Maverick: October 1958 issue, Dell No. 945
The third issue of Dell Publishing Co.'s Maverick comic book series featured "Stage West" as its lead story. Adapted from George Slavin's teleplay and drawn by Dan Speigel, the story follows the television version in most details, but much of the violence cleaned up quite a bit for young readers.
Without Matson, the Dell adaptation had to use another device to get the Sioux off of Yellow Coat's trail. Instead, Bret Maverick hides under a trap door in the Packsaddle Station while Wes Fallon wears Bret's coat. The Sioux chief is convinced that Wes isn't the Tall One they seek, and believes the story that the true Yellow Coat bought a horse and headed for the border.
To avoid the concept of killing in the Dell adaptation, Bret's line from the teleplay, "I could have killed Wes," is softened to "I could have hurt him badly."
Similarly, Bret is not forced to kill Wes in self-defense as he was in the teleplay. Instead, Mart Fallon is shot in the arm, making him drop his gun. When he orders Rip to grab the gun from the floor, Rip refuses, Wes goes for the gun, but Bret shoots it out of reach. Wes isn't even injured in the Dell version, but is taken jail in the conclusion.
The character of Matson is removed from the Dell verison. The idea of a dead man's corpse sitting propped up at the Packsaddle Station was probably too gruesome for the Comics Code. To get around the plot point of Matson being the connection to Mrs. Harris, the character was substituted with a simple letter found in Harris' pocket.
01. Maverick, Stage West (1958), Dell Publishing Company, Inc.
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