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Real Name: Jess Kuger

Identity/Class: Normal human (Old West Era)

Occupation: Mayor (Carson City), owner (Carson City Freighting Company)

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None;
   formerly citizens of Carson City;
   formerly Crow tribe members

Enemies: Kid Colt, local Crow tribe (Eagle Feather, Mighty Bear, others)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Smoking Lion"

Base of Operations: Carson City, USA (see comments)

First Appearance: Wild Western#31/1 (December, 1953)

Powers/Abilities: Jess Kuger was an astute but morally corrupt business owner. His racist views of Native Americans led him to instigate war between white settlers and the local Crow people. He could ride a horse and shoot a handgun. He was initially popular with the townsfolk of Carson City, but that ended when his deceit was uncovered.

Height: 5'10" (by approximation)
Weight: 160 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Gray
Hair: Gray


(Wild Western#31/1 (fb) - BTS) - Jess Kuger was the owner of Carson City Freighting Company. Wanting access to land owned by the local Crow people near Carson City for the gold mine and property values, he sowed discontent between white settlers and the indigenous people. He killed a group of peaceful Crow people, but also secretly supplied guns and whiskey to make the Crow warriors disruptive to white settlers. The Crow knew him as "Smoking Lion" because he smoked cigars and his name sounded similar to mountain lion ("cougar"). At some point, Kuger was popularly elected as mayor to further his agenda of racist profiteering.

(Wild Western#31/1) - Kid Colt tracked a vengeance-seeking Crow war party and met Jess Kuger's posse defending local settlers. Kid Colt politely disagreed with Kuger's racist and genocidal views of Native Americans. While Kuger sent a telegram requesting military assistance to aid eliminating the local Crow people, Kid Colt traveled to the tribal camp and spoke with its chief, Eagle Feather. After dangerous trials, including fighting the Crow brave Mighty Bear, Kid Colt left, having discovered Kuger's central connection in instigating a war. Arriving in Carson City at nightfall, Kid Colt confronted Kuger during a town meeting, where the mayor was inciting the locals rise up against the Native Americans with impending US military support. Kuger tried to have the outlaw shot, but Kid Colt quickly killed Kuger's two henchmen. Disarming Kuger and ignoring his cash-aided plea for escape, Kid Colt took Kuger to the Crow tribe for justice.

(Wild Western#31/1 (fb) - BTS) - Kuger's request for military aid was canceled. The Crow tribe punished Kuger, apparently killing him.

(Wild Western#31/1) - The town locals intended to hang Kuger for his crimes and duplicity. Kid Colt returned at dawn to inform the townsfolk that Kuger's threat was eliminated and instead peace fostered.

Comments: Created by an uncredited writer and Jack Keller (pencils & inks).

Carson City's state is unrevealed, but given the Crow people have been based around Montana, it was likely in that vicinity. However, it could also be the Carson City lying much further south-west in Nevada.

Profile by Grendel Prime.

Jess Kuger has no known connections to:

Mighty Bear

Mighty Bear was a powerfully strong and tall warrior of the Crow tribe headed by Eagle Feather, who claimed the brave had the strength of "ten buffalos!" Seeking to parley with the Crow people over Jess Kuger's insidious and divisive tactics, which cultivated alcoholism and aggression amongst the Native Americans, Kid Colt was instead tortured. Kid Colt then sought to challenge their strongest warrior as per the tribe's laws for release. Mighty Bear was presented, but Kid Colt was undaunted and quick, hard punches at key points knocked out Mighty Bear. Kid Colt soon brokered peace between white settlers and the Crow people by ending the morally corrupt reign of Kuger.







--Wild Western#31/1

images: (without ads)
Wild Western#31/1, p6, pan4 (main image)
    p2, pan7 (headshot)
    p4, pan7 (Mighty Bear)

Wild Western#31/1 (December, 1953) - uncredited writer, Jack Keller (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)

Last updated: 04/02/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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