Public Domain Superheroes
A lot of the “superheroes” created during the early days were just people wearing a domino mask or people with nick names. Like this next one:
Joe “Cowboy” King was an American World War II pilot who operated in and around India, who dressed and acted like a cowboy. Even though the military command thought his theatrics were ridiculous, they could not deny he was their best pilot. While planning to return home after the war, he saw a horse that belonged to a local ruler, Sultan Malevo, and decided he wanted the animal for himself.
To win the horse, Joe challenged the Sultan to a game of poker. If the American won he would receive all of the Sultan’s cash, and the prized horse he sought. Hand after hand the cowboy won until he became fascinated by the sultan’s ring,a ring whose possessor would rule the throne of Larijuna, a small principality near Tibet.The cowboy convinces the sultan to bet it too,of course Joe won the game but since the sultan was a sore loser,he had to shoot his way out cowboy style.
The next day he receives a note telling him to come to the Nepal cafe, when he arrives he is intrigued by the dancer Almita and forgets the reason he came until he is ambushed by the sultan’s men, fighting his way out he leaves with the dancer only to be hit from behind at her home, the victim of a double cross.When he comes to later in an alley he sees that the ring has been stolen so he decides to get the ring back and returns to the cafe.Unfortunately, in the chaos, Joe killed Ruma,the brother of Almita. Even though she also loved Joe and stopped the sultan’s men from killing him earlier, she swore revenge against him for the death of her brother. Joe became the ruler of Larijuna when he traveled there with the ring and was crowned the new sultan over Malevo and ordered his people to call him Cowboy, to which they added the honorific Sahib and thus he became Cowboy Sahib.
Needless to say, a lot of the more foreign adventures were “white guy is awesome” Although the cover does jump out at you.