Being an examination of some of the wold newton family in the wild west,
with an examination of the careers of
James west and artemus gordon, the lone ranger and tonto, brisco county jR, the lazarus man, paladin, the cartwrights, barkleys and sundry others

by Dennis E. Power


The Secret History of the Wold Newton Universe is now searchable. The search engine will also search the other participating members sites of the NEW WOLD NEWTON METEORITICS SOCIETY

For historical purposes and for those who are interested in seeing how the article has evolved, I will keep the previous versions on line
Wold Wold West First draft

This article was inspired to resolve the discrepancies between the 1966 television series and the 1999 film WILD, WILD WEST. Purists will have no trouble dismissing the film as pure fiction, a hack job with no redeeming qualities. I find that prospect too easy, as if that what was intended all along.

Who was James West? Were there really two men who bore that name? The same questions apply for his irreplaceable partner, Artemus Gordon.

My theories concerning these four men may be met with disbelief, I fully expect that, but as with many pieces of evidence concerning the Wold Newton universe and the characters that inhabit it, the truth is not always readily apparent and the media in which the characters appear cannot be considered holy writ.

How do we resolve the discrepancies between the two Jim Wests and the two Artemus Gordons? The first way to resolve it is to simply believe, despite how incredulous, that there were in fact, two men named Jim West and two men named Artemus Gordon who worked for the United States Secret Service during the 1870's

This is possible but highly unlikely given the high profile nature of their cases.

The second method of resolving the discrepancy is to believe that they were code names with cover identities for special agents working for a trouble-shooting branch of the Secret Service. I find this scenario to be more likely.

The question arises then, who were these men behind the cover identities, and how did they relate to the Wold Newton Universe and to the Wold Newton Family itself.

The first set of agents, James West and Artemus Gordon had their positions created by the Eridaneans inside the U.S. Government. Their primary assignment was to neutralize any threat to the U.S. Government and regions promulgated by Capellean agents, renegade Eridaneans or their minions or persons who had acquired technologies from them.

The first James West began his career as James West in 1865, the second in 1870, when it was deemed that the threat was even greater than at first anticipated and the fact that two such disparate persons using the same identities would be confusing to the many enemies that West had made over the years.

   Due to a mistranslation of the Secret History of the Wold Newton Universe, ( I really must concentrate on that Eridanean!) I made the statement in the previous version of the Wold Wold West that Daniel Reid was James West. I must now correct that statement. Daniel Reid was not the James West whose exploits were detailed in the Wild Wild West series. However he did use the name for a short time having been manipulated in a plot to discredit and possibly kill the real James West.

    There was an uncanny resemblance between the two men but that is to be expected since they were cousins.

    James West, and the man with the cover identity of Artemus Gordon fought villains armed with anachronistic technologies supplied by Eridanean, Capellean and perhaps other Alien sources for two years when it became apparent that they villains were not only stepping up their attacks but that they had become aware of the investigation duo of West and Gordon. The varied career of James West is too lengthy to go into detail in this essay but a Mark Ellis and Win Eckert have provided a great chronology of his adventures exists here.  I agree with the chronology of the adventures but I respectfully differ from them when it comes to the genealogies of the characters.

    To confuse the enemy they created another investigative team with the Cover identities of West and Gordon. For this team they chose an African-American soldier and an experienced agent, one who was not only a master of disguise but also a gifted inventor.

    The implementation of the second James West identity was also partially political in origin. In order to placate Radical Republicans who desired the swift and immediate integration of the African-American into government service.  However as time wore on the Radicals fell from leadership and from favor. Racism reared its ugly head and segregation and separatism became not only the law of the nation but the norm of society. Therefore, to save itself from embarrassment and to escape from notoriety, the exploits of James Douglas Henry were "whitewashed" and attributed to James West.

The families of Wold Wold West are

Big Valley, Small World -The Barkleys
Little Big Men-Crabbes and Carters
The Cartwrights and their family Bonaza
The Magnificent Gordons and their Swift relatives
Hammer of Freedom-The Henrys
Evil  Comes in Small Packages-The Loveless Brothers
Masked Memories-The Reids
All that Glitters is not Gold- The Silvers
Tonto-The Wise Fool
Wild Wild and Young Wild- The Wests

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© 2000 Dennis Power