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ILLUSTRATIVE TEXT

… Iron Man stood in front of the hotel and looked across the main street. He saw the desperadoes peer from their hiding places, and turn their rifle muzzles to face him. Black Jack was crouching behind a rain-barrel. Slowly and deliberately, Iron Man walked towards Black Jack. Immediately, Black Jack and his gang opened fire. Bullets ricocheted off Iron Man’s helmet and chest plate. Iron Man walked on. Black Jack emptied his magazine and fitted another clip of ammunition into his rifle. Still Iron Man walked on. “It’s a ghost!” yelled one of the desperadoes. “…the Ghost of Ned Kelly.” Immediately the gang, including Black Jack, turned and fled, using any horse, carts or trucks they could find.

The Ghost of Ned Kelly from Marvel Story Book Annual

This section examines illustrated news, story papers and books, penny dreadfuls [or bloods], comic books and strips, and graphic novels whose notions explore aspects of Ned Kelly folklore. From his rebellious spirit and defiance of authority through to the iconic imagery of his armour, Ned’s narrative has permeated our artistic awareness and influenced popular culture at a conscious and subconscious level. This impact can be seen in mid 20th century American western comics and boys weeklies from the United Kingdom. These representations would effect the origin stories of a number of modern day superheroes [and villains] manifesting themselves through diverse reincarnations and reinterpretations.

COMIC BOOK
COMIC STRIP
GRAPHIC NOVEL
PENNY BLOODS
STORY BOOK
STORY PAPER
  • 1878

    The Australasian Sketcher

    Issue: #74
    Publisher: Hugh George
    Printer: Webb, Vardon and Pritchard
    Date: 23 November 1878
    Type: Story Paper

    The wood engraved illustration appeared on the front cover with the title, The Bush Ranging Tragedy: portraits of the four Constables and the two Kellys. 1 – Constable Lonigon, 2 – Edward Kelly, 3 – Constable Scanlan, 4 – Sergeant Kennedy, 5 – Constable M’Intyre, 6 – Daniel Kelly. The Australasian Sketcher was first published in Melbourne in 1873. In its early years the paper had a marked literary content [short stories, sketches, reviews] but later became an illustrated news magazine. Illustrations generally appeared on the front cover and in three double-page spreads. Columns covered theatre, the arts, sport, and serialised stories. Several articles during the late 1870s describe and portray the Kelly Gang and, in 1880, their capture through July and August, and the trial and execution of Ned Kelly in November.

  • 1880

    The Illustrated Australian News

    Issue: #291
    Creator: Ebenezer and David Syme
    Publisher: David Syme
    Date: 3 July 1880
    Type: Story Paper

    The wood engraved illustration appeared on the front cover with the title, The murder of Sherritt. From a sketch taken immediately after the departure of the Kelly Gang. The Illustrated Australian News was a monthly news magazine of record in Melbourne. Its publishers, brothers Ebenezer and David Syme, also held the controlling interest in The Age newspaper. The Illustrated’s final edition was released at the start of May, 1889.

  • 1880

    The Australasian Sketcher

    Issue: #101
    Publisher: Hugh George
    Printer: Webb, Vardon and Pritchard
    Date: 10 July 1880
    Artist: Thomas Carrington
    Type: Story Paper

    The wood engraving appeared on the front cover with the title, Ned Kelly at Bay from a sketch drawn on the spot by Mr. T. Carrington. This illustration is Carrington’s most famous image from the siege of Glenrowan and, in itself, has become an icon. Having travelled in the special police train from Melbourne, the artist was approximately one hundred metres away from the confrontation and unaware that the outlaw’s coat was actually draped over his shoulders. However, Carrington’s depiction of Ned’s stance, his helmet, the revolver, and Kelly’s wounded left arm are highly accurate.

  • 1880

    The Illustrated Australian News

    The Illustrated Australian News #292Issue: #292
    Creator: Ebenezer and David Syme
    Publisher: David Syme
    Date: 17 July 1880
    Type: Story Paper

    The wood engraved illustration appeared on the front cover with the title, Extermination of the Kelly Gang – The embankment where the police train was to have been wrecked.

  • 1880

    The Australasian Sketcher

    Issue: #102
    Publisher: Hugh George
    Printer: Webb, Vardon and Pritchard
    Date: 24 July 1880
    Artist: Thomas Carrington
    Type: Story Paper

    The wood engraved illustration appeared on the front cover with the title, The Destruction of the Kelly Gang: Scene at the wake at Greta. As the ceremony was held privately with select family and friends in attendance, no actual reporter or artist was present at the funeral, so the illustration was entirely contrived.

  • 1880

    The Australasian Sketcher

    Australasian Sketcher #103Issue: #103
    Publisher: Hugh George
    Printer: Webb, Vardon and Pritchard
    Date: 31 July 1880
    Artist: Thomas Carrington
    Type: Story Paper

    The wood engraved illustration appeared on the front cover with the title, Destruction of the Kelly Gang: Stopping the Special Train by Mr. Curnow. Carrington, the artist, rode with a press contingent in the police special which was a few hundred metres behind the pilot locomotive when it was stopped just outside Glenrowan by the local school teacher Thomas Curnow.

  • 1880

    The Australasian Sketcher

    Issue: #104
    Publisher: Hugh George
    Printer: Webb, Vardon and Pritchard
    Date: 21 August 1880
    Type: Story Paper

    The wood engraved illustration appeared on the front cover with the title, Examination and remand of Kelly in Melbourne Gaol: Mr Call, Mr Castieau, Kelly, Constable McIntyre.

  • 1880

    The Illustrated Australian News

    Issue: #294
    Creator: Ebenezer and David Syme
    Publisher: David Syme
    Date: 28 August 1880
    Artist: Julian Ashton
    Type: Story Paper

    This engraved illustration was copied from an impressive watercolour by Julian Ashton and appeared on the front cover with the title, Kelly in the dock – a sketch from life. The cover also carries the incorrect edition of #292.

    Ned had been suspicious of Ashton’s reasons for painting him and, after being given a possum rug to keep him warm in the icy courtroom, he raised it across one arm to screen his face from the artist.

    Ian Jones Ned Kelly: The Last Stand

  • 1880

    The Australasian Sketcher

    Issue: #110
    Publisher: Hugh George
    Printer: Webb, Vardon and Pritchard
    Date: 6 November 1880
    Type: Story Paper

    The title of the front cover engraving reads, The Trial of Edward Kelly, the Bushranger. It depicts Ned in the dock of the Supreme Court in Melbourne looking across at the trial judge, Redmond Barry.

  • 1880

    The Australasian Sketcher

    Issue: #111
    Publisher: Hugh George
    Printer: Webb, Vardon and Pritchard
    Date: 27 November 1880
    Artist: Thomas Carrington
    Type: Story Paper

    The title of Carrington’s front cover engraving reads, Last scene of the Kelly drama: the criminal on the scaffold. While the artist was not an official witness at the hanging it is possible he worked from a sketch supplied by his friend Joe Melvin from the Argus and his own drawing of the gallows area.

  • 1881

    Ned Kelly: The Ironclad Australian Bushranger

    Issue: #1
    Creator: James Skipp Borlase
    Publisher: Alfred J Isaacs and Sons
    Published: 1881
    Format: Penny Dreadful
    Extent: 12 pages

    This is issue one from a weekly thirty-eight part penny-blood series originally published in 1881. The publisher, Alfred Isaacs, was not a huge printer of penny dreadfuls, in fact The Ironclad Australian Bushranger was their only known title.

    We have no hesitation in saying that the life of Ned Kelly, the Ironclad Bushranger, is as disgraceful and disgusting a production as has ever been printed. Lord Campbell’s Act recognised the moral mischief which might be done by publications which offend against common decency, and provided for the condign punishment of the scoundrels who write print and sell them — they are, as the annals of the police courts prove every day, direct incentives to murder and robbery.

    Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science and Art
    26 November 1881

    View: Ned Kelly: The Ironclad Australian Bushranger [covers]

  • 1883

    Journal des Voyages

    Journal des Voyages #329Issue: #329
    Publisher: Revue des Deux Mondes
    Published: 28 October 1883
    Format: Story Paper

    Story: Une Histoire De Bandits En Australie [5 pages]
    Artist: Joliet After Castelli

    The #329 edition of the French magazine Journal de Voyages featured the story Une Histoire De Bandits En Australie which ran over five pages and included a double page wood engraving titled Miss Kelly venait d’apparaitre dans son costume legendaire. The illustration depicts a distinctly Gallic Kelly Gang [their helmets adorned with horns] along with Ned’s sister Kate sporting a Musketeer’s plumed hat.

    Information: Gallica.bnf.fr
    View: Miss Kelly venait d’apparaitre dans son costume legendaire [image]

  • 1945

    The Kelly Gang Rides

    The Kelly Gang Rides #1Issue: #1
    Creator: Lucky Doolan
    Publisher: L. Clapperton
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 48 pages

    Cover: The Kelly Gang Rides
    Artist: Lucky Doolan
    Story: The Kelly Gang Rides [32 pages]
    Script: Lucky Doolan
    Pencil: Lucky Doolan

    The Kelly Gang Rides was a comic book aimed at the adolescent market which presented a westernised version of Ned Kelly. The story depicted the Gang dressed in ‘modern’ 1940s clothing and Ned with a moustache [which was the look of the day] as opposed to a full beard. Subsequent artists would use this ‘follicly challenged’ likeness in creating their own interpretations of Ned in Gangsters Can’t Win #1 and The Westerner Comics #25.

    ‘The Kelly Gang Rides’ – a rather strange digest-sized comic published around 1945 – featured an accurate retelling of the life of Ned Kelly.

    Bonzer Australian comics 1900s – 1990s

    Read: The Kelly Gang Rides

  • 1946

    Kaark the Crow

    Kaark the Crow [The Sydney Morning Herald]Creator: Kenneth Neville
    Publisher: John Fairfax and Sons Pty Ltd 
    Publication: The Sydney Morning Herald
    Format: Comic Strip

    Story: Kaark the Crow: Bushranger
    Script: Kenneth Neville
    Artist: Anne Drew

    The Bushranger story arc ran in the weekly Wednesday section of Playtime Children’s Newspaper inside The Sydney Morning Herald from November 1946 to March 1947. It featured a crow named Kaark and an owl named Red Jelly. The cheeky themes were similar to Dorothy Wall’s Blinky Bill. Kaark also enjoyed dressing as a woman to rob unsuspecting characters. Could it be possible Peter Carey got his fascination with transvestism in a True History of the Kelly Gang from reading this comic strip?

    ‘Kaark the Crow’ was written by Kenneth Neville and drawn by Anne Drew. While strips about animals and birds were not new, Neville’s innovation was that he made the leading character something of a scoundrel. Kaark tried to take over the valley with the idea of charging the other bush creatures rent and even turned to bushranging for a period. His accomplice in the latter endeavour was Red Jelly who wore a large jam tin over his head and, once again, reflected our writers’ and artists’ fascination with the Ned Kelly mythology.

    John Ryan Panel by Panel

    View: Kaark the Crow: Bushranger [sample]

  • 1947

    Stockwhip Sam

    Stockwhip Sam [The Sydney Morning Herald]Creator: J.A. ‘Bart’ Barlock
    Publisher: John Fairfax and Sons Pty Ltd 
    Publication: The Sydney Morning Herald
    Format: Comic Strip

    Story: The Bunyip of Bumble Lake
    Script: J.A. Barlock
    Artist: J.A. Barlock

    The Bunyip story arc ran in the weekly Wednesday section of Playtime Children’s Newspaper inside The Sydney Morning Herald from April to September 1947. It featured Stockwhip Sam and Fergus his aboriginal offsider. While humorous for its time period, by today’s standards it would be regarded as extremely racist. The storyline was a confused conglomeration of a number of side tales. One of which featured a Ned Kelly-style antagonist called ‘Pistol-Finger’ who turned out to be Stockwhip’s regular antagonist, Drongo Dick.

    View: The Bunyip of Bumble Lake [sample]

  • 1948

    Gangsters Can't Win

    Issue: #1
    Creator: Richard Davis, V.C. Albus
    Publisher: D.S. Publishing Company
    Date: February 1948
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 52 pages

    Story: Wanted Ned Kelly Australia’s Public Enemy #1 [6 pages]
    Pencil: Tex Blaisdell
    Ink: Tex Blaisdell

    Gangsters Can’t Win ran for nine issues during the late 1940s and included stories of ‘violent true crime’. However, based on their Ned Kelly story, the comic’s claim of truth should be taken with a grain of salt – as the narrative was far from accurate. Ned’s likeness was lifted straight from the pages of Lucky Doolan’s The Kelly Gang Rides #1.

    Read: Wanted Ned Kelly Australia’s Public Enemy #1

  • 1949

    Western Killers

    Western Killers #64Issue: #64
    Creator: Victor S. Fox
    Publisher: Fox Feature Syndicate
    Date: May 1949
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 36 pages

    Story: The Bullet-Proof Bandit! [9 pages]
    Pencil: Bill Walsh
    Ink: Bill Walsh

    An early western-frontier story of a bullet-proof antagonist by the name of Jack Fraser who dressed in medieval armour to conduct his short-lived career as a bandit. This story was also reproduced in Star Publications The Outlaws #13 [September 1953]. This reinforces the idea that Jack Kirby was introduced to the concept of armour at an early stage of his profession as the ‘King’ began his regular comic book career at Fox in 1940 creating a variety of comics including romance, crime, and westerns.

    Victor Fox was a character. He’d look up at the ceiling with a big cigar, this little fellow, very broad, going back and forth with his hands behind his back saying, ‘I’m the King of Comics! I’m the King of Comics!’ and we would watch him and, of course, smile a little because he was a genuine type.

    Jack Kirby

    Read: The Bullet-Proof Bandit!

  • 1950

    The Westerner Comics

    Issue: #25
    Creator: Bill Woolfolk, Bill Black
    Publisher: Patches Publications
    Date: February 1950
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 52 pages

    Artist: Mort Lawrence
    Story: Terror of the Bush: Ned Kelly [6 pages]
    Pencil: Rudy Palais

    The Westerner Comics featured classic Western stories by Bill Woolfolk and Bill Black. Beautifully illustrated drawings of Wild Bill and his pals battling a range of desperadoes were created by artists Syd Shores, Bob Rogers, and Al Luster. These ‘true tales’ from the Old West starred real-life characters such as Wild Bill Pecos, King Cullen, Nuggets Nugent, Clay Allison, and Ned Kelly.

    Read: Terror of the Bush: Ned Kelly

  • 1950

    Dead-Eye Western

    Dead Eye Western #11Issue: #11
    Volume: One
    Creator: Dan Zolnerowich
    Publisher: Hillman Periodicals
    Date: August 1950
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 52 pages

    Artist: Dan Zolnerowich
    Story: The Ironmen [8 pages]
    Edit: Edward Cronin
    Letters: Ben Oda

    In this issue Captain McNelly and the Texas Rangers hunt for the ironclad outlaws led by Larn Cruger. Dead Eye Western contains some of the best written, masterfully drawn, colourful and exciting stories of the era. This edition’s cover is a clever interpretation of the Kelly Gang’s armour. It is particularly well rendered and, whilst the story is convoluted, the origin of the armour is indisputably Australian.

    Read: The Ironmen

  • 1951

    Monte Hale Western

    Monte Hale Western #58Issue: #58
    Creator: Will Lieberson, Al Jetter
    Publisher: Fawcett Publication
    Date: March 1951
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 52 pages

    Story: Monte Hale Battles the Human Fort! [7 pages]
    Script: Bill Woolfolk
    Pencil: Edmond Good
    Ink: Edmond Good

    Yet another Western-frontier genre story featuring a bullet-proof antagonist. In this one-off episode the hero Monte Hale and his horse Partner use a swarm of bees to overcome an ironclad outlaw known as Ned Pounder, The Human Fort. This Ned wears the now famously obscure Kelly Gang helmet and a shortened version of the breastplate complete with a 360 degree multiple revolver weapon system!

    Read: Monte Hale Battles the Human Fort!

  • 1951

    Western Hero

    Western Hero #101Issue: #101
    Creator: Will Lieberson, Al Jetter
    Publisher: Fawcett Publication
    Distributed: April 1951
    Format: Comic Book

    Story: The Man With the Iron Mask [7 pages]
    Pencil: Edmond Good
    Ink: Edmond Good

    Fawcett was one of the earliest western comic publishers to feature an iron mask stand alone story. Unlike Monte Hale Western #58, this helmet was initially placed on the character as retribution although the antagonist uses it as a weapon. This is opposed to a typical pirate, musketeer, or spy comic where an iron mask is primarily for punishment or camouflage as in the Spy Smasher #4 story The Man In the Iron Mask [April 1942] and the Doll Man #51 story The Man in the Iron Mask! [Winter 1948].

    Read: The Man With the Iron Mask

  • 1951

    Straight Arrow

    Straight Arrow #14Issue: #14
    Publisher: Magazine Enterprises
    Distributed: June 1951
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 36 pages

    Story: The Bullet-Proof Badmen! [7 pages]
    Pencil: Fred Meagher
    Ink: Fred Meagher

    The comic book featured the radio serial hero, Straight Arrow. In this episode the antagonist wore bullet-proof armour and hid behind a klansmen style hood. Artist Fred Meagher had an ability to draw his horses in an elegant manner with the inking making them appear shiny. The illustrations were supported by heavy, clean blacks on the muscles – which was one of the artist particular tells – his skill in displaying defined muscle tone beneath the character’s shirts.

    Read: The Bullet-Proof Badmen!

  • 1951

    Dead-Eye Western

    Dead-Eye Western #5Issue: #5
    Volume: Two
    Creator: Dan Zolnerowich
    Publisher: Hillman Periodicals
    Date: August 1951
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 52 pages

    Story: Sadie’s New Skimmer [5 pages]
    Letters: Ben Oda

    In this episode, cowboy Horatio Horton dresses up in old knight’s armour and charges some hapless Indians with a lance. As the concept of being bullet proof has well and truly taken hold in 1950s Western genre comics, it now appears that the wild west is littered with medieval armour!

    Story: Sadie’s New Skimmer

  • 1951

    Mr District Attorney

    Issue: #24
    Creator: Ed Byron
    Publisher: DC Comics
    Distributed: November 1951
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 44 pages

    Artist: Howard Purcell, Charles Paris
    Story: The Killer in the Iron Mask [10 pages]
    Edit: Whitney Ellsworth
    Script: Morris Waldinger
    Pencil: Howard Purcell
    Ink: Charles Paris
    Letters: Ira Schnapp, Morris Waldinger

    When a criminal upsets his compatriots the ultimate retribution is issued: a metal mask affixed permanently to his head. One man, apparently driven mad by this punishment, exiled by the underworld and hunted by the police, begins a one-man crime wave as ‘Iron Mask’. This is yet another iron mask character whose origins are more aligned with western comics and gunslingers where metal armour protects the wearer from bullets. Like its contemporary, Gang Busters, the crime comic Mr District Attorney was licensed from a popular radio show which had been on air since 1939. DC was keen to advertise its popular pedigree with a cover banner reading, ‘Based on radio’s #1 hit!’ Its subject was the tough talking [and nameless] District Attorney, an implacable and callous force for justice who fought ugly and amoral crooks with colourful names like ‘Smoke-rings’ Thomson and the Pittsburgh Kid. Mr District Attorney rode the wave of crime comics and lasted for sixty-seven issues.

  • 1951

    Redskin

    Issue: #7
    Publisher: Youthful Magazines
    Distributed: November 1951
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 36 pages

    Story: The Iron Horseman! [7 pages]
    Pencil: Doug Wildey
    Ink: Doug Wildey
     
    Imagine the brief from the editor of this racist title to his comic book artist [who’s never seen the Kelly Gang armour], ‘I need you to draw an armoured gun slinger whose costume can deflect bullets. And [like always] it’s a tight deadline.’ So with no time for research this Western-frontier story is, again, assailed with an armoured antagonist from saintly days of yore. You have to feel for Doug Wildey, as surely Kelly Gang armour would have been easier to draw than that of a medieval knight.
     
  • 1952

    Tim Holt

    Tim Holt #32Issue: #32
    Creator: Frank Bolle, Dick Ayers
    Publisher: Magazine Enterprises
    Distributed: October 1952
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 36 pages

    Artist: Frank Bolle
    Story: Terror in the Iron Mask! [7 pages]
    Pencil: Frank Bolle
    Ink: Frank Bolle

    The now common trope of the anti-hero armoured up against a range of ‘good guys’ from the wild west includes this edition of Tim Holt in which the protagonist Red Mask faces off against a colourful character known as Iron Mask.

    Read: Terror in the Iron Mask!

  • 1954

    The Australian Boy Fortnightly

    Issue: #51
    Creator: E.J. Trait
    Publisher: Standard Newspapers
    Date: September 1954
    Format: Story Paper
    Extent: 24 pages

    Artist: Stan Ballard
    Story: Kelly Gang
    Script: J.J. Kenneally
    Pencil: Stan Ballard
    Ink: Stan Ballard

    The comic-strip biography of Ned Kelly became a regular Boy feature and was eventually collected into a one-shot comic book, The Authentic Story of the Kelly Gang, published in 1956.

  • 1954

    The Cisco Kid

    The Cisco Kid #23Issue: #23
    Creator: William Sidney Porter
    Publisher: Dell Comics
    Date: September 1954
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 36 pages

    Story: The Iron Bandit [16 pages]
    Pencil: Bob Jenney
    Ink: Bob Jenney

    A man riding a horse while brandishing a gun and repelling Indian arrows thanks to a full set of armour. There are direct parallels to previous adult western comics where the antagonists dress in Kelly Gang style armour. While in this episode the armour is akin to a medieval knight, the concept harks back to Dead-Eye Western #11. It also signals a dilution in the storyline – now any type of armour can repel projectiles and intimidate characters.

    Read: The Iron Bandit

  • 1956

    The Authentic Story of the Kelly Gang

    The Authentic Story of the Kelly Gang #1Issue: #1
    Creator: E.J. Trait
    Publisher: Standard Newspapers
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 52 pages

    Script: J.J. Kenneally
    Pencil: Stan Ballard
    Ink: Stan Ballard

    Based on J.J. Kenneally’s famous and much-debated book, The Inner History of the Kelly Gang, this pictorial features over 400 pictures illustrating the career of Australia’s most famous bushranger. Ballard’s illustrations of the Gang’s armour were impressive and, up until Monty Wedd’s effort in the mid 1970s, the most comic book accurate.

    Read: The Authentic Story of the Kelly Gang

  • 1958

    Six Gun Heroes

    Six Gun Heroes #46Issue: #46
    Publisher: Charlton Publication
    Date: May 1958
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 36 pages

    Story: The Bulletproof Outlaw [5 pages]
    Pencil: Dick Giordano
    Ink: Sal Trapani

    A western-frontier one-off tale featuring Wild Bill Hickok. The episode seems to be a mash-up of Ned Kelly and ‘Killin’ Jim Miller who both wore protective armour. The iron vest concept shows a strong connection to A Fist Full of Dollars [1964] starring Clint Eastwood which was famously parodied by Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future 3 [1990].

    Read: The Bulletproof Outlaw

  • 1959

    Buffalo Bee

    Buffalo Bee #1061Issue: #1061
    Founder: George Delacorte Jr.
    Publisher: Dell Comics
    Date: December 1959
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 36 pages

    Story: The Iron Man [6 pages]
    Pencil: David Gantz
    Ink: David Gantz
    Letters: Ben Oda

    The Catfish Kid outfits his gang in suits of bullet-proof armour to rob the Eldorado gold mine. Welcome to the wild west with a Kelly Gang style twist. However, as this comic is aimed at pre-teenagers the armour is copied from a medieval suit [similar to The Cisco Kid #23] in an attempt to tell the story without ambiguity, although it continues to dilute the link back to Ned Kelly’s story.

    Read: The Iron Man

  • 1962

    Gunsmoke Western

    Issue: #73
    Creator: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
    Publisher: Marvel
    Date: November 1962
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 36 pages

    Artist: Jack Kirby
    Story: I Can Outdraw Kid Colt! [7 pages]
    Script: Stan Lee
    Pencil: Jack Keller
    Ink: Jose Delbo, Jack Keller
    Colour: Stan Goldberg
    Letters: Artie Simek

    This stand-alone storyline sees Kid Colt square off against antagonist Doc Draggett who, after being wounded by Kid in a previous draw, attempts to beat him in a shoot-out using an armoured robot. Lee and Kirby’s juxtaposition of weapons and armour would evolve in western storylines and, more significantly, branch out into the superhero genre with effective results.

    Read: I Can Outdraw Kid Colt!

  • 1962

    Tales of Suspense

    Tales of Suspense #39Issue: #39
    Creator: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber, Don Heck
    Publisher: Marvel
    Date: March 1963
    Distributed: December 1962
    Format: Comic Book

    Cover: Iron Man!
    Artist: Jack Kirby, Don Heck
    Story: Iron Man Is Born! [13 pages]
    Plot: Stan Lee
    Script: Larry Lieber
    Pencil: Don Heck
    Ink: Don Heck
    Letters: Art Simek

    Iron Man makes his debut in this issue, eight editions after Iron Mask first appeared in #31. The creative team used the concept of armour for a number of Marvel characters including Dr Doom and A.I.M. as well as further develop the iron mask storyline to suit the western settings of Kid Colt Outlaw. The origins of Iron Man’s suit is a conglomeration of wild west comics featuring Kelly Gang style armour which morphed into ‘iron mask’ references. When coupled with Smash Comics #8 [March 1940] that featured Bozo the Robot [who is referred to in the panels as ‘Iron Man’], the genesis of Tony Stark’s alter ego becomes a lot clearer.

    … he’s set to work building weapons of mass destruction for his captors, only to turn the tables and build himself a cybernetic suit of Ned Kelly armour and bust out of his cave prison.

    Anthony Morris Forte #427

    Read: Iron Man Is Born!

  • 1963

    Kid Colt Outlaw

    Issue: #110
    Creator: Stan Lee, Jack Keller
    Publisher: Marvel
    Date: April 1963
    Distributed: February 1963
    Format: Comic Book

    Cover: Iron Mask!
    Artist: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
    Story: Behind the Iron Mask! [13 pages]
    Script: Stan Lee
    Pencil: Jack Keller
    Ink: Jack Keller

    In the story Behind the Iron Mask! [Part 1] Kid Colt finds a wanted poster for Iron Mask and has to escape from the sheriff and his deputies. In Bullets Can’t Stop Him! [Part 2] Iron Mask robs Mr. Thompson and tries to rob the payroll but is stopped by Kid Colt. In Behind the Iron Mask! [Part 3] Kid Colt finally stops Iron Mask. Marvel moved Iron Mask into the pages of Kid Colt Outlaw where he became the gun slingers arch enemy, appearing in multiple issues — a novel move given that the norm of the day required that criminals were generally dispatched within a single episode.

    Read: Behind the Iron Mask!

  • 1963

    Valiant and Knockout

    Creator: Percy Clarke, Leonard Matthews
    Publisher: Fleetway Publications
    Date: 7 September 1963
    Format: Story Paper
    Extent: 32 pages

    Story: Famous Fighters: Ned Kelly

    Originally Valiant and Knockout featured a mixture of humour and adventure strips along with illustrated prose stories. After the Second World War the weekly title featured more adventure strips, and Matthews, who was promoted to editor in 1948, recruited artists including Sep E. Scott, H. M. Brock, D. C. Eyles, and Geoff Campion to draw them. The original publication ran from 1939 to 1963 and featured 1,251 issues.

  • 1963

    Kid Colt Outlaw

    Kid Colt Outlaw #114Issue: #114
    Creator: Stan Lee, Jack Keller
    Publisher: Marvel
    Date: January 1964
    Distributed: October 1963
    Format: Comic Book

    Cover: The Return of Iron Mask!
    Artist: Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky
    Story: The Return of Iron Mask! [18 pages]
    Script: Stan Lee
    Pencil: Jack Keller
    Ink: Jack Keller

    The Return of Iron Mask! story sees Iron Mask break out of prison to take revenge on Kid Colt, who captures him by rusting his armour. In this edition Iron Mask features bulkier protection compared to issue #110. The front cover illustration is a better representation of Ned Kelly’s armour while the design is more aligned to Iron Man’s Mark 1 suit from Tales of Suspense #39. The costume, specifically the helmet, also hints as to the origin for the Advanced Idea Mechanics [A.I.M.] uniform.

    Read: The Return of Iron Mask!

  • 1964

    Kid Colt Outlaw

    Kid Colt Outlaw #121Issue: #121
    Creator: Stan Lee, Jack Keller
    Publisher: Marvel
    Date: 10 December 1964
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 36 pages

    Cover: The Two Kids Meet!
    Pencil: Jack Kirby
    Ink: Chic Stone
    Colour: Stan Goldberg
    Letters: Sam Rosen
    Story: Iron Mask Strikes Again! [17 pages]
    Script: Stan Lee
    Pencil: Jack Keller
    Ink: Jack Keller
    Letters: Sam Rosen

    In this episode Marshall Sam Hawk captures both Kid Colt and the Rawhide Kid. The two Kid based outlaws escape from jail and help Sam capture Iron Mask.

    Yes, Kid Colt actually had a recurring nemesis who dressed like that. Obviously based on Ned Kelly, Iron Mask was really just a blacksmith with bulletproof armor, nothing too implausible by steampunk standards, but still, to a casual observer, you’d think he was a robot.
    Out of the Quicksand

    Read: Iron Mask Strikes Again!

  • 1965

    Kid Colt Outlaw

    Kid Colt Outlaw #127Issue: #127
    Creator: Stan Lee, Jack Keller
    Publisher: Marvel
    Date: 9 December 1965
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 36 pages

    Cover: Iron Mask is Back
    Pencil: Larry Lieber
    Inks: Dick Ayers
    Colour: Stan Goldberg
    Letters: Artie Simek
    Story: Iron Mask and His Circus of Crime! [17 pages]
    Script: Roy Thomas, Steve Skeates
    Pencil: Jack Keller
    Ink: Jack Keller
    Letters: Artie Simek

    In this episode Kid Colt and his trusty steed Steel face off against Iron Mask and his Circus of Crime, namely Doctor Danger, Fat Man, and Bennington Brown. In 1966, Kid Colt Outlaw won the Alley Award for Best Western Title. The story was reprinted in Kid Colt Outlaw #219 with an updated cover that featured deeper colours and stronger penciling.

    Read: Iron Mask and His Circus of Crime!

  • 1966

    Lion

    Creator: Percy Clarke, Leonard Matthews
    Publisher: Fleetway Publications
    Date: 29 January 1966
    Format: Story Paper
    Extent: 32 pages

    Story: A near miss for the Ironclad Bushranger!

    Lion was first published in early 1952 as a weekly boys’ adventure comic designed to compete with Eagle and their hero Dan Dare. Lion contained a mix of text stories and comic strips. Its flagship stories were Captain Condor, and Robot Archie. By the 1960s Lion was one of the most popular British weekly titles and began featuring anti-hero characters like The Spider and The Sludge. Lion merged with several other comics during its life, including Eagle and Thunder. By the mid 70s it merged with Valiant which merged with Battle Picture Weekly two year later.

  • 1966

    Strange Tales

    Issue: #147
    Creator: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
    Publisher: Marvel
    Date: August 1966
    Distributed: May 1966
    Format: Comic Book

    Artist: Jack Kirby
    Story: The Enemy Within!
    Script: Stan Lee
    Pencil: Don Heck
    Ink: Mickey Demeo
    Letters: Sam Rosen

    Advanced Idea Mechanics [A.I.M.] made their first appearance in Strange Tales #146. A.I.M. is a privately funded organisation comprising brilliant scientists whose sole dedication is to acquire and develop power through technological means. They plan to use this power to overthrow governments of the world by suppling arms and technology to radicals and subversive organisations to foster a violent technological revolution while also making a profit [naturally]. Their army has a unique yellow coloured uniform which includes a striking helmet whose appearance bears an uncanny resemblance to the Kelly Gang’s original head gear.

    View: Advanced Idea Mechanics [images]

  • 1967

    Marvel Story Book Annual

    Marvel Story Book AnnualIssue: #1
    Publisher: World Distributors
    Date: 1967
    Format: Story Book
    Extent: 96 pages

    Story: The Ghost Of Ned Kelly [6 pages]
    Author: Douglas Enefer, A. Tyson, John W. Elliot

    Tony Stark is travelling through rural Victoria with his Australian girlfriend ‘Dusty’ Glen. Dusty mentions they are in ‘Kelly Country’ and then tells Tony that, ‘Ned Kelly was a fearless bushranger who used to terrorise the Victoria and New South Wales border country about a hundred years ago, plundering towns and holding up banks.’ Later, a band of desperadoes lead by Black Jack attack the hotel where Tony Stark is staying. Not having recharged his armour due to a power failure, he fights the bandits in an undercharged Iron Man suit. Barely able to move, Iron Man manages to stumble towards Black Jack who opens fire on him but the bullets bounce off. The villains then flee fearing it’s ‘the ghost of Ned Kelly.’

    Read: The Ghost Of Ned Kelly

  • 1968

    The Victor

    The Victor #367Issue: #367
    Publisher: D.C. Thomson & Co.
    Date: 2 March 1968
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 32 pages

    Story: Ned Kelly: The Last of the Bushrangers [1 page]
    Script: Stuart Moore
    Artist: Bill Holroyd
    Inker: Mauricio Melo

    The Victor was a British comic published weekly. It ran for 1,657 issues from January 1961 until November 1992. It told adventure tales in comic book format and featured stories that could be described as ‘Boy’s Own’ adventures. Many focused on the exploits of the British military and each front cover carried a story of how a medal had been won by British or Commonwealth forces during the First or Second World Wars. The comic also featured science fiction, adventure, and sports stories.

    Read: Ned Kelly: The Last of the Bushrangers
    Information: VictorHornetComics.co.uk

  • 1970

    Iron Outlaw

    Iron Outlaw by Graeme Rutherford and Gregor MacAlpineCreator: Greg and Grae
    Publisher: Sunday Observer
    Artist: Greg Mc Alpine
    Script: Graeme Rutherford
    Colour: John Power
    Format: Comic Strip
    Run: 36 editions

    Initially titled The Saga of Ironoutlaw, the comic strip was a colourful addition to the Sunday Observer line-up from June 1970. Iron Outlaw sometimes ridiculed but mostly poked fun at the political and social institutions of Australia, setting about the ‘Ocker’ image with great relish. At the same time, Rutherford and MacAlpine highlighted the popularity of comic book super-heroes, particularly the characters from Stan Lee’s Marvel Comic Group and imitated the styles of well-known comic book artists to reinforce their point. The weekly strip ran for thirty-six issues before moving to the Sunday Review

    View: Iron Outlaw [images]
    Information: Fysh.com.au

  • 1970

    Look and Learn

    Issue: #462
    Publisher: Fleetway Publications
    Date: 21 November 1970
    Format: Story Paper
    Extent: 40 pages

    Story: The Australian Robin Hood

    Look and Learn was an unusual publication for Fleetway in the early 60s. Unlike their other Reader’s Digest sized art comics, this publication’s dimensions were American comic book size. Look and Learn was half colour and usually consisted of highly illustrated text articles along with eight to twelve pages of colour comics. After #200, the number of comic pages became greater and included fantasy series like Trigan Empire. Remembered fondly by grandparents, this demographic highlights the real popularity of Look and Learn.

    Information: ComicVine.gamespot.com

  • 1971

    The Rover

    The Rover #522Issue: #522
    Publisher: DC Thomson & Co
    Date: 16 January 1971
    Format: Story Paper
    Run: 8 editions

    Story: Ned Kelly: Outlaw from the Outback

    The Ned Kelly story ran over eight weekly issues [#522 to #529]. The Rover was the second of the ‘Big Five’ boys’ story papers in the United Kingdom. It was began publication in March 1922. The paper absorbed Adventure in 1961 and The Wizard in 1963. The Rover ran until January 1973.

  • 1971

    Iron Outlaw and Steel Sheila

    Iron Outlaw by Graeme Rutherford and Gregor MacAlpineCreator: Greg and Grae
    Publisher: Sunday Review
    Artist: Greg Mc Alpine
    Script: Graeme Rutherford
    Format: Comic Strip
    Run: 15 editions

    With the closure of the Sunday Observer imminent, Iron Outlaw and Steel Sheila [as the strip was now called] transferred to the pages of the Sunday Review in March 1971. While the page went from colour to black and white, the strip hit its visual peak with some stunning artwork by MacAlpine. By the time it had finished in June the same year, the comic had satirised practically everything in sight and, in the process, confronted readers with some of the more unpleasant aspects of society. In the final story, Iron Outlaw becomes the dictator of Australia and imprisoned the incredulous Steel Sheila – after all, she was only a ‘little wog!’

    I am actually surprised that, as far as I can tell, the Ned Kelly story has not been used more often in comic books, as it is such a stunning visual. I reviewed many ‘true’ and ‘real fact’ titles from the Golden Age, and didn’t see him come up at all. I should mention two Australian newspaper strips from the 70s. ‘Ned Kelly’ was a fairly straightforward telling to the outlaw’s story, whereas ‘Iron Outlaw’, a satirical strip that used the iron helmet as a launching pad.

    Scott’s Classic Comics Corner

    View: Iron Outlaw and Steel Sheila [images]
    Information: Fysh.com.au

  • 1974+

    Ned Kelly

    Ned Kelly by Monty WeddCreator: Monty Wedd
    Publisher: Sunday Mirror
    Artist: Monty Wedd
    Script: Monty Wedd
    Format: Comic Strip
    Run: 146 editions

    Ned Kelly was an open ended comic strip which appeared in Sydney’s Sunday Mirror and was syndicated in other Australian newspapers. The strip, a detailed examination of Ned’s life, ran from 20 October 1974 to 10 July 1977, an impressive 146 weeks.

    They had been going to run Captain Justice but they told me Rupert Murdoch had invested a lot of money in the Ned Kelly movie so they wanted a cartoon about Ned Kelly. I did a 140-episode true life story of Ned Kelly and then I followed that up with Bold Ben Hall.

    Monty Wedd

    View: Ned Kelly [images]

  • 1977

    Bold Ned Kelly

    Bold Ned Kelly #1Issue: #1
    Publisher: The Jabiru Press
    ISBN: 0908104006
    Date: 1977
    Format: Story Paper
    Extent: 64 pages

    Designer: Dick Johnson
    Illustrator: Shirley Turner

    Activity books for young Australians which are carefully designed for children between the ages of eight and eleven to stimulate their interest in the country in which they live by encouraging them to participate directly in the discovery of information about it.

    In other words, Bold Ned Kelly is a Kelly Gang comic book, puzzle, crossword, fact sheet, map, and colouring book all-in-one.

  • 1977

    The Wild & Woolley comix book: Australian underground comix

    The Wild & Woolley Comix Book: Australian Underground Comix edited by Pat Woolley and Ian MccauslandIssue: #1
    Editor: Pat Woolley and Ian Mccausland
    Publisher: Wild & Woolley
    Date: 1977
    Format: Graphic Novel
    Extent: 102 pages

    Story: Iron Outlaw and Steel Sheila [7 pages]
    Artist: Greg Mc Alpine
    Script: Graeme Rutherford

    The Wild & Woolley Comix Book features reprints from 109 pages of Australian underground comix originally published between 1964 and 1976.

    The heroes Iron Outlaw and Steel Sheila are avatars of an ethnically white Australia who resent the presence of Asian Australians and their names hark back to white Anglo-Celtic settlement. The Iron Outlaw evokes folk hero Ned Kelly and Steel Sheila is named for the Australian slang term for a woman, one that probably derives from ‘the large number of Irish migrants to Australia.’ The language of Iron Outlaw and Steel Sheila is marked by phrases such as ‘That’s the flamin’ limit!’, ‘corker!’, ‘Geez, I feel crook!’ and ‘whingin’, and when Iron Outlaw is drugged, kidnapped, tortured and brainwashed, he is brought back to his senses by the flames of a dragon. In other words, he returns to the side of good after he is ‘bar-b-qued!’. What could be more Aussie than that?

    Pat Woolley

    Information: blogs.Exeter.ac.uk

  • 1977

    Frank Clune's Ned Kelly

    Issue: #1
    Creator: Tony Clune
    Publisher: Angus & Robertson
    ISBN: 0207135010
    Date: 1977
    Format: Story Book
    Extent: 28 pages

    Artist: Walter Stackpool
    Script: Frank Clune

    Ned Kelly is undoubtedly Australia’s best known and perhaps most daring Bushranger. There have been many accounts of his exploits but none is as authoritative as the writing of Frank Clune who spent some twenty five years researching the Kelly story. The account contained in this book has been specially adapted for young readers from Clune’s lengthier writing. It provides for young readers not only exciting account of bush ranging but also an insight into Australian colonial life.

    Originally published in 1970 with illustrations by Rebekah Spencer, this upgraded edition features new images by Walter Stackpool. The story book was also republished in 1982 and 1986. The book’s text was based on Frank Clune’s The Kelly Hunters published in 1954.

  • 1979

    Action Holiday Special

    Issue: #1
    Creator: Pat Mills
    Publisher: IPC Magazines
    Date: June 1979
    Format: Story Paper
    Extent: 64 pages

    Story: Ned Kelly – Last of the Bushrangers [1 page]

    Action Holiday Special included some new features as well as content from previous issues [but with less blood and violence]. It was a controversial British boys weekly anthology that began in February 1976. Many of the stories in Action were called ‘dead cribs’, essentially rip-offs of popular films, books, and comic heroes, but with their own style and attitude.

    Read: The Outlaws: Ned Kelly – Last of the Bushrangers

  • 1979

    ROM: Spaceknight

    ROM Spaceknight #1Issue: #1
    Creator: Scott Dankman, Richard C. Levy, Bryan L. McCoy
    Publisher: Marvel
    Date: December 1979
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 32 pages

    Artist: Frank Miller
    Story: Arrival!
    Editor: Jim Shooter, Mary Jo Duffy
    Script: Bill Mantlo
    Artist: Sal Buscema
    Ink: Joe Rubinstein
    Pencil: Sal Buscema
    Colour: Bob Sharen
    Letters: Tom Orzechowski

    Deep in space two centuries ago a decisive battle between the forces of good and evil was fought. The brave Spaceknights of Galador defeated the evil sorcery and super-science of the Dire Wraiths and scattered them to the furthest reaches of the galaxy. Now in present day their eternal struggle has spilled over to Earth. Rom, greatest of the Spaceknights, has arrived in Clairton, a small West Virginia town. Frightened by the arrival of a 7′ alien, the people of Clairton have called in the National Guard. Can Rom convince those he came to save that the true enemy resides in their very ranks?

    A fully armoured, futuristic robot with red laser eyes from another planet that goes by the name of ROM but looks a hell of a lot like our Ned Kelly. What more could an eager comic book devouring public want at the start of the 1980s?

    Ironoutlaw.com

    View: ROM: Spaceknight [images]
    Information: ComicVine.gamespot.com

  • 1983+

    Battle Picture Weekly

    Battle Picture Weekly #422Issue: #422
    Creator: Pat Mills
    Publisher: IPC Magazines
    Date: June 1983
    Distributed: May 1983
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 32 pages

    Artist: Jim Watson
    Story: Action Force [12 pages]

    This edition marks Baron Ironblood [Marcus Kassels] very first appearance. It also heralds a massive change for Battle Picture Weekly with regular tie-in strips featuring Palitoy’s Action Force line of toys. The four-week strip started in #422 and proved quite popular, leading to a series of mini Action Force comics.

    I didn’t like the character with the bucket on his head – like Ned Kelly gone mad! It was purely done for the money and the survival. I thought then, ‘It’s going downhill, this comic.’

    John Cooper artist

    View: Baron Ironblood [images]

  • 1983

    Action Force

    Action Force #1Issue: #1
    Creator: Gerry Day, Jim Watson
    Publisher: IPC Magazines
    Date: July 1983
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 8 pages

    Story: Baron Ironblood
    Pencil: Ron Turner

    Baron Ironblood is the leader of the Red Shadows, sworn enemies of Action Force. His twisted criminal brain dreams of world dominance. Noted for hypnotic control over men, his madness leads to wild fury in defeat, often taken out on his own troops. Ironblood sports a black Ned Kelly-style helmet with a horizontal slit for vision. Five promotional Action Force mini-comics were produced and given away free with every title published by IPC. This first mini comic was released with Battle #428 and culminated in the menacing Explosive News Inside for Every Reader! in #439.

    View: Baron Ironblood [images]

  • 1987

    West Coast Avengers

    The West Coast Avengers #18Issue: #18
    Creator: Al Milgrom, Joe Sinnott
    Publisher: Marvel
    Date: March 1987
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 22 pages

    Cover: Trapped in the Old West … It’s a Show Down
    Artist: Al Milgrom, Joe Sinnott
    Editor: Mark Gruenwald
    Story: Lost in Space-Time, Part Two: Time Was…
    Script: Steve Englehart
    Pencil: Al Milgrom
    Ink: Joe Sinnott
    Colour: Ken Feduniewicz
    Letters: Tom Orzechowski

    The Avengers arrive in the Arizona Desert of 1876 and are soon distracted by the sounds of a nearby battle involving Hawkeye’s old allies, Two-Gun Kid, Rawhide Kid, and Phantom Rider. The Avengers join up with the Western heroes to take on an alliance of many of their villains, including Iron Mask, Hurricane, Rattler, Red Raven, Doctor Danger, the Fat Man, and the Living Totem. Ironically, it’s the first and only time Iron Mask comes up against Iron Man.

    Read: Lost in Space-Time, Part Two: Time Was…

  • 1997

    The False Impressionists

    The False Impressionists #2Issue: #2
    Creator: Tolley and Bernard
    Publisher: Imaginate
    Date: December 1997
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 28 pages

    Artist: Tolley
    Story: Searching For Sight
    Script: Bernard Caleo, Tolley
    Pencil: Tolley
    Ink: Bernard Caleo
    Letters: Tolley

    The False Impressionists is an indie comic from the mind of one of Australia’s most talented comic book makers Bernard Caleo. In episode two we get introduced to the Kelly Gang through some sort of weird time travelling experience when our future guests arrive in the middle of the Kellys battling the police during the siege of Glenrowan.

  • 2002

    The False Impressionists

    The False Impressionists #3Issue: #3
    Creator: Tolley and Bernard
    Publisher: Imaginate
    Date: July 2002
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 32 pages

    Artist: Tolley
    Story: Last Rites
    Script: Bernard Caleo, Tolley
    Pencil: TolleyBernard Caleo
    Ink: Bernard Caleo, Tolley
    Letters: Tolley

    In episode three our time travellers witness the destruction of the Kelly Gang and the madness inside the hostage filled Jones Inn as police spray the property with bullets. The black and white imagery is stark, effective, and right in your face!

  • 2007

    Batman

    Batman #667Issue: #667
    Creator: Bob Kane, Bill Finger
    Publisher: DC Comics
    Date: August 2007
    Format: Comic Book
    Series: The Black Glove
    Extent: 32 pages

    Artist: J.H. Williams III
    Story: The Island of Mister Mayhew
    Script: Grant Morrison
    Editor: Mike Marts, Peter Tomasi
    Pencil: J.H. Williams III
    Ink: J.H. Williams III
    Colour: Dave Stewart
    Letters: Ken Lopez

    After news of Batman’s crime fighting spread across the world, a group of vigilantes took up arms in their respective nations and were then invited by the Dark Knight to meet in The Batmen of All Nations from Detective Comics #215 [January 1955]. One of the original members was The Ranger and his sidekick The Scout from Australia. Moving forward the franchise renamed itself the International Club of Heroes and later became Dome, realigning their activities to resemble the Justice Society of America. After 1955 the group became inconspicuous until The Island of Mister Mayhew [#667 – 669] where an updated Ranger, wearing Ned Kelly style protective headgear, was murdered by fellow member Wingman. Eventually his sidekick Scout, an Indigenous Australian by the name of Johnny Riley, was elevated to Dark Ranger in a ceremony conducted by Batman. His primary adversary was the Swagman who also wore protective armour more akin to Ned Kelly than even the Dark Ranger’s equipment.

  • 2007

    Fair Dinkum NED

    Fair Dinkum NED #1Issue: #1
    Creator: Rhonda M. Tallnash
    Publisher: Hental Industries
    ISBN: 9780977559435
    Date: 2007
    Format: Story Book
    Extent: 28 pages

    Artist: Vasja Koman
    Script: Rhonda M. Tallnash

    Ned is a bushranger whose career gets off to a rocky start due to some problems created by his unique suit.

    Information: catalogue.NLA.gov.au

  • 2008

    Robin

    Robin #176Issue: #176
    Creator: Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson
    Publisher: DC Comics
    Date: August 2008
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 32 pages

    Artist: Guy Major
    Script: Fabian Nicieza, Chuck Dixon
    Pencil: Joe Bennett
    Inker: Jack Jadson
    Colour: Freddie E Williams II, Guy Major

    In this issue, Swagman and Pierror Lunaire are sent out to kill Robin. Swagman shoots a rocket launcher at Robin and Spoiler who then take cover behind a trash container. As the fire spreads, Robin comes out and fights Swagman, beating him and then questioning him about Batman’s location.

    View: Swagman [images]

  • 2009

    Batman R.I.P.

    Issue: #676 – 681
    Creator: Bob Kane, Bill Finger
    Publisher: DC Comics
    Date: February 2009
    Format: Graphic Novel
    Extent: 208 pages

    Artist: Alex Ross
    Script: Grant Morrison
    Pencil: Lee Garbett, Alex Ross
    Ink: Trevor Scott, Alex Ross, Sandu Florea, Robert Washington

    Batman R.I.P. features the antagonist Swagman who began his criminal career by taking a cue from the legendary Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, wearing crude but highly effective metal body armour and carrying various weaponry including grenade launchers and swords. Swagman was recruited by the Black Glove and became a member of the Club of Villains, under the leadership of Doctor Hurt. During the final conflict, members of the Batman Family and the Club of Heroes defeat the Club of Villains and Swagman is rendered unconscious by the Dark Ranger.

    View: Swagman [images]

  • 2010

    Justice League: Cry for Justice

    Justice League: Cry for JusticeIssue: #1 – 7
    Creator: Gardner Fox
    Publisher: DC Comics
    Date: June 2010
    Format: Graphic Novel
    Extent: 232 pages

    Artist: Mauro Cascioli
    Script: James Robinson

    Swagman joins a cast of antagonists and super villains as they attempt to take down the new Justice League who are still reeling from the deaths of JLA heroes Batman and Martian Manhunter.

    View: Swagman [images]

  • 2012

    Showdowns, Shootouts and Rivalries

    Showdowns, Shootouts and Rivalries by Katherine CrowtonIssue: #1
    Creator: Katherine Crowton
    Publisher: Lulu.com
    ISBN: 9781471088674
    Date: February 2012
    Format: Graphic Novel
    Extent: 18 pages

    Story: Such Is Life… [1 page]
    Editor: Nathan Grice

    Showdowns, Shootouts and Rivalries! features cool illustrations and amazing facts about some of the worlds greatest duels and confrontations. From David and Goliath to Blackbeard the Pirate to Ned Kelly, this title includes thirteen illustrations from new and established illustrators from all around the world.

    Information: Amazon.com.au

  • 2012

    L'homme à La Tête De Fer

    Issue: #1
    Creator: Corteggiani, ManKho, Bonaventure
    Publisher: Grand West Editions
    ISBN: 9791091468084
    Date: November 2012
    Format: Graphic Novel
    Extent: 54 pages
    Language: French

    Artist: Dominique Cèbe [ManKho]
    Script: François Corteggiani
    Colours: Bonaventure

    Sur les terres rouges gorgées de bauxite, battues par les vents, il paraît que l’on aperçoit encore quelques fois l’ombre de Ned Kelly «l’homme a la tête de fer », qui fut voleur de bétail dans son jeune âge et qui avec sa bande de hors-la-loi désespérés, sillonna en son temps l’Etat de Victoria en Australie.

    Translation: On the red earth saturated with bauxite, battered by the winds, it seems that one still sees a few times the shadow of Ned Kelly ‘the man with the iron head’, who was a cattle thief in his young age and who with his band of desperate outlaws, in his time criss-crossed the state of Victoria in Australia.

  • 2014

    Meet Ned Kelly

    Meet Ned Kelly by Janeen BrianIssue: #1
    Creator: Janeen Brian
    Publisher: Random House Australia
    Date: February 2014
    Format: Story Book
    Extent: 36 pages

    Artist: Matt Adams
    Script: Janeen Brian

    ‘Ned Kelly was a notorious bushranger. He lived in Australia’s earliest days. He was daring and clever and bold. In a suit made of iron he battled police. And his story is still being told.’ This is the first book in a picture book series about the extraordinary men and women who have shaped Australia’s history.

    View: Meet Ned Kelly [images]

  • 2014

    Ned Kelly

    Issue: #1
    Creator: Monty Wedd
    Publisher: ComicOZ
    Date: April 2014
    Format: Graphic Novel
    Extent: 160 pages

    Artist: Monty Wedd
    Script: Monty Wedd

    In the 1970s, artist and historian Monty Wedd produced a weekly newspaper adventure strip that fully detailed Ned Kelly’s life. This volume collects each and every episode of Monty Wedd’s monumental three year undertaking. Wedd made Ned Kelly as authentic as possible, telling the story with an even handed approach and rendered in a style that resembled earlier engravings. The book won a Bronze For Excellence in Australian Comics and Publishing in the 2015 Ledger Awards.

    It was an excellent example of how to use the comic medium to teach history.

    John Ryan Panel by Panel

    Information: Cartoonists.org.au

  • 2014

    Ned Kelly and the Green Sash

    Issue: #1
    Creator: Mark Greenwood
    Publisher: Walker Books Australia
    Date: August 2014
    Format: Story Book
    Extent: 40 pages

    Artist: Frane Lessac
    Script: Mark Greenwood

    As a young boy, Ned Kelly saved a classmate from drowning in a flooded creek. He was rewarded with a green silk sash for his heroism. Yet, within a few years, he became an outlaw who was eventually hanged for murder. ‘Ned Kelly and the Green Sash’ is a window into the character of a poor boy, once honoured for his bravery, who grew up to become Australia’s most notorious bushranger.

    View: Ned Kelly and the Green Sash [images]

  • 2015

    Australia!

    Issue: #1
    Creator: Nat Karmichael
    Publisher: ComicOZ
    Format: Graphic Novel
    Extent: 92 pages

    Story: Kelly’s Revenge [5 pages]
    Script: Glen Lumsden
    Pencil: Glen Lumsden

    Glen Lumsden’s impressive contribution Kelly’s Revenge to the comic anthology Australia! won him the Comic Book Artist 2016 Stanley Award at the Australian Cartoonists Association’s annual ceremony.

    View: Kelly’s Revenge [sample]

  • 2015

    Bad Ned

    Issue: #1
    Creator: Dean Lahn
    Publisher: Scholastic Australia
    Format: Story Book
    Extent: 32 pages

    Ned has the same name as a famous bushranger. Some days he’s as BAD as can be. When he’s going to be especially bad he wears armour, and that’s when the REAL trouble starts.

    Clearly aimed at the pre-teen market, Bad Ned is a humorous attempt to reference Ned Kelly through the eyes of a young farm boy’s antics and imagination. Written and illustrated by Dean Lahn, his use of heavy fonts, bold colours, and solid images will fire a young reader’s imagination.

    I would highly recommend this book given that the unusual style and formatting of its comic action-adventure story has the potential to engage reluctant readers, especially boys, and interest them in topics of Australian history.

    Debra Tidball Reading Time

    Information: GoodReads.com

  • 2016

    Ned Kelly: Ironclad Alien Killer

    Issue: #1
    Creator: Martin Chuzz
    Publisher: Convict Comics
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 24 pages

    Artist: Adam Nichols
    Script: Nick Macari
    Pencil: Chris Batista
    Ink: David Meikis, Roland Paris
    Colour: John Rauch
    Letters: Rachel Deering

    Pursued by the boys in blue whilst liberating money from the bank at Euroa, Ned Kelly is rescued by a mysterious stranger. He is given some special goggles, the likes of which Ned has never seen before. When he puts them on, the awful truth is revealed – the nascent settlement of Victoria has been colonised not only by the Imperialist English, but also by a race of marauding aliens. And most of them seem to be masquerading as policemen.

    Read: Episode One

  • 2016

    Ned Kelly: Ironclad Alien Killer

    Issue: #2
    Creator: Martin Chuzz
    Publisher: Convict Comics
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 28 pages

    Artist: Chris Batista
    Script: Nick Macari
    Pencil: Chris Batista
    Ink: David Meikis, Chris Oyo
    Colour: John Rauch
    Letters: Rachel Deering

    Things turn from bad to worse for our true blue hero Ned Kelly. Not only has the colony of Victoria been invaded by hostile aliens who masquerade as Policemen, but Ned’s philandering past has also come back to bite him. A chance encounter with old flame Alice Sherritt at the resistance base leads to fisticuffs, betrayal, and more!

    Read: Episode Two

  • 2016

    Ned Kelly: Ironclad Alien Killer

    Issue: #3
    Creator: Martin Chuzz
    Publisher: Convict Comics
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 27 pages

    Artist: Adam Nichols
    Script: Nick Macari
    Pencil: Drew Moss
    Ink: David Meikis, Chris Arieswendha
    Colour: John Rauch
    Letters: Rachel Deering

    Ned has been recruited by genius inventor Henry Sutton to lead the resistance movement while Ned’s old flame Alice Sherritt has betrayed him to Baratha, the leader of the aliens, who masquerades as Judge Sir Redmond Barry. Baratha’s crew have in turn kidnapped Ned’s fiancee Ettie. With Ettie captured, Alice enraged, and Sutton’s teenage daughter Tabitha fast developing a crush on him, our favourite bushranger certainly has his hands full.

    Read: Episode Three

  • 2016

    Ned Kelly: The Man Behind The Mask

    Issue: #1
    Creator: Hugh Dolan
    Publisher: NewSouth Publishing
    Date: February 2016
    Format: Graphic Novel
    Extent: 80 pages

    Artist: Hugh Dolan
    Script: Hugh Dolan
    Colour: Dana Vaida, Antim Marius
    Ink: Adrian Barbu
    Letters: Adrian Barbu

    We all think we know the story of Ned Kelly, Australia’s most famous outlaw, but we’ve never seen him in full colour like this before … Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly was born in 1855 into a poor Irish immigrant family in rural Victoria. He grew up loyal to his family, angry at the injustice he saw in Australian society and desperate to better his situation by any means. Often in trouble with the police, with the so-called Kelly Gang he was involved in horse and cattle stealing, bank robbing, kidnapping and ultimately murder. But he was the only bushranger to write a famous and compelling letter explaining his behaviour. As every Australian knows, after a legendary shoot-out Ned was captured by police and later hanged at Melbourne Gaol. Folk hero or criminal, this is the story of Ned Kelly as you’ve never seen it before.

    View: Ned Kelly: The Man Behind The Mask [images]

  • 2017

    I AM NED

    I AM NED #1 by Max MyintIssue: #1
    Creator: Max Myint
    Publisher: House of M
    Date: November 2017
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 34 pages

    Artist: Zachary Smith-Cameron
    Script: Max Myint

    ‘I AM NED’ is set in the wake of World War 4, and what remains of the continents have been isolated from each other. Australia is now lost to an intelligent species of zombies. For ten years, the oppressive regime known as the ‘Zombie World Order’ has commanded loyalty from its citizens through power and propaganda. People are hunted and sent to ‘human farms’, where they are then portioned and delivered to the hungry masses like cattle. One man dares to stand against the plague. Building armour inspired by the legendary Ned Kelly, he is driven, and merciless in his desire to bring down this zombie empire.

    View: I AM NED [images]

  • 2017

    L'histoire de Ned Kelly

    Issue: #1
    Creator: Marie-Eve and Jean-Jacques de Grave
    Publisher: Helium 
    ISBN: 9782330086725
    Date: October 2017
    Format: Graphic Novel
    Extent: 88 pages
    Language: French

    Artist: Jean Jacques de Grave
    Script: Marie-Eve de Grave

    Je m’appelle Ned Kelly. J’ai vingt-cinq ans. Je suis né dans la nature, au cœur du bush. Aujourd’hui ma fin approche, mais je n’ai peur de rien. Je suis entré dans l’histoire. Un graphic novel tout en gravures sur Ned Kelly, le hors-la-loi australien symbole de la résistance à l’empire Britannique et mort à 25 ans. Devenu une icône de la pop culture, il a inspiré des films avec Mick Jagger puis Heath Ledger dans le rôle titre et une chanson par Johnny Cash.

    Translation: My name is Ned Kelly. I’m twenty five. I was born in nature, in the heart of the bush. Today my end is approaching, but I am not afraid of anything. I made history. A graphic novel all in engravings on Ned Kelly, the Australian outlaw who symbolises resistance to the British Empire and who died at 25 years old. Become an icon of pop culture, he inspired films with Mick Jagger and Heath Ledger in the title role and a song by Johnny Cash.

    View: L’historire de Ned Kelly [images]

  • 2018

    Outlaws From OZ

    Issue: #1
    Creator: Lucas Scheffel
    Publisher: Angry Fred Comics
    Date: July 2018
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 11 pages

    Artist: Nikita Vasilchuk
    Script: Lucas Scheffel

    Set against the backdrop of pivotal moments in Australian history Outlaws of Oz: The Bushrangers Chronicles delves into a cheeky alternative universe. Welcome to a world where bushrangers and aliens collide against the harsh Australian outback.

    In this version of ‘Ned Kelly and the Green Sash’ our protagonist comes up against both state troopers and not-so-little green men. Touted as a one of five, the story begins with a literal bang. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series as the publisher Angry Fred Comics appears to be an outfit that knows how to make quality content. Best of all, this comic can be downloaded for free from their website!

    Ironoutlaw.com

    View: Outlaws from OZ [images]

  • 2019

    I AM NED

    Issue: #2
    Creator: Max Myint
    Publisher: House of M
    Date: November 2019
    Format: Comic Book
    Extent: 40 pages

    Artist: Zachary Smith-Cameron
    Script: Max Myint
    Edit: You Matsuyama

    NED has been busy. REALLY busy. Taking out Human Farms. Leading a resistance. And after years of operating in the shadows, he has now decided to execute the next phase of his masterplan, declaring WAR against the ZWO in the hopes that his provocation will reveal what forces he is truly up against. His antics are starting to show, forcing the MINISTER to have to deal with his presences and the rising concerns of a food shortage.

    Information: OwnaIndi.com

Note: The comic section is an ongoing project and we are constantly searching for additional content. If you have any information which may be of benefit, or is missing from this component, please contact us at enquiry@folk2super.com. All enquires are welcome.