Real Name: Luke Merriweather
Identity/Class: Human mutant
Occupation: Stunt rider, adventurer, cycling school owner
Group Membership: Team America (Honcho (James McDonald), R.U. Reddy (Winthrop Roan, Jr.), Wolf, Wrench (Leonard Hebb) ), Thunderiders (R.U. Reddy, Georgiana Hebb, Sharon Ventura, Thing (Ben Grimm), Wolf, Wrench)
Affiliations: Dixon Bowie, Richie Champoulion, Senator Clover, Paula Jean "P.J." Clover, Captain America (Steve Rogers), Marauder, New Mutants (Mirage (Dani Moonstar), Sunspot (Roberto DeCosta), Karma (Xi’an Coy Manh), Cannonball (Sam Guthrie), Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair)), Tony Stark, Charles Xavier
Adreadite, Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM), Mr. Ashe, Emperor
Hydra, unidentified hired killer, the Mayhem Organization, Mr.
briefly Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze)
Known Relatives: Father, mother (names unrevealed)
Base of Operations: Mobile worldwide
First Appearance: Team America#2 (July, 1982)
Powers/Abilities: Cowboy was a gestalt telepath. When he was in contact with other gestalts, he was able to psychically create a physical being dubbed the Marauder, or project said psychic energies onto a host body. He was an expert motorcycle stunt rider. He also possessed great coordination and showed great aptitude with the lariat.
(Team America#9 (fb) - BTS) – Cowboy grew up in Austin, Texas. He dated P.J. Clover, but the relationship was never serious for either of them.
(Team America#2) – Cowboy headed toward Team America’s hotel, drawn by an unexplained calling. Entering the lobby, he made his introduction by lassoing Honcho. When Reddy chewed Honcho out for spending their winnings, Cowboy tried to act as a peacemaker. In Denver, Cowboy was shocked by the unnamed hired killer’s skill and audacity at announcing his intent to kill them. During the race, Cowboy, Honcho and Wrench rode alongside the track and monitored the race when the killer attacked them again. Cowboy managed to save them by using the jeep winch as a lariat. Leaping from the jeep, Cowboy entered Wolf’s buggy and took over for the exhausted man, but they had lost the lead and came in second. At the after-party, the team vowed to continue while Cowboy whipped up a batch of ‘Texas Joy Juice’.
(Team America#3) – Cowboy and the rest of Team America were at a race, unaware that they were being monitored by the Mayhem Organization. Cowboy showed off before the crowd during the race and crossed the finish line with the rest of the team. Captured alongside the rest of the team after the race, Cowboy was eventually freed by the Marauder. Attacking Mister Mayhem, Cowboy and the rest of the team were shocked when the criminal escaped in the confusion.
(Team America#6) – Cowboy was surprised when Reddy broke away from the group and won the race by himself. He stayed silent when Honcho berated Reddy for his grandstanding, and said nothing when Reddy left.
(Team America#7) – Cowboy dazzled the crowd in his hometown by roping a bull while on his motorcycle. As an encore, he rode backward through a flaming lasso. After the show, Cowboy and the rest of Team America were arrested on the word of Senator Clover for the disappearance of his daughter P.J. While the team agreed to stay at the senator’s home pending the arrival of more Texas Rangers, Cowboy escaped at first light to search for P.J. on his own. On the road, he encountered his former friend and current Ranger Dixon Bowie. Bowie told him he believed in his innocence, and also hinted at his attraction to P.J. Investigating tracks (left by the Marauder, who unknown to them was following P.J.’s trail), they were both abducted by the self-proclaimed Emperor of Texas, Tony Rome. Cowboy was held in a stasis field while Bowie was released to deliver Rome’s ultimatum. Released later, he was forced to race against Rome’s death chariots. Through cunning and skill, Cowboy destroyed the chariots and freed the other hostages, including P.J. The Marauder appeared as Bowie led Team America back to the compound. In the ensuing struggle, Rome’s missile crashed into the portal, collapsing the roof. Cowboy survived the destruction and found the dying Rome in the rubble. Later, reunited with P.J., Cowboy made a showing of rejecting her advances, thus clearing the path for Bowie. He mused on this action as the team rode away.
(Team America#8) – Cowboy hit on the stewardess on the plane ride to Cairo. Once landed, Cowboy mostly spent his time helping the others prepare for the race. When Monique Adreadite introduced herself to the team, Cowboy slipped away quietly. Later, when Wolf and Reddy came to blows, Cowboy roped the latter and pulled him from the fight, an act that only resulted in him being chewed out by the former. Cowboy serenaded Wrench and Georgina before the race, but the two of them left together while Wrench worked on the racer. After the race, with the team failing to place, Cowboy swept Georgiana off her feet when she rallied the team’s morale, an act that earned the pair a hard glare from Wrench.
(Team America#9) – Cowboy sang mournful tunes as the team tried to decide on a plan. Living in their camper after losing the race, the team was close to breaking. When the Marauder gave them a new motorcycle, Cowboy was so happy he embraced Georgina. When the team was fired by Mr. Mudge, Cowboy took it in his stride. When Tony Stark gave them a check for their time, he was ecstatic, thinking of the new races they could enter with the money.
(Team America#10) – Cowboy lost his last nickel in a slot machine while the rest of the team handled their own affairs. Honcho offered to pay for dinner before he headed to his room. When Honcho was later kidnapped, Cowboy urged Wolf to help them mount a rescue. In the cult’s compound, Cowboy took the roofs and helped waylay any cultists with his lasso. When the alarm was raised, he pitched one cultist off the roof. When Honcho, Reddy and Wolf were cornered, he lassoed Mr. Ashe and his children, allowing them to escape. Cowboy stood by helplessly as Mr. Ashes later ambushed them in Honcho’s hotel room and fell victim to his own weapon.
(Team America#11) – After Wolf came in first during the trials for their next race, Cowboy and Georgiana slipped away when no one was looking.
(Team America#11 - BTS) – Unknown to everyone else, Cowboy was secretly tutoring Georgina in how to handle a motorcycle.
(Team America#11) – Tracking down Wolf, Cowboy and the others found him with local girl Mary-Michelle. Dragging him back, the team was assembled at the track when the Ghost Rider appeared and demanded the Marauder. When Hydra appeared, Cowboy and the rest of the team took cover. Later, when the wreckage and injured were being cleared away, Cowboy and the others found the weakened Marauder. Cowboy was dumbfounded when he saw the masked rider’s true identity.
(Team America#12) – Cowboy was slack-jawed as Georgiana removed the Marauder’s helmet. Back at their RV, the team tried to figure out what was going on. Cowboy said to no one in particular that Georgiana was not capable of riding at the Marauder’s level. When Mrs. Carson, the Hydra leader, attacked, Cowboy lassoed her gun away after a brief struggle. He found himself unable to kill the unarmed woman, but he and the rest of the team heard her story and their own origin. When she went back to her house to face her executioners, Cowboy urged the team to help her. Before she could be killed, Team America arrived on the scene and helped drive the Hydra agents away. When the fighting was over, the truth of what Georgiana and Cowboy were doing came out. Wrench apologized, but Cowboy said nothing as weddings plans were hastily made. At the actual wedding, Cowboy sat in attendance. Afterward, plans were made to dissolve the team. Cowboy and Reddy shared a drink at the airport lounge. When asked of his future, Cowboy considered opening his own racing school. He bid Reddy a fond farewell and saw him off.
(Team America#12/New Mutants I#5 - BTS) – Cowboy Reddy, and Wolf reformed Team America and continued to tour across America for a series of dates. Cowboy used to the opportunity to promote his cycling school.
(New Mutants I#5) – Cowboy and the others were performing a show in Westchester. Unknown to them, several members of the New Mutants were in attendance. Cowboy signed an autograph for Roberto DeCosta and joked about Wolf’s temperament. When the Viper attacked, Cowboy fought back with the rest until Dani Moonstar was captured. Back in the group’s hotel, Cowboy and the rest discussed their options. When Honcho told them of Viper’s demands, he argued that they go forward with the rescue. Charles Xavier entered the room and told them of their mutant powers, Cowboy silently took the news. He and the rest of the team agreed to work with Xavier.
(New Mutants I#6) – Cowboy and the rest of the team trained in Mexico. While Honcho and Wrench broke into the AIM building, Cowboy and Georgiana stayed outside. He expressed some concern over Professor X forcing Wolf and Reddy to fall asleep, but that was forgotten when AIM was alerted to their presence. As hovercars rushed to their location, Cowboy drove out to buy the rest of the team time. When Wolf summoned the power of the Dark Rider, he drove after his friend and rescued him, bringing him back to Xavier’s jet.
(New Mutants I#8) – Cowboy and the rest of the team took a break in the Danger Room from their training.
(New Mutants I#8/The Thing I#27 - BTS) – After their adventures with the New Mutants, Cowboy was annoyed to discover they had lost the copyright to the name Team America. Dubbing themselves the Thunderiders, he and the others decided to expand their roster and start touring.
(The Thing I#27) – While out on a ride, the Thunderiders nearly ran over the Thing and his friend Vance Astro. Cowboy later gave the Thing two free tickets to their show later that night. After the Thing and Champoulion had their tryouts, Cowboy argued for the Thing’s inclusion, citing the drawing power that a former member of the Fantastic Four would bring. When the Thing was attacked by the Marauder, Cowboy frantically called Honcho and tried to find a reason. He was amazed when the Marauder’s helmet was cracked and the team saw Champoulion’s face.
(The Thing I#28) – The Thing’s tenure with the team lasted two weeks. During this time, Cowboy and the others practiced with him and incorporated him into their stunts. The biggest and last one involved the rest of the team leaving their bikes and forming a pyramid on the Thing, with Cowboy balanced on his immediate left and Reddy on his back. In the showers, Cowboy and the Thing talked. When he confessed to wanting to quit the group, Cowboy understood and apologized for trying to cash in on his fame. Peace was made and Cowboy tore up the poster before wishing him good luck.
Comments: Created by Jim Shooter, Denny O’Neil & Bill Mantlo (script), Mike Vosburg (pencils) and Vince Colleta (inks).
According to my research, the entire concept of Team America was created by Ideal Toys to sell a toy line and was later licensed by Marvel. The line actually began as Evel Knievel. According to the Evel Knievel Toy Museum, the line came about when Knievel was arrested for assault in the late 1970s. As best as I can tell, Cowboy was never intended to be part of the Ideal toy line, and was a pure Marvel creation.
"Project: New Genesis"? Seems to be invoking the Forever People.
In issue 12, Cowboy and the others are flatly told they are mutants, yet Professor X explains it to them again and they act shocked.
Profile by David Lawrence.
Cowboy has no known connections to:
A Texas Ranger, Dixon Bowie was a childhood friend of Cowboy. He helped find P.J. and led the team on the rescue mission.
A powerful politician, Senator Clover was P.J.’s father. He thought Cowboy was behind his daughter’s disappearance, but changed his mind when Dixon told him about the Emperor of Texas.
Paula Jean “P.J.” Clover
Senator Clover’s daughter, Paula Jean Clover used to date Cowboy. She broke up with him after he rescued her when he bragged of having many other girlfriends.
Team America#7, p1, pan1 (main image)
Team America#7, p2, pan4 (head shot)
The Thing I#28, p3, pan4 (Thunderiders uniform)
Team America#7, p15, pan4 (Dixon Bowie)
Team America#7, p5, pan4 (Senator)
Team America#7, p3, pan3 (P.J.)
Team America#2 (July, 1982) – Jim Shooter, Denny O’Neil, Bill Mantlo (script), Mike Vosburg (pencils), Vince Colleta (inks), Jim Shooter (editor)
Team America#3 (August, 1982) – Bill Mantlo (script), Luke McDonall (pencils), Mike Vosburg (inks), Jim Shooter (editor)
Team America#6 (November, 1982) - Bill Mantlo (script), Alan Kupperburg (pencils), Vince Colleta (inks), Jim Shooter (editor)
Team America#7 (December, 1982) – Bill Mantlo (script), Luke McDonall (pencils), Vince Colleta (inks), Jim Shooter (editor)
Team America#8 (January, 1983) – Jim Shooter, Bill Mantlo (plot/script), Don Perlin (pencils), Vince Colleta (inks), Jim Shooter (editor)
Team America#9 (February, 1983) – Jim Shooter, Bill Mantlo (plot/script), Mark Bright (pencils), Vince Colleta (inks), Jim Shooter (editor)
Team America#10 (March, 1983) – Steven Grant (script), Alan Kupperburg (pencils), Vince Colleta (inks), Jim Shooter (editor)
Team America#11 (April, 1983) – Jim Shooter, Tom DeFalco (plot/script), David Simmons, Sharon Weiss (pencils), Jim Shooter (editor)
Team America#12 (May, 1983) – Jim Shooter (script), Don Perlin (pencils), Vince Colleta (inks), Jim Shooter (editor)
New Mutants I#5 (July, 1983) – Chris Claremont (script), Sal Buscema (pencils), Bob McCloud (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
New Mutants I#6 (August, 1983) – Chris Claremont (script), Sal Buscema (pencils), Armando Gill, J. Tartag (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
New Mutants I#8 (October, 1983) – Chris Claremont (script), Sal Buscema (pencils), Bob McCloud (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
The Thing I#27 (September, 1985) – Mike Carlin (script), Ron Wilson (pencils), Paul Ryan (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
The Thing I#28 (October, 1985) – Mike Carlin (script), Ron Wilson (pencils), Brett Breeding (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
First Posted: 02/15/2010
Last updated: 05/16/2011
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
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