Preacher, which you absolutely should, you won’t recognize the Saint. But here’s the deal: he works for Death, the Grim Reaper, to just kind of…kill people. And he himself can’t die, leading to some amazing gun fights against him. Also, there’s the fact that he was killed and was so full of hate he made a deal with the Devil, came back to Earth, and cut down anyone who did him wrong. As he continues to do. He also has a part in the crazy finale of the story. He’s about as surly as they come, this one.
OK, OK, so I know most people reading this list will definitely not have heard of this one. Blueberry is another Franco Belgian comic, don’t try to change me! So, why is a cowboy called Blueberry number two on the list? A couple of reasons: 1. This story was drawn by French comic book legend Moebius (look him up if you haven’t seen his art, DO IT.) 2: it’s an old west Epic and wonderful adventure story crafted by those Franco Belgian creators who love comics so much. Listen, I’m not saying they do the genre or the medium better than us but in Europe comics are a way bigger deal in terms of being seen as art. Also, Blueberry himself is not a typical western hero. He’s no sheriff or handsome stranger, he’s just a guy who does what needs to be done. Like the rest of us!
1. Jonah Hex
Uh, duh! Jonah Hex is the cowboy in comics. The Lone Ranger is a more recognizable name, but in terms of cowboys in the comics, there is no one who can outgun Jonah Hex. A confederate soldier, horribly scared after the war, Jonah Hex is not what you would call a lovable man. DC’s resident cowboy hero is actually more of an antihero, which is probably partly why people like him so much. He will kill a man, and he’s not good company, but Hex upholds a personal code of honor that keeps him from just being a total dick. He’s also probably the best bounty hunter ever. I said it, come at me Boba Fett. His distinctive look (yes, his face), his attitude, and his honor combine to create the most memorable and hands down coolest cowboy in comics.
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