5.0/5 rating (11 votes)


“The origin stories of these heroes are the foundation of the modern Western genre, and should not be missed by any fan who loves Westerns.”—Larry D. Sweazy, Spur Award-winning author of The Badger’s Revenge.

Everyone recognizes the names of the Cisco Kid, Hopalong Cassidy, Zorro and the Lone Ranger.  But how many actually know the characters from their fictional roots? Years before appearing in film, on radio and television, their creators painted a rather different picture of each from what Hollywood presented for these legendary heroes of the silver screen.

  • Did you know the Cisco Kid first appeared as a villain?
  • Or that Hopalong Cassidy was an unpolished hard case far removed from "the friend to every man" as he came to be known in film and television?

In this handsome volume Unmasked collects the first appearances of the Cisco Kid, Hopalong Cassidy, Zorro and a forgotten novel of the Lone Ranger.

Included are:

  • Hopalong Cassidy—The Fight at Bucksin
  • Hopalong Cassidy—The Vagrant Sioux
  • Hopalong Cassidy—The Trails of a Peaceful Puncher
  • Hopalong Cassidy—Hopalong Keeps His Word
  • Hopalong Cassidy—The Advent of McAllister
  • Hopalong Cassidy—Holding the Claim
  • The Cisco Kid—The Caballero's Way
  • Zorro—The Curse of Capistrano (excerpt from novel)
  • The Lone Ranger—The Masked Rider's Justice (novel)
With a new introduction by Francis M. Nevins and editorial essays by Tom Roberts.


Cover art by George J. Rozen.

Please note: These stories are each newly typeset from their original magazine appearances. Book versions have long condensed these works, editing out in some cases thousands of words from certain of these stories.

"A fascinating gem . . . Unmasked is a welcome addition to my library."—Dispatches From the Last Outlaw

"I know there are lots of western fans out there who will enjoy these tales, and I, for one, can't wait to get into these stories."—The Nostaglia League

" [A ] fascinating glimpse into these characters' early development stage."—Western Clippings

"This book is a five star and more. . . . A must read. Highly recommend!"—Amazon

"Once again Black Dog Books presents the reader with a quality book that proves to be both entertaining and fascinating. . . .Unmasked is a book that should most definitely be added to all Western fans collections."—Western Fiction Review

"Unmasked is one of the best collections so far from Black Dog Books, and those of you familiar with their publications know that's saying a lot. If you have any interest at all in early Western fiction or Western film and TV, or if you're just looking for some very entertaining stories, you shouldn't miss this one. Highly recommended. "—Rough Edges

"Black Dog Books has taken the reprint idea to a whole new level. The Unmasked collection of stories provides a fascinating glimpse these characters in their early, development stage. And thanks to the respect Black Dog Books has for the source material, they appear here exactly as their authors intended."—Blogcritics

Book Details

Title: Unmasked
Author: Tom Roberts (ed.)
Genre: Adventure/Western
ISBN: 978-1-884449-17-8
Price: $19.95 / Trade paperback / 198 pp.
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