Real Name: Hugo (surname unrevealed)

Identity/Class: Human (Old West Era)

Occupation: Exhibition gunfighter;
    Formerly thief, fake ventriloquist's dummy, carnival performer

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Annie Oakwood (kinda), Rawhide Kid (Johnny Bart);
    Formerly Gabbo

Enemies: Luther Cragg

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: The Master of Trick Shooting

Base of Operations: Mobile in the western states of the USA (late 1800s)

First Appearance: Rawhide Kid I#47 (August, 1965)

Powers/Abilities: Hugo was trained by no less than the Rawhide Kid to become a gunfighter. He was an excellent shot with a pistol, although he used his talent primarily as a exhibition performer rather than in combat. He was armed with a pistol.

Prior to becoming an exhibition gunman, Hugo posed as a ventriloquist's dummy. He learned the skill of ventriloquism himself. His dummy costume, including as mask which gave the appearance of his having a wooden head, continued to be part of Hugo's possessions in his travels.

Height: 2'11" (by approximation)
Weight: 85 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown (wore a red wig with his dummy disguise)

History: (Marvel Westerns: Two-Gun Kid I#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Legends surrounding Hugo claimed that his family came to the United States aboard the Half-Pinta. As an adolescent, he became a hunter and trapper in the Northwest Territory. Supposedly, he spent a Montana winter inside Paul Bunyan's belly button. He hunted buffalo with the Cherokee, wrestled bears with the Arapaho and was toilet-trained by the Kickapoo.

(Rawhide Kid I#47 (fb) - BTS) - Discouraged because the only work he could get was in carnival freak shows, Hugo went to work with the false ventriloquist known as Gabbo. Wearing a wooden mask, Hugo pretended to be Gabbo's dummy in their entertainment routine. However, it was also a cover for their criminal activities, as Gabbo would send Hugo to rob people, using his small stature as an advantage in breaking into rooms.

(Rawhide Kid I#47) - Gabbo and Hugo took a performance engagement on the Sequoia Star, a riverboat on the Missouri which had just fallen under command of the criminal Luther Cragg. During the voyage, Gabbo and Hugo performed their usual ventriloquism routine. That night, Gabbo sent Hugo to sneak into a wealthy passenger's room and steal their jewelry. Hugo complained that he had allowed Gabbo to turn him into a thief but Gabbo vowed that if Hugo refused to work with him, he would have to return to the freak show. The next day, Gabbo and Hugo went on the deck of the boat to entertain the passengers when the Rawhide Kid, who had been imprisoned by Cragg on the boat, burst on to the scene to confront Cragg. As the Rawhide Kid prepared to draw his guns on Cragg, Gabbo used a mirror to reflect sunlight into the Kid's eyes and throw off his aim. Unwilling to see the Kid killed, Hugo turned on Gabbo and took away his mirror. Gabbo started to wind up a punch at Hugo but Hugo jumped, cracking his wooden head into Gabbo's chin, knocking him out. The Kid's battle with Cragg ended with both men falling into the river but Hugo threw a rope to the Kid to rescue him from the water. As the authorities came to arrest the criminals on the Sequoia Star, the Rawhide Kid vouched for Hugo's good nature. The Kid then trained Hugo to be a marksman. After several months of training, Hugo embarked upon a new entertainment career as "Hugo the Master of Trick Shooting."

(Marvel Westerns: Two-Gun Kid I#1/2) - Hugo received a telegram from Gabbo near Albuquerque, requesting his help in rescuing his new partner, Annie Oakwood, whom Gabbo claimed was his daughter. Annie had fallen into the hands of a tribe of Apaches. Although there was no love lost between Hugo and Gabbo, Hugo agreed to rescue Annie. Riding to the Apache village, Hugo examined the premises with a pair of binoculars. He decided the best way to enter the village was to don the clothing from his ventriloquist dummy get-up, even though it meant breaking his promise to the Rawhide Kid. Hugo made various attempts to appear like a dummy to the Apaches so that they would take him into the village but the Apaches were never fooled by him and finally told him he was creeping them out. They told him Annie was in the first teepee on the right and to take her and leave. Entering the teepee, Hugo discovered Annie was simply Hugo's new ventriloquist dummy, not a real person at all. Despite this, Hugo was instantly smitten with her and left the village with her. Confronting Gabbo for answers, Gabbo explained that she was a very expensive puppet. Hugo kicked Gabbo over a cliff then rode off with Annie, testing his own ventriloquism to make her talk.

(Marvel Westerns Outlaw Files - Hugo entry - BTS) - Hugo was interviewed before beginning a string of performances in Rawhide.

Comments: Created by Larry Lieber.

Gabbo the Great was named in homage to the Great Gabbo, the ventriloquist protagonist of Ben Hecht's story "The Rival Dummy," which became the 1929 motion picture The Great Gabbo.

Hugo has a profile in Marvel Westerns Outlaw Files (2006).

Hugo's height was approximated based on the mention of him being "under 3 feet" in his Marvel Westerns Outlaw Files entry. --Proto-Man

This profile was completed 6/28/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Prime Eternal.

Hugo should not be confused with:

Gabbo the GreatGabbo

Gabbo the Great was the performer who posed as a ventriloquist while Hugo posed as his dummy. However, their true goal was to rob patrons at night, using Hugo's small stature to gain access to their rooms. When he and Hugo brought their act to the Sequoia Star, Gabbo allied himself with Luther Cragg and helped him capture the Rawhide Kid. However, Hugo grew increasingly upset at the crimes he was asked to perform. When the Rawhide Kid escaped his cell, Gabbo went to help Cragg's men against him by reflecting sunlight into the Kid's eyes with a mirror. This caused Hugo to finally turn on Gabbo and he knocked Gabbo out by ramming his wooden head into Gabbo's chin. Hugo broke up their act and thereafter became a gunfighter under the Rawhide Kid's training. Some time later, Gabbo started a true ventriloquist act with a hand-carved dummy he called Annie Oakwood and had her pose as his daughter. When some Apaches stole Annie from him, Gabbo asked Hugo to rescue her because he didn't want to buy a new dummy. Upon realizing she was a dummy, Hugo confronted Gabbo and kicked him off a cliff then rode off with Annie as his own property.

--Rawhide Kid I#47 (Marvel Westerns: Two-Gun Kid I#1/2,

Annie OakwoodAnnie Oakwood

Annie Oakwood was the female ventriloquist's dummy which Gabbo adopted after Hugo left him. She was hand-carved from oakwood. Gabbo claimed that she was his daughter in their act. After Annie was stolen by Apaches, Gabbo enlisted Hugo rescue her. When the Apaches finally gave her up so that Hugo would leave them alone, Hugo was instantly smitten with her. Hugo set off, using his own ventriloquism to make Annie "talk."

--Marvel Westerns: Two-Gun Kid I#1/2

images: (without ads)
Rawhide Kid I#47, p10, pan4 (main)
Rawhide Kid I#47, p8, pan5 (dummy)
Rawhide Kid I#47, p17, pan6 (gunfighter)
Marvel Westerns: The Two-Gun Kid I#1/2, p2, pan6 (Gabbo)
Marvel Westerns: The Two-Gun Kid I#1/2, p5, pan5 (Annie)

Rawhide Kid I#47 (August, 1965) - Larry Lieber (writer/artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Marvel Westerns: The Two-Gun Kid I#1/2 (August, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Robert Loren Fleming (writer), Mike Allred (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Marvel Westerns Outlaw Files (2006) - Michael Hoskin (head writer/coordinator), Stuart Vandal, Ronald Byrd, Jeff Christiansen, Sean McQuaid, Mark O'English, Anthony Flamini, Madison Carter (writers), Larry Lieber (Hugo entry art), Jeff Youngquist (editor)

First posted: 09/10/2021
Last updated: 09/07/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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