Real Name: Sam Stark
Identity/Class: Human (Old West)
Occupation: Rancher, rustler
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: His hired hands (including Luke, and at least five unidentified others)
Enemies: Bat "Blackie" Warner, Ben Warner
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: His ranch in Arizona
First Appearance: Six-Gun Western#1/3 (January, 1957)
Powers/Abilities: Sam Stark was a normal human who made his wealth illegally by organizing a cattle-rustling operation.
Although having some skill in the use of firearms, Stark's preferred method of dealing with his enemies was to shoot them in the back.
History: (Six-Gun Western#1/3 (fb) - BTS) - Stark made his fortune as a cattle rancher, but never paid for his livestock -- he rustled cattle, driving them on to his property and putting his brand on them. At some point, he rustled from Ben Warner's herd.
(Six-Gun Western#1/3) - One night, Ben Warner climbed through a barbed wire fence and onto Stark's property to get proof of Stark's crimes, but he was spotted by Luke and Stark. Despite Luke's protests, Stark shot Warner in the back and told Luke he was confident that no court would convict him for shooting a trespasser.
The next day, the sheriff rode out to Stark's ranch and told him the extent of Warner's injuries ("wounded purty bad... be laid up fer about a month") and chastised him for the "ornery thing" he did to Warner. But Stark told the sheriff he was not interested in his opinion, nor did he feel any guilt for defending his land.
As the sheriff prepared to ride back to town, he advised Stark to be on the lookout for Bat Warner, Ben Warner's younger brother, whom the sheriff said was "a real hot-headed firebrand" and the most dangerous gun in Arizona. Sweating profusely, Stark begged the sheriff to protect him, but the sheriff only nonchalantly assured Stark that if anyone shot him, he'd try to arrest him.
Fearful of Bat Warner's retribution, Stark gave Luke five hundred dollars and told him to ride to Rock Spring and find the fastest gun he could hire. Two and a half days later, Luke returned with a gunman who only introduced himself as "Blackie". Stark asked "Blackie" how fast he was, and the stranger boasted that he outdrew Lightnin' Larrabe ("the fastest gun in Yuma territory") a year prior. Impressed, Stark told "Blackie" that he wanted him at his side at all times until he gunned down Bat Warner.
A few hours later, Stark and "Blackie" were riding together up a plateau to have a look over Stark's ranch. "Blackie" asked Stark how, with such a small ranch, he could afford to have so many hired hands and how he could afford to pay him so much. Stark told "Blackie" about his rustling, and promised he'd keep "Blackie" on after he took care of Bat Warner; but "Blackie" told him he wouldn't be around long because his job was almost done. Confused, Stark asked "Blackie" if he'd already gunned down Bat Warner, and "Blackie" explained further -- "Blackie" was only his nickname... his real name was... Bat Warner!
As "Blackie" walked toward him, the cowardly Stark could only back away from the advancing gunman, then lost his footing at the edge of the plateau and fell to his death.
Satisfied that the score had been evened, "Blackie" later met with the sheriff and told him he would return to his regular life while the sheriff rounded up the rest of Stark's rustlers.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Werner Roth.
Hmm... he's wealthy, he has a mustache, and his last name is Stark... you don't suppose Tony has another "black-sheep" relative (besides cousin Morgan) on his family tree, do you?
Profile by John Kaminski
Sam Stark has no known connection to:
Bat "Blackie" Warner has no known connections to:
Bat "Blackie" Warner
Ben Warner's younger brother, he was actually a school teacher. Although he had little skill with firearms and even described himself as "about the slowest gunnie in these parts," he was still able to deliver justice to Sam Stark without firing a shot, using only a false reputation and Stark's own fears against him.
Six-Gun Western#1/3, p4, pan6 (main)
Six-Gun Western (January, 1957) - Stan Lee (writer), Werner Roth (artist)
Last updated: 10/28/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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