Real Name: Inapplicable

Identity/Class: North American bison (Old West era)

Occupation: Grazer

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Morgan Yancy

Enemies: Dan Carter, Two-Gun Kid (Clay Harder/Matt Hawk) (see comments)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Fenced area of Hidden Valley

First Appearance: Two-Gun Kid#58/1 (February, 1961) (see comments)

Powers/Abilities: A hoax perpetrated by Morgan Yancy for his cattle-rustling scheme, the "Monster" was actually a freak over-sized bison disguised to appear as an orange reptilian creature (see comments).

The "Monster" had great strength, but probably because of its ponderous bulk (and the fact that it was encumbered by its disguise), it could not match the speed of a running horse.

Height: 8' (by approximation)
Weight: 3000 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Brown

(Two-Gun Kid#58/1 (fb) - BTS) - About one month earlier, near the southwestern town of Hidden Valley, Morgan Yancy began his cattle-rustling scheme by disguising a bison as the Monster--one of the first to see the creature was Yancy's rival rancher, Dan Carter.

   Soon, nearly all the citizens of Hidden Valley had seen the Monster, so the townsfolk built a gated fence around the valley to seal it off and confine the creature. Yancy stole some of Carter's cattle, then exploited the fear of the townsfolk by hiding the stolen herd within the fenced area. Convinced that Yancy was responsible for his missing cattle, but having no proof, Carter sent a letter requesting help to his friend, the Two-Gun Kid.

(Two-Gun Kid#58/1 (fb) ) - The Two-Gun Kid rode into town and had a minor confrontation with Yancy, but their skirmish was interrupted by a panic-stricken citizen who claimed to have seen the Monster--as Yancy and some of the townsmen rode off to investigate the sighting, the doubting Kid went to visit Carter instead.

   But at Dan Carter's ranch, the Two-Gun Kid heard from Carter that the Monster was indeed real, for the rancher had seen it himself; Carter pointed out to the fenced area in the distance that confined the creature. Suspicious that Carter's cattle were being held behind the fence, the Kid rode off to search.

   When he arrived at the fence, the Two-Gun Kid again encountered Yancy and the townsmen as they rode up; they all noticed the fence was violently shaking, for the Monster was kicking it, trying to get out. The fearful townsmen rode off to warn the other citizens, leaving the Kid and Yancy. The Two-Gun Kid voiced his suspicions to Yancy that he thought Yancy was responsible for Carter's missing cattle, and that the so-called "Monster" was somehow involved. Just then, the Monster's clawed foot kicked a hole in the fence--the Kid looked through and saw the Monster really did exist!

   Just then, Yancy drew his gun and threatened to make the Two-Gun Kid climb the fence into the Monster's lair; but the Kid knocked the gun from Yancy's hand and the two began a physical fight--as they struggled, the Monster continued to hurl its brute strength against the ever-weakening fence. Suddenly, the sheriff and the rest of the townspeople (including Dan Carter) arrived; the sheriff broke up the fight between the Kid and Yancy, telling them that there was a far more important task at hand: They all had to reinforce the fence before the Monster broke free. But the Kid told everyone that he'd take care of the Monster himself--despite Carter's warning that it was certain death, the Kid was determined to learn the secret of the Monster, or die trying.

(Two-Gun Kid#58/1) - The Two-Gun Kid climbed through the hole and stood his ground before the creature. As the Monster began to charge him, the Kid whistled for his faithful steed Cyclone, and the horse leaped through the weakened fence. Jumping upon Cyclone's back, the Kid rode up to the Monster and roped it with his lariat.

   The Two-Gun Kid removed the creature's "costume" and showed the townsfolk that the "Monster" was merely a disguised bison, then he had a final showdown with Morgan Yancy... (For the continuation of these events, see Morgan Yancy's sub-profile below)

Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer) and Jack Kirby (artist).

The Two-Gun Kid series began chronicling the adventures of singing cowboy Clay Harder as the title character in issue #s 1-10 (March, 1948 to November, 1949); after a hiatus of a few years, the series resumed with issue #s 11-59 (November, 1953 to April, 1961), still featuring Harder. Then issue #60 (November, 1962) introduced Matt Hawk as the "new" masked Two-Gun Kid, whose sobriquet was inspired by a dime-novel character that Hawk had read about--this effectively rendered Clay Harder into a meta-fictional character.

But when this particular story was reprinted in Mighty Marvel Western#16/6 (March, 1972), Clay Harder was redrawn with the traditional mask and costume of the Matt Hawk Two-Gun Kid, so I guess it could be considered a ret-con, and you can actually consider the reprint to be the "real" Earth-616/mainstream Marvel Universe first appearance of the Monster of Hidden Valley (I don't have the reprint, so that's why I did this profile with images of Clay Harder--You'll just have to use your imagination if you're a stickler for Matt Hawk).

Marvel Westerns: Outlaw Files featured an excerpt from Rex Lane's "Lane Into Twilight" column from the Daily Globe (dated September, 1962), wherein Lane doubted the veracity of the stories of the Monster's battle with either version of the Two-Gun Kid--among the details Lane found questionable were:

  1. Where, in the plastic-less 19th Century, could Yancy have obtained such a realistic covering that withstood the bison's multiple blows to the fence, yet still clung so effectively to it for over a month?
  2. The Monster was described as having thick clawed legs, but even if the disguise was unlikely, the feature of "pant-legs"--with CLAWS--on its hooves was absurd.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

The Monster of Hidden Valley has no known connections to:

Morgan Yancy has no known connections to:

Dan Carter has no known connections to:

Fenced area of Hidden Valley

When the citizens of the southwestern American town of Hidden Valley saw the Monster, they built a double-strength gated wooden fence to confine the creature to the valley.

The Monster would continuously kick the fence in its attempts to break free. When the Two-Gun Kid went to confront the Monster, he whistled for his horse Cyclone, and the steed jumped through the weakened fence. After roping the Monster, the Kid showed the townspeople that the "Monster" was merely a bison that cattle-rustler Morgan Yancy had disguised--Yancy had been using the fenced area to hide the stolen cattle.

--Two-Gun Kid#58/1

Morgan Yancy

Yancy was the owner of the Circle-Y ranch, near the town of Hidden Vally. He began to rustle the cattle of rival rancher Dan Carter.

Yancy disguised a bison with a monstrous costume, then used it to spread fear amongst the townsfolk, so the citizens built a fence around the valley to confine the Monster--Yancy hid the stolen herd behind the fence until such a time that he could alter their brands.

When the Two-Gun Kid rode into town to help Carter, Yancy threw a punch at him because the Kid merely mentioned Carter's name--Yancy was angry because Carter had (rightfully) accused him of stealing his cattle. Yancy further tried to provoke the Kid into a fight, and he boasted that he ran the town and everyone in it.

After the Two-Gun Kid discovered the truth of the phony "Monster's" disguise, Yancy pulled his gun and threatened to kill the Kid for ruining his plan; but the Kid's lightning-fast hand drew his own weapon, and he mercifully shot the gun from Yancy's hand--Yancy was presumably taken into custody by the sheriff.

--Two-Gun Kid#58/1

Dan Carter

Carter was the owner of the Big-C ranch, near the town of Hidden Valley. He was one of the first people to see the Monster, and the creature chased him while he was riding his horse through the valley--Carter was able to outrun the Monster because he took advantage of every twist and turn in the terrain.

Carter's cattle were being rustled by rival rancher Morgan Yancy. Realizing he'd be ruined if he lost any more cattle to the rustler, Carter sent a letter requesting help to his friend, the Two-Gun Kid.

When the Kid arrived at his ranch, Carter told him about the Monster, and he pointed out the fence the townsfolk had built to confine the creature; the Two-Gun Kid left to investigate.

The Two-Gun Kid discovered that the "Monster" was merely a disguised bison used by Yancy for his rustling scheme. Afterward, Carter rode alongside the Kid as the hero left town--Carter thanked him for his assistance, but the humble hero insisted that using his gun-slinging talents to bring another bad man to bay was thanks enough.

--Two-Gun Kid#58/1

images: (without ads)
Two-Gun Kid#58/1, p11, pan5 (Main Image - Monster faces Two-Gun Kid (Clay Harder) )
Two-Gun Kid#58/1, p4, pan5 (in flashback, Dan Carter recalls his first encounter with the Monster)
Two-Gun Kid#58/1, p13, pan1 (Two-Gun Kid (Clay Harder) reveals Monster to be bison to townsfolk by fence-gate (background) )
Two-Gun Kid#58/1, p13, pan2 (Two-Gun Kid (Clay Harder) holds bison's "Monster" disguise)
Two-Gun Kid#58/1, p5, pan4 (Dan Carter points to Monster's fenced area)
Two-Gun Kid#58/1, p12, pan2 (Two-Gun Kid (Clay Harder)'s horse Cyclone leaps through weakened fence, Monster (background) )
Two-Gun Kid#58/1, p6, pan3 (Morgan Yancy)
Two-Gun Kid#58/1, p2, pan5 (Morgan Yancy punches Two-Gun Kid (Clay Harder) )
Two-Gun Kid#58/1, p13, pan3 (Morgan Yancy draws his gun when Two-Gun Kid (Clay Harder) foils his scheme)
Two-Gun Kid#58/1, p5, pan3 (Dan Carter)
Two-Gun Kid#58/1, p4, pan3 (Dan Carter pours coffee for Two-Gun Kid (Clay Harder) and tells him about missing cattle)

Two-Gun Kid#58/1 (February, 1961) - Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Artie Simek (letters), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 05/10/18
Last updated: 05/10/18

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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