Real Name: Ben Dancer
Identity/Class: Human (Old West era)
Occupation: Former gunfighter, mentor
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Two-Gun Kid (Matt Hawk)
Enemies: Clem Carter and a nameless gang of owlhoots
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Tombstone, Texas (circa 1870s)
First Appearance: Two-Gun Kid I#60/1 (November, 1962)
Powers/Abilities: A former gunfighter of some renown, Ben Dancer was said to be the fastest gun in the area, and was also an expert marksman. Despite his age, Dancer was still a good fighter and could stand up to younger men.
History: (Two-Gun Kid I#60/1) - On the streets of Tombstone, the elderly Ben Dancer was being harassed by two owlhoots. Young lawyer Matt Hawk (a recent arrival from the East) saw Dancer's predicament and ran up to help him fight off his attackers. Seeing that Hawk had plenty of nerve, Dancer wanted to show his gratitude by showing Hawk how to handle a gun; Dancer's tutelage also included teaching Hawk such skills as roping with a lasso, horseback riding, and unarmed fighting. The months of training gradually transformed Hawk and had toughened up the dude lawyer into a new man. Dancer urged Hawk to put on a mask to conceal his identity so he would not have others trying to cash in on his reputation by continuously challenging him to gunfights; Dancer also gave Hawk a horse, Thunder. Hawk took the name "The Two-Gun Kid" from a fictitious gunfighter he once read about. With Matt Hawk's training being done, Ben Dancer boarded a stage coach to retire and head east "for a long lazy rest". As Hawk and Dancer bid each other farewell, the two owlhoots who had previously harassed Dancer saw these events and rounded up the rest of their gang to rob the stage coach and kill Dancer. Learning of the danger, Hawk donned his Two-Gun Kid identity and rode into action. The Kid and Dancer fought with and beat the gang of robbers, but as the sheriff's posse rode up, Dancer advised the Kid to ride off as well, as the sheriff might not take too kindly to masked men. Dancer presumably resumed his trip.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Dick Ayers.
Is this the only appearance of Ben Dancer? Did he ever make any further appearances, either in return visits or flashbacks?
Issues 1 through 59 of "The Two Gun Kid" featured the exploits of cowboy Clay Harder. We can ASSume that Harder is the "fictitious gunfighter" that Matt Hawk took his "Two-Gun Kid" name from and that the stories of Clay Harder are fictitious as well; however it may also be that Clay Harder was a "real" person whose adventures were written up in dime-novels and thought to be fictional.
Perhaps Ben Dancer was once the legendary Dallas Kid in his younger days.
Profile by John Kaminski
Ben Dancer has no known connection to:
Two-Gun Kid I#60, p 5, panel 7-8
Two-Gun Kid I#60, p 5, panel 6
Last updated: 12/09/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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