Real Name: Jim Lathrop

Identity/Class: Human (Old West Era)

Occupation: Cattle rancher

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Black Rider (Matthew Masters), Jodie Haines, Dr. Jeff Horner, Pete Jenkins, Jim, Lanny Kimball, Chip Loring, Charlie Maddock, Jake Osborn, Red, Buzzy Sloan, Sheriff Ben Yarby

Enemies: Curly Adams, Jeremy Bass, Dan Basset and his gang, Snake Bostwick and his gang, Blast Burrows and his gang, Mr. Cameron, Cameron, Jess Cantrell, Wolf Cariff, Grant DuMont, Shag Enoch, Sash Grale, Hatchet Haines, Luke Halsey, Injun Pancho, Lobo, Maynard Murrel, Poison Polk, Red John, Snead, the Spider, Stanton, Stinger, Tod Sultan, Blackie Thorpe, Wolf Claw

Known Relatives: Bobby Lathrop (son), Marie Lathrop (daughter), Bobby (grandson)

Aliases: Rip Lathrop

Base of Operations: Hatchet-Star Ranch outside of Leadville, Texas, USA (late 1800s)

First Appearance: All-Western Winners I#2 (Winter, 1948)

Powers/Abilities: Jim usually carried a revolver but due to his age and rheumatism, he was a poor marksman.

Height: 6'0" (by approximation)
Weight: 165 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: White

History: (All-Western Winners I#2 (fb) BTS) - Jim Lathrop was threatened by Blast Burrows, the foreman for an eastern syndicate trying to seize control of all ranchlands in the Leadville basin. Soon, Jim was the only rancher who had not surrendered to Burrows. When Burrows' men tried to drive Jim off his land and marry his daughter Marie, Jim refused; Jim's foreman Charlie was shot as result. Jim and Marie brought Charlie to the town of Leadville to save his life.

(All-Western Winners I#2/Black Rider I#10 (fb)/Black Rider II#1 (fb)) - Jim and Marie brought Charlie to the office of Doc Matthew Masters, who had just moved into Leadville. Doc Masters tried to save Charlie's life but Blast Burrows had followed them to the office and murdered Charlie to demonstrate how dangerous he was. When Doc Masters refused to deal with Blast, Jim chased after Blast. Unfortunately, Jim's age had diminished his fighting abilities and he was almost killed in a gunfight with Blast. Doc Masters saved Jim's life but, unknown to Jim, his near-death convinced Doc Masters to don the costumed identity of Black Rider to bring Blast Burrows to justice.

(All-Western Winners I#4) - As Snake Bostwick menaced Leadville, Jim and Marie attended meetings held by Mr. Cameron to determine how the town should deal with him and his gang. Their meeting was interrupted when Jim's son Bobby arrived, wounded by Snake. Ultimately, the Black Rider slew Snake and exposed Cameron as his boss.

(Best Western I#58/2) - As sheep herder Sash Grale and cattle rancher Grant DuMont began a range war to grab each other's lands, they hired Red John to impersonate the Black Rider and commit robberies as a distraction for them. Jim Lathrop took charge of a posse to capture the Black Rider but once the real Black Rider led him to the dressed-up Red John, Jim and the posse allied themselves with the Black Rider. Grant DuMont tried to seize the Lathrop lands and menaced Marie but the Black Rider saved her and killed DuMont.

(Western Winners I#5/2) - Homer Waller ran for sheriff of Leadville and tried to intimidate the citizens to vote for him but the Black Rider slew him. Jim was thankful to the Black Rider for saving Leadville.

(Rex Hart I#6/3) - While Bobby was arranging for the Lathrops' neighbor Jake Osborn to share water from his well with the ranch, Osborn was killed by Snead. The Leadville sheriff placed the value of Osborn's land at $1,000. Deciding to buy the land for its water, Jim had his foreman Red register to ride the bronco Dynamite for the $1,000 prize. Snead knocked Red out to stop him but the Black Rider took Red's place, won the prize and exposed Snead as Osborn's killer.

(Two-Gun Kid I#9/3) - When Tod Sultan impersonated the Black Rider, Jim assumed Sultan was the real hero gone evil. Sultan kidnapped Marie and held her for ransom from Jim but the real Black Rider rescued her.

(Wild Western I#9) - Jim admired Doc Masters' idea to divert the Leadville River so that it would provide water to the cattle lands.

(Black Rider I#8) - Jim fought back against Wolf Cariff when he tried to rustle the Lathrop's cattle but fortunately, the Black Rider arrived to kill Wolf's gang.

(Black Rider I#9) - When Simon Cantrell bought up the land belonging to Running Deer's tribe, it drove them into a frenzy which Cantrell directed to the Lathrop ranch. Jim and his family fought off the Natives but Bobby was injured by an arrow. Fortunately, Doc Masters saved Bobby's life and, as the Black Rider, made peace with the Natives.

(Wild Western I#11) - Jim and his family were in Leadville when the town was laid siege to by the Fox but the Black Rider defeated the Fox and his gang.

(Black Rider I#10/Black Rider II#1) - The Black Rider fought alongside Jim and Bobby to save Jim's cattle from rustlers.

(Wild Western I#13) - The renegade Native brave Wolf Claw went on a rampage, wanting to pay back white men "blood for blood." To that end, he kidnapped Jim and Marie and brought them to his village to kill them in ritual sacrifice. However, the Black Rider intervened and challenged Wolf Claw to combat for the Lathrops' lives. The Black Rider killed Wolf Claw and the Lathrops were set free.

(Black Rider I#19) - When Hatchet Haines impersonated the Black Rider, he invaded the Lathrop ranch and shot Jim in the left shoulder so that he could kidnap Marie and force her to be his wife. Bobby tended to his father's injury, which was evidently minor.

(Black Rider I#21 (fb)) - When Bobby was set to testify to having witnessed the cattle rustler Trigger Tracy murder his father's wranglers Buzzy Sloan and Pete Jenkins, some of Tracy's men kidnapped Bobby from the ranch. Jim went to the courthouse to inform them Bobby could not be found to testify. Trigger Tracy was released but the Black Rider set after Bobby and helped free him.

(Black Rider I#21/4 (fb)) - Jim was playing a game of checkers with Doc Masters one night when criminals Shag Enoch and Jess Cantrell dynamited their way out of jail. Jim offered a rifle to Doc Masters to help him try and shoot the outlaws as they rode past but Masters declined to shoot; Jim failed to hit either of the outlaws.

(Kid Colt Outlaw I#35/3) - Jim fired his employee Injun Pancho for pulling a knife on one of his men. Pancho tried to get revenge on Jim by murdering Bobby. Pancho's bullet killed Bobby's horse instead and the Black Rider killed Pancho.

(Black Rider I#22) - The Black Rider visited the Lathrop ranch to ask Marie to go to Doc Masters' office and tend to Laurie Vance, an injured women the doctor had been treating.

(Kid Colt Outlaw #38/3) - When a nearby Comanche village was struck by cholera, Jim promised the Black Rider to help deliver medicine to aid them.

(Wild Western I#34/3) - After Marie found a Native man who had been tortured in a secret slave mine, the Black Rider brought the injured man to Jim's ranch to continue recuperating. When Jim said that Marie had not been home since finding the Native man, the Black Rider realized she was in danger and went to rescue her from the slavers.

(Black Rider I#23/2) - The Black Rider sent the injured holdup man Lanny Kimball to the Lathrop ranch for treatment. Ultimately, Doc Masters and Marie had to amputate one of Lanny's arms. Lanny turned against his former ally Bulldog Barnes, turning him over to the Black Rider. Having proved he had made a change of heart, Lanny accepted a job offer to work on Jim's ranch.

(Black Rider I#23/4) - After Lathrop's judge friend Ben Owen condemned Maynard Murrel to death, Murrel returned to kill Ben. Jim went to Ben's home to verify news of his death and found the Black Rider there. The two of them pursued Murrel and went to the cemetery where he was buried, learning from the caretaker how he found Murrel was still alive in his coffin and restored him to health. When Murrel confronted the Black Rider and Jim, the Black Rider shot him dead -- for good.

(Wild Western I#35/4) - Jim came down with desert fever so Doc Masters went out to his ranch to tend to him. When Blackie Thorpe came to the ranch to force Jim to trade horses with him, Jim was too weak to fight him and watched helplessly as Blackie shot Bobby. Fortunately, Bobby only suffered a flesh wound. The Black Rider tracked down Blackie and slew him.

(Wild Western I#36/4) - When Jeremy Bass organized a protection racket, Jim agreed to pay "insurance," not realizing his neighbor's troubles were being caused by Bass' men. The Black Rider took Jim to meet two of Bass' men and tell them Jim was ending his contract with Bass. Bass' men drew their guns, proving their criminal intent, and Black Rider and Jim shot them both down. The Black Rider proceeded to take down Bass and turn him over to the law.

(Wild Western I#37/4) - Bobby was terrified after seeing the glowing body of Mad Dog Murdock. Jim and Marie looked after him as Doc Masters came to see Bobby was all right.

(Kid Colt Outlaw I#42/3) - When the Black Rider encountered Tad Benson, a badly wounded boy under the care of his uncle Gus Seeley, Jim explained Tad's background to the Black Rider. With this information, the Black Rider realized Tad's father was being held prisoner by Seeley.

(Outlaw Kid I#2/3) - Poison Polk threw acid into Jim's eyes, blinding him. Jim saved his eyesight with water from his canteen but nearly stumbled over a ledge before being rescued by the Black Rider. The Black Rider brought Jim to Doc Masters' office and Masters was able to restore his sight; as the Black Rider, he caught Poison Polk.

(Black Rider I#26/4) - When Jim brought charges against Curly Adams for rustling cattle on his ranch, Adams' lawyer Stanton retaliated by sending men to attack the ranch. The Black Rider drove off the attackers but soon after, Stanton sent his men to kidnap Marie in order to force Jim to drop the charges against Adams. However, the Black Rider rescued Marie and escorted her and Jim to the trial of Curly Adams. When the Black Rider accused Stanton of arranging Marie's kidnapping, Stanton blamed Adams, drew a gun and killed him. Stanton turned to attack the Black Rider but was shot dead.

(Wild Western I#41/4) - Jim was approached by the cattle thief Stinger, who wanted to marry Marie. Jim refused to give his consent as Marie had no desire to marry him. Stinger kidnapped Bobby to force Marie to agree but the Black Rider rescued Bobby.

(Black Rider I#27) - Jim's cattle were targeted by the rustler called the Spider, who placed his brand on Jim's ranch hand Jodie Haines because he wanted Jim to know who he was. The Spider had supposedly been executed in Mexico but the Black Rider learned how he had faked his death and rallied the people of Leadville to defeat the Spider.

(Black Rider I#27/2) - Jim's cattle were being attacked by wolves trained by the rustler Lobo. At Doc Masters' suggestion, Jim went on patrol one night with Marie and Bobby when they were attacked by the wolves. The Black Rider arrived to help Jim fight off the animals.

(Western Tales of the Black Rider I#28/2) - After Bobby discovered the Spider was still alive, he was terrified. The Black Rider escorted Bobby back to his father and Marie to console him.

(Wild Western I#44/4) - Facing a cholera outbreak among the Comanche nearby Leadville, Jim agreed to provide supplies so that Marie could tend to the sick people alongside Doc Masters.

(Western Tales of the Black Rider I#30/2) - Jim sold some of his land to Nate Olin but was concerned that he was interested in such seemingly useless land. Jim shared his concerns with Doc Masters. Soon after, the Black Rider discovered Nate Olin was using the property for his cattle rustling.

(Wild Western I#45/2) - The Black Rider helped out Jim by hunting and killing a mountain lion which had been preying on Jim's cattle. However, ranch hand Chip Loring soon discovered additional cattle had been slaughtered. More and more cattle died until Jim finally grew desperate and went to Luke Halsey, a cattle syndicate representative who had wanted to buy the ranch for $15,000. Now he offered only $5,000 but suggested if Jim played poker against him, he might win the entire amount. Jim agreed but lost every hand of poker against Halsey. The Black Rider intervened to help stake Jim for another hand; when Halsey won that hand, the Black Rider showed how he had been cheating at the game. Halsey admitted he was the one behind all of Jim's misfortunes. Halsey went to jail and Jim's ranch was saved.

(Western Tales of the Black Rider I#31) - Jim thanked Doc Masters after he visited the ranch to tend to Bobby's fever.

(Western Tales of Black Rider I#31/2) - The criminal Cameron, suffering a bullet wound, came to the Lathrop ranch to hole up. He had the Lathrops call Doc Masters to tend to his injury. Masters saved Cameron's life but held him for the law.

(Gunsmoke Western I#36/3) - After Dr. Jeff Horner was wounded in a stagecoach holdup and treated by Doc Masters, Jim allowed Dr. Horner to stay at his ranch while he recuperated.

(Gunsmoke Western I#47/3) - Dan Basset and his men came to the Lathrop ranch wanting information about Leadville to plan a heist. When Jim refused to help them, they turned violent but the Black Rider arrived to drive them away.

Comments: Created by Leon Lazarus and Syd Shores.

    The first story in Black Rider I#14 was set in 1871, suggesting that all of his adventures were set around the early 1870s.

    The Lathrop family largely disappeared from the Black Rider series during Robert Bernstein's tenure as writer (Black Rider I#12-18) until Bernstein left Black Rider.

    There was not particularly strong continuity between Black Rider stories so I've arranged these first in chronological order of publication then alphabetically by title (some months the Black Rider appeared in as many as four different comics!).

    Black Rider II#1 is also called "Black Rider Rides Again" which is its cover title.

    The existence of Marie's nephew Bobby in Wild Western I#5 suggests that Jim has another adult child besides Marie.

    In Wild Western I#37, Jim was drawn with brown hair and no mustache by mistake.

    This profile was completed 07/08/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Prime Eternal.

Jim Lathrop should not be confused with:

Jodie HainesJodie Haines

Jodie Haines was one of the ranch hands working for Jim Lathrop. When the Spider came to rustle Jim's cattle, he tied up Jodie and branded him with the mark of a spider on his back so that Jim would know who was responsible. Jodie was found by Jim and Marie. Unable to help him, they sent for Doc Masters, who saved Jodie's life.

--Black Rider I#27


Jim was a foreman on the Lathrop range. After receiving a scar on his right cheek, he went in to Leadville to have Doc Masters treat him. Later, he was kidnapped by Professor Chalis and exposed to the mad scientist's growth ray. Although the ray made Jim immensely large and strong, it also dulled his brain, making him and Chalis' other subjects pliable to his will. However, Jim resisted Chalis and was loyal to Doc Masters. When Chalis tried to use his ray on the Black Rider and Marie Lathrop, Jim led the other "monster men" to attack Chalis. They destroyed his growth ray while the Black Rider liberated the chemical formula which restored their minds to normal. The Black Rider hoped that in his other identity of Doc Masters he could cure Jim and the others from their condition.

--Black Rider I#8

Confusingly, he has the same name as his boss.

Chip LoringChip Loring

Chip was one of the ranch hands on the Lathrop ranch. He was the one who discovered the carcasses of cattle which had been killed by Luke Halsey and made to look like they had been slaughtered by a mountain lion.

--Wild Western I#45/2

Charlie MaddockCharlie Maddock

Charlie Maddock was foreman for Jim Lathrop's ranch. When Blast Burrows attempted to wrest control of the ranch from Jim, he injured Charlie. Jim and Marie brought Charlie to Doc Matthew Masters to save his life but Blast followed them and murdered Charlie on the doctor's examination table.

--All-Western Winners I#2/Black Rider I#10/Black Rider II#1 (flashback)

In All-Western Winners #2 and Black Rider I#10, Charlie was murdered in Doc Masters' office by Blast Burrows. In Black Rider II#1, he died in the office from his earlier injury.


Red was the foreman at the Lathrop ranch. As he was a terrific horseman, Red intended to ride the bronco Dynamite and win the $1,000 cash prize so that Jim Lathrop could buy Jake Osborn's land. However, Snead knocked Red unconscious and left him in an alley. Bobby Lathrop and Doc Masters brought Red to Masters' office to recover but he was unable to ride Dynamite. The Black Rider took his place, won the prize and exposed Snead as the criminal. Hypnotist Lincoln Quantrell later used his powers to make Red stand by helplessly while he made Red's cattle stampede over a cliff.

--Rex Hart I#6/3 (Wild Western I#9,

images: (without ads)
All-Western Winners I#2, page 4, panel 4 (main)
All-Western Winners I#2, page 4, panel 6 (headshot)
Black Rider I#27, page 3, panel 4 (Jodie)
Black Rider I#8, page 4, panel 1 (Jim)
Wild Western I#45/2, page 2, panel 6 (Chip)
All-Western Winners I#2, page 5, panel 3 (Charlie)
Wild Western I#9, page 2, panel 5 (Red)

All-Western Winners I#2 (Winter, 1948) - Leon Lazarus (writer), Syd Shores (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
All-Western Winners I#4 (April, 1949) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Best Western I#58/2 (June, 1949) - unknown writer, John Severin (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Western Winners I#5/2 (June, 1949) - unknown writer, John Buscema (pencils), Stan Lee (editor)
Rex Hart I#6/3 (August, 1949) - unknown writer, John Severin (pencils), Stan Lee (editor)
Two-Gun Kid I#9/3 (August, 1949) - unknown writer, John Severin (pencils), Stan Lee (editor)
Wild Western I#9 (October, 1949) - unknown writer, unknown artists, Stan Lee (editor)
Black Rider I#8 (March, 1950) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (pencils), Joe Maneely (artist), John Severin (artist), Vince Alasica (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Black Rider I#9 (June, 1950) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (pencils), Stan Lee (editor)
Wild Western I#11 (June, 1950) - unknown writer, Mike Sekowsky (pencils), Stan Lee (editor)
Black Rider I#10 (September, 1950) - Leon Lazarus (writer), Syd Shores (pencils), Joe Maneely (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Wild Western I#13 (December, 1950) - unknown writer, Al Hartley (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Black Rider I#19/1 (November, 1953) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Black Rider I#21/1,4 (March, 1954) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Kid Colt Outlaw I#35/3 (March, 1954) - unknown writer, George Tuska (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Black Rider I#22/1 (May, 1954) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (artist, 1st story), Art Peddy (artist, 2nd story), Stan Lee (editor)
Kid Colt Outlaw I#38/3 (June, 1954) - unknown writer, Al Gordon (artist), Joe Kubert (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Wild Western I#34/3 (June, 19540 - unknown writer, Al Gordon (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Black Rider I#23/2,4 (July, 1954) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Wild Western I#35/4 (August, 1954) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (pencils), Stan Lee (editor)
Wild Western I#36/4 (September, 1954) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (pencils), Stan Lee (editor)
Wild Western I#37/4 (October, 1954) - unknown writer, Al Hartley (pencils), Christopher Rule (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Kid Colt Outlaw I#42/3 (November, 1954) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Outlaw Kid I#2/3 (November, 1954) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Black Rider I#26/4 (January, 1955) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (pencils), Christopher Rule (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Wild Western I#41/4 (February, 1955) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (pencils), Christopher Rule (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Black Rider I#27/1,2 (March, 1955) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (pencils), Christopher Rule (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Western Tales of Black Rider I#28/2 (May, 1955) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (pencils), Christopher Rule (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Wild Western I#44/4 (July, 1955) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (pencils), Christopher Rule (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Western Tales of the Black Rider I#30/2 (September, 1955) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (pencils), Christopher Rule (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Wild Western I#45/2 (September, 1955) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (pencils), George Klein (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Western Tales of the Black Rider I#31/1,2 (November, 1955) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (pencils), Christopher Rule (inks, 1st story), George Klein (inks, 2nd story), Stan Lee (editor)
Gunsmoke Western I#36/3 (August, 1956) - unknown writer, Syd Shores (pencils), Christopher Rule (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Black Rider II#1 (September, 1957) - unknown writer, Jack Kirby (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Gunsmoke Western I#47/3 (July, 1958) - unknown writer, Jack Kirby (pencils), George Klein (inks), Stan Lee (editor)

First posted: 09/01/2021
Last updated: 08/28/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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