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“CODY OF THE PONY EXPRESS”

Columbia adapted many popular comic strip and comic book heroes to the serial screen— “Mandrake, The Magician”, “Terry and the Pirates”, “Capt. Midnight”, “Batman”, “The Phantom”, “Brenda Starr, Reporter”, “The Vigilante”, “Brick Bradford”, “Tex Granger”, “Superman”, “Congo Bill”, “Bruce Gentry”, “King of the Congo” (Thunda), “Blackhawk”, etc., but “Cody of the Pony Express” in 1950 seems to be the only one of two cliffhangers ever to have a comic book generated from a serial. The other was Fawcett’s adaptation of Republic’s “Jungle Girl”.

“Cody of the Pony Express”, produced by Sam Katzman, directed by the renown Spencer Gordon Bennet, starred Dickie Moore as Cody and Jock O’Mahoney as Lt. Jim Archer.

The Fox Feature Syndicate began a two issue adaptation of the 15 chapter serial in COLOSSAL FEATURES #33 (May ‘50),
The "Cody of the Pony Express" serial was concluded in COLOSSAL FEATURES #34 (July '50). Both published by Fox Feature Syndicate. concluding the serial in #34 (July ‘50). Interior art by Pete Morisi, for the most part was pretty dreadful with renderings of O’Mahoney, Moore, Peggy Stewart (blonde in one issue, brunette in the next!) pretty much unrecognizable.

Following the serial adaptation, Fox issued CODY OF THE PONY EXPRESS #1 (Sept. ‘50) which retained only the Cody, Ezra Graham (William Fawcett) and Linda (Peggy Stewart) characters. The three stories had nothing to do with the Columbia serial.

The series was abandoned until Charlton idiotically reprinted only the first half of the two-part Fox adaptation in their revived CODY OF THE PONY EXPRESS #8 (10/55)—also severely edited due to Comics Code changes. Charlton’s CODY… #9 reprinted one story from Fox’s CODY…#1. CODY…#10 contained Buffalo Bill Cody stories (yellow goa-tee and all) with no connection at all to the serial.

Fox's CODY OF THE PONY EXPRESS #1 (Sept. '50) based its character on the serial, but otherwise offered three original stories.

Incidentally, a no-number issue of WOMEN OUTLAWS issued by Fox (probably sometime in ‘51, the issue is not dated) reprints their own CODY… #1 with an unrelated female-outlaw cover. Go figger!

It’s too bad other serials weren’t converted to comic book form, although Universal’s “Scouts To the Rescue”, “Oregon Trail” and “The Phantom Creeps” were in MOVIE COMICS 1-6 in ‘39.