Chuck Dawson follows the adventures of the son of Charles Dawson, a rancher who was killed and his land stolen during a Texas Range War. He was sent to Wyoming to grow up with his uncle, but as the series begins heads back to Texas to avenge his father’s death and regain the family lands.
As soon as he arrives in Red Gulch, trouble arises. The sheriff wants him gone, as does Burwell, the owner of the 4-G Ranch, who now owns the disputed land. Burwell has an awful lot of men at his command, and he just keeps sending them after Chuck.
Once the basic story is established, it develops very little. The chapters are largely devoted to fight scenes. They are well drawn, and there is a respectable variety in the action, but they do not result in things changing.
Along the way Chuck discovers Burwell is sending out men to take over the Diamond H Ranch, and heads there to warn them, and of course help them battle Burwell’s men. The daughter of the rancher, Virginia, gets captured, and the foreman, Zebe, joins with Chuck to find and rescue her.
This sort of ties up with issue 14. The Diamond H Ranch is saved, and Zebe and Virginia are re-united, but Chuck is no closer to getting vengeance or his land.
But it seems he has given up on those things. For the last five stories in this era, all one-shots, Chuck is usually riding aimlessly, or napping in the woods, when he encounters the bad guys. More often than not they frame him for their crimes, and he has to fight the law while going after the culprits. By far his most impressive feat is managing to prevent the murder of a man who he had already been arrested for killing.
Chuck Dawson continues in the Early Golden Age
Chuck Dawson: Action Comics 1 – 19 (June 38 – Dec 39)