Membership: Rufe, other unidentified

Purpose: To raid towns in Texas for profit

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Clem Barker, Black Rider (Matthew Masters)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mato Grosso, near the border of Texas and Mexico

First Appearance: Black Rider I#24 (September, 1954)

History: (Black Rider I#24/2) - The Legion of Death raided towns in the Texas area, operating from a hideout in Mato Grosso, which was surrounded by quicksand, leaving their base a veritable island among the swampy land. Members of the Legion of Death knew how to safely travel through the swamp but they could not be followed.

After raiding the town of Buckhorn, Texas, the Legion of Death let the town burn down. The Black Rider gave chase and followed them to Mato Grosso but could follow their path through the quicksand, nearly becoming trapped in the attempt. However, the Black Rider baited a trap for them in Shasta, having the town claim they were transferring gold to Leadville. When the Legion rode into town to find the gold, the Black Rider ambushed them and wounded Rufe, their leader. The Legion escaped to their hideout with the injured Rufe.

To save Rufe's life, the Legion sent members into Leadville to abduct Dr. Matthew Masters so he could treat Rufe's wounds, unaware Masters was the Black Rider. The Legion led Masters to their hideout as he rode his horse Ichabod. Masters treated Rufe's injury but pretended to be uninterested in who Rufe and his men were. The Legion escorted Masters a mile away from Mato Gross, thinking he could never guide anyone back to them.

However, Masters' horse Ichabod (who had his own double identity as the Black Rider's Satan) had memorized the path the Legion led them down. Masters became the Black Rider and Satan guided him back through the quicksand to the hideout. The Black Rider began attacking the gang, killing several members of the Legion with his six guns. When Rufe himself emerged to fight the Black Rider, the Rider easily shot him dead. The few remaining members of the Legion of Death were arrested by Shasta's sheriff Clem Barker.

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Syd Shores.

Profile by Prime Eternal.

The Legion of Death should not be confused with:

Sheriff Clem Barker

Clem Barker was the head lawman of the town of Shasta, Texas. When the Legion of Death menaced other Texan towns at the border, he joined a delegation of concerned citizens from Leadville and Shasta, who discussed the matter and requested Dr. Matthew Masters obtain aid for them from the Black Rider. The Black Rider came to Shasta and asked Sheriff Barker to send a shipment of gold from Shasta to Leadville in order to draw out the Legion. Barker did so and, through this, the Black Rider was able to find the hideout and kill most of the gang. Barker arrested the few survivors.

--Black Rider I#24/2

I have seen the past of law enforcement and his name is Clem Barker.


Rufe was the leader of the Legion of Death and led them successfully in raids around Texas. When the Legion invaded the town of Shasta, they found the Black Rider waiting for them and he fired shots at Rufe which injured him. Members of the Legion ventured into Leadville and forced Dr. Matthew Masters to return to their hideout and fix Rufe's wounds. However, once Masters had been released, he returned as the Black Rider. Rufe went to face him in battle but the Black Rider scoffed "Remember me? We met in Shasta...but we'll never meet again!" and so saying, shot Rufe to death.

--Black Rider I#24/2

images: (without ads)
Black Rider I#24/2, page 1, panel 2 (main)
Black Rider I#24/2, page 5, panel 1 (closeup)
Black Rider I#24/2, page 4, panel 4 (Barker)
Black Rider I#24/2, page 6, panel 4 (Rufe)

Black Rider I#24/2 (September, 1954) - unidentified writer, Syd Shores (artist), Stan Lee (editor)

First posted: 06/03/2022
Last updated: 06/03/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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