The Black Diamond character was created by William Overgard and debuted in Black Diamond Western issue #9, published by Lev Gleason Publications, in March 1949. Lev Gleason had previously published a title called Desperado and this was renamed Black Diamond Western continuing the sequence numbers.
Creators involved in the run include: Doug Wildey, John Forte, Myron Fass, Bill Walton, Dick Rockwell and Pete Morisi. The title folded with issue #60 published in March 1956.
Bob Vale and his family were heading West on a train, when it was attacked by Indians. All the passengers were killed apart from Bob and a man named Lloyd Vale, who adopts Bob. After Bob has grown up his adopted father is killed by Jeff Hawkins. Not only does Hawkins try to implicate Bob in the murder, he was also the planner of the raid that killed Bob's parents. Bob vows to bring Hawkins to justice, but to save his adopted mother from any danger by him being recognized, Bob wears a mask.
After successfully apprehending Hawkins, Bob is made U.S. Marshall, but only only on the condition he is allowed to carry on wearing his mask. Bob names himself after the black diamond Hawkins had used to bribe the Indians, who killed his parents and leaves a diamond playing card as a calling card.
Other characters appearing are Black Diamond's sidekick, named Bumper who is a circus strong man and his horse, a golden palomino called Reliapon. Interestingly the horse's name was chosen by a reader's contest.
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