Real Name: Jess Kuger
Identity/Class: Normal human (Old West Era)
Occupation: Mayor (Carson City), owner (Carson
City Freighting Company)
Group Membership: 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
First Appearance: Wild Western#31/1 (December,
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.
Weight: 160 lbs. (by approximation)
(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
(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
(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
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 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, 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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