Cowboys and Bandersnatches (August 13, 2011)

(An occasional series of comic book stories, August 13, 2011)

"Spaceman's Gulch" is a one-page feature-filler in Space Western #44 by Charlton Comics, June 1963. Spurs Jackson goes to Jupiter to hunt the Jovian Bandersnatch, formerly known as the Frumious Bandersnatch. The dragon-like creature has propellers coming from its earlobes, which help it fly. Spurs extinguishes the dragon fire with carbon dioxide spray.

The Bandersnatch turns on the ear-props and tries to fly away, but Spurs lassoes and captures it, crating it up and taking it back to Earth, where the lower Terran gravity allows it to cover dozens of Earth-miles in a single leap.

Last week we saw Cowboys and Aliens, our second movie of the year and the first since Thor. It was the perfect combination of exciting kid movies (sci-fi used to be called "space oaters.")

It was a good movie, but the overload of creative input resulted in a reverse synergy, somethinhg less than the sum of its parts. The film's business and scenes brought to mind everything from For a Few Dollars More to Unforgiven, Pale Rider, Close Encounters, Alien, Emerald Forest, multiple Twilight Zone and SyFy Channel B movies, even the Challenger explosion.

Maybe they should have made a movie of Spurs Jackson in Space Western. In the issue's lead story, Spurs and friends take a rocket to Mars to battle Nazis! Now that would have been a great movie!!!