Real Name: Birth name unrevealed; adopted the name Johnny Wakely
Identity/Class: Human (Old West era), magic user (but just barely), Native American (Cheyenne nation)
Occupation: Keeper of the Peace, army scout
Group Membership: Cheyenne tribe
Affiliations: Owayodata (patron
god); Lobo, Jim Brannigan,
Star, Kid Colt, Outlaw Kid, Phantom Rider
Rawhide Kid, Col. Brett
Sabre, Two-Gun Kid, Bess Warner;
Ghost Wind Rider (lover); Fawn, Molly Brennan (wannabe girlfriends)
Fort Rango, various Native America tribes;
see also the Catalogue of Correspondences for Chthon from Ian McNee's reading of the First Tarot
Enemies: Alvah Bradley, Burning Tree, Kid Cassidy, Catfish, John Darby and his gang (Brazos, others), Devil Rider, Nightriders, "Fast" John Silver, Clint Simpson, Nate Simpson, Tarantula/Clay Riley, Ursa the Man-Bear; Sgt. Rafe Hacker (antagonist)
Known Relatives: Parents (unidentified,
deceased); Martin & Emma Wakely (adoptive parents, deceased);
He is a descendent of Wildrun, and an ancestor of Thomas Thunderhead and possibly Will Talltrees
Base of Operations: Western United States, late 19th Century; Fort Rango and the associated plains; Wonderment, Montana
First Appearance: Marvel Spotlight I#1 (November, 1971)
Powers: None. Although guided by the
spirit of Owayodata, Johnny Wakely did not gain superhuman
physical or magical powers. He possessed advanced athlete-level
physical abilities. He was an outstanding horseman and scout and
was an expert with various throwing weapons. He was a skilled
fighter with much experience in armed and unarmed combat. He was
skilled with the use of the coup stick (a 6 foot wooden staff
able to be used as a javelin or bo) and a tomahawk, although he
INITIALLY avoided using its cutting edge on opponents.
On occasion, Owayodata would give Wakely information to assist him in his mission. Owayodata also provided spiritual guidance and moral support.
Wakely could always count on the assistance of his wolf-ally, Lobo. As far as I know, Wakely's stallion was unnamed.
(Marvel Spotlight I#1 (fb)) - As an untried child, the young Cheyenne brave who would become Red Wolf curried the horses before a hunt or war party.
(Marvel Spotlight I#1 (fb)) - As a youth, he could run and swim faster, and shoot arrow truer than the other braves. The wise old shaman Many Moons told the brave that he was the descendent of the first Red Wolf. Many Moons told the brave he would one day become another Red Wolf, and to him would fall the task of protecting and leading his people, and of keeping the peace upon the plains.
(Marvel Spotlight I#1 (fb)) - The brave's tribe that was slaughtered by pony soldiers, his father dying in battle and his mother dropped before their teepee. The brave was saved from death at the hands of Sgt. Hacker and given to the Martin and Emma Wakeley, who had no children of their own.
(Marvel Spotlight I#1 (fb)) - Martin & Emma Wakely trained their new son, Johnny, in the ways of the white man, teaching him to farm, read, and fire a gun, though he retained his earlier skills. Eventually both Martin and Emma were slain by renegade Native Americans, whom Johnny then slew
(Marvel Spotlight I#1 (fb)) - Johnny Wakely refused
sell his house to some white men, who then burnt it down. Having
nowhere else to go, and neither accepted by the White or Red Man,
Johnny volunteered his services as a scout to the army
installation Fort Rango. Even there he was an outsider.
He soon learned that a group of Cheyenne were planning on assaulting the Fort. However, while investigating, he was observed and shot by one of the Cheyenne. Wakely fell off a cliff, seemingly to his death, but awakened, completely healed, in the tomb of the first Red Wolf. The god Owayodata appeared before him and commissioned him to bring peace and justice to the plains world. Wakeley became Red Wolf, and he adopted an injured wolf he found within the tomb to become his ally and companion, Lobo. Owayodata sent Red Wolf to defeat the plot of Burning Tree.
(Marvel Spotlight#1) - Red Wolf exposed and defeated the plot of Burning Tree, who had joined together with some white thieves (Catfish and one other) to frame the men of Fort Rango for the theft of the sacred White Buffalo hide.
(Red Wolf I#1) - Clint and Nate Simpson and their gang slaughtered and plundered a group of Sioux Indians. Wakely brought them in and tried his hardest to keep the peace, but judge David P. Garner refused to find them guilty.
(Red Wolf I#2) - Wakely saved Molly Brennan from renegade Indians and stopped a group of men trying to steal dynamite.
(Rede Wolf I#3) - Wakely helped Federal Marshall Jim Brannigan recover from severe wounds by taking him to widow Bess Warner. Wakely, under the guidance of Owayodata and later aided by Brannigan, foiled the plot of John Darby and his violent outlaw gang (Brazos and others), who sought to poison the water supply of the Cheyenne as part of attacks to force them to surrender their land.
(Red Wolf I#4) - Wakely encountered and defeated Ursa the Man-Bear, returning the cattle he had stolen.
(Red Wolf I#5) - Alvah Bradley hired "Fast" John Silver to kill Red Wolf, hoping that without him they could force the Cheyenne off their land, and take their water supply. Wakely took a bullet from Silver, but was saved by his own medicine bag, which cushioned the shot. He then led the Cheyenne to bring in beavers to chew down trees to reroute the poisoned water and contaminate Bradley's own land (yes, really!).
(Red Wolf I#6) - Wakely exposed and defeated the Devil Rider, saving Fawn in the process, who thought Red Wolf was just dreamy!
(Red Wolf I#7(fb)) - The great grandfather of Rhonda Harper is killed by Native Americans. He gives his map to Red Wolf, hoping that he can direct his family to their hidden treasure. (A century or so later, Talltrees located the map and led Rhonda to the treasure).
("Kid Colt#112 1/2") - Red Wolf encountered Kid Colt (see comments).
(Blaze of Glory#2(fb)-BTS) - Wakely fought to keep the peace until he finally saw that the white man did not want peace with the red, but only wanted them dead. After that Wakely only fought alongside his red brothers. Reports place him with Hinmaton-Yalakit and the Nez Perce in their attempted flight to Canada.
(Blaze of Glory#2-4) - In the mid 1880s, Wakely
encountered Flaming Star and Ghost Wind Rider. Wakely slew the
white men who planning to assault them, and then joined them in
their mission to protect the town of Wonderment from Riley and
his Nightriders. Wakely killed some of the Nightriders who had
pinned down Kid Colt, the Outlaw Kid, Rawhide Kid, and Two-Gun
Kid in a canyon. He then found Reno Jones, who had been injured
in that fight, and brought him to Flaming Star, who helped Jones
become the next Phantom Rider.
Later, he led a group of Native Americans to act as the posse, finishing off the Nightriders and helping to save the surviving cowboys in Wonderment. After the battle, Red Wolf decided to enjoy a little piece, I mean peace, and rode off with Ghost Wind Wider at his side.
Comments: Created by Gardner Fox and Syd Shores.
Although it's clear to the reader, I don't think either Wakely or Hacker realized that they had encountered each other before Wakely's joining Fort Rango as an adult.
The story Blaze of Glory (by far, my favorite western tale) makes it clear that the comic book stories of the Western heroes are modified for their audience, and that the real adventures may be somewhat different. I'd place this in the same line as the unadapted Golden Age stories.
I'm sorry if the terms White Man and Red Man aren't P. C. but it's often the most concise and clear way to describe a situation. I'm part Cherokee myself, and I don't take offense to it. I hope you don't, either.
Avengers I#1/2 features an advertisement for a meeting between Kid Colt and Red Wolf, as Kid Colt#112 1/2.
In the third story in Marvel Westerns: Western
Legends#1 a fearful cavalry soldier told a horse thief the story of an
attack by Red Wolf on Fort Rango wherein the Native American hero
slaughtered half the soldiers. The soldier didn't fully believe the
story himself, which is the main reason why it was left out. In the
same story a Red Wolf dies and another one takes over his mantle. It is
unknown if the Red Wolf dying in this story was Wakely or not.
Per internet searches: The Cheyenne Indians lived in the Great Plains area, east of the Rocky Mountains (along the western borders of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and northern New Mexico) and west of the Mississippi River (from Missouri, then along the borders or Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana, ending in Louisiana into the Gulf of Mexico). Today they are settled in Montana and Oklahoma.
Johnny Wakely is one of a line of those who used the name Red Wolf. He should be distinguished from:
In addition, although he was often called Owayodata, he should be distinguished from:
Lobo, Johnny Wakely's companion, should be distinguished from:
Lobo was present throughout all virtually all
of Wakely's adventures. He was strong and swift, and always had
that element of fear on his side (Ahh! A wolf!). Lobo was loyal
to Wakely and could follow a large number of commands.
--Marvel Spotlight I#1 (and pretty much every other appearance of Wakely)
(image at top and throughout profile)
Marvel Spotlight I#1 (November, 1971) - Gardner Fox (writer), Syd Shores (pencils), Wally Wood (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Red Wolf I#1 (May, 1972) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Roy Thomas (plot), Syd Shores (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Red Wolf I#2 (July, 1972) - Gardner Fox (writer), Roy Thomas (dialogue re-write), Syd Shores (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Red Wolf I#3 (September, 1972) - Gardner Fox (writer), Roy Thomas (dialogue re-write), Syd Shores (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Red Wolf I#4 (November, 1972) - Gardner Fox (writer), Roy Thomas (dialogue re-write/editor), Syd Shores (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks)
Red Wolf I#5 (January, 1972) - Gardner Fox (writer), Roy Thomas (dialogue re-write/editor), Syd Shores (pencils), Chic Stone (inks)
Red Wolf I#6 (March-May, 1972) - Gardner Fox (writer), Roy Thomas (dialogue re-write/editor), Syd Shores (pencils), Jack Abel (inks)
Red Wolf I#7 (March-May, 1972) - Gardner Fox (writer), Roy Thomas (dialogue re-write/editor), Syd Shores (pencils), Jack Abel (inks)
Blaze of Glory#2-4 (February-March, 2000) - John Ostrander (writer), Leonardo Manco (artist), Mark Bernardo & Tom Brevoort (editors)
First posted: 12/23/2012
Last updated: 01/19/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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