The Real Hero, by Dennis O’Neil

Dennis O'Neil

Dennis O'Neil was born in 1939, the same year that Batman first appeared in Detective Comics. It was thus perhaps fated that he would be so closely associated with the character, writing and editing the Dark Knight for more than 30 years. He's been an editor at Marvel and DC Comics. In addition to Batman, he's worked on Spider-Man, Daredevil, Iron Man, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow, the Question, The Shadow and more. O'Neil has won every major award in the industry. His prose novels have been New York Times bestsellers. Denny lives in Rockland County with his wife, Marifran.

You may also like...

15 Responses

  1. Russ Rogers says:

    I'm too young to remember "Have Gun Will Travel" and Paladin. But I do remember Hec Ramsey, starring Richard Boone, who had also played Paladin! "Hec Ramsey" was part of the NBC Mystery Movie series that included McCloud and Columbo. Hec Ramsey was an intellectual wild west lawman, who carried a gun, but was more likely to solve a case with a fingerprint kit or a lie detector.In one episode, Hec Ramsey reveals that he had worked under the name "Paladin," tying the two shows together.According to Wikipedia, "Have Gun Will Travel" was one of the few TV shows to spawn a successful radio version. The radio version ran from 1958-1960 and starred John Dehner as Paladin. It was one of the last radio dramas with continuing characters. Did you ever listen to the radio series?

  2. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    I recall Elayne's ex, Steve Chaput (a librarian by trade) relating the sheer joy he felt at this interchange from The Mummy (1999)Evelyn: Look, I… I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O'Connell, but I am proud of what I am. Rick: And what is that? Evelyn: I… am a librarian. Finding a character you can identify with in fiction is a treat indeed. I, for example, have always said my favorite Broadway musicals star a charlatan with a heart of gold (Music Man, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Producers, and A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum).Heck, it may well be why Spider-Man has always been such a popular character (there's a lot more wallflowers than jocks).

    • Elayne Riggs says:

      Oh heck, Steve still feels that way whenever librarians are mentioned. :)My main reason to eventually want to see Iron Man is the way I've been told Paltrow portrays an executive/personal assistant. We super-secretaries rarely get to shine!

  3. mike baron says:

    I remember Paladin well. In one episode, a woman calls him "John."

    • mike weber says:

      Well, some women call *everybody* "John" – not necessarily to their faces, mind you…

  4. Bob Pinaha says:

    I loved watching "Have Gun Will Travel" as a young boy. I remember receiving for Christmas the Paladin cowboy hat, holster and gun. It came with a set of "Have Gun Will Travel" cards for handing out. What fun!Denny, was there ever a comic book adaptation of the series?

    • Alan Coil says:

      I'm not Denny, but yes. Four Color #931, #983, #1044, and #4 through #14; Dell; 1958-1962.(I have 2 books next to my computer—a dictionary, and the Overstreet Price Guide.)

  5. mike weber says:

    Actually, as i recall it, the connection between the two was implied in the novelisation of the pilot episode, rather than in an actual episode. (I could be wrong.)But, since "Have Gun" and "Ramsey" were, to the best of my knowedge, produced by two different companies for two different networks, at the time i don't think that sort of sly referential humour would have been used in "Ramsey".I could, of course, easily be wrong.Just ask my wife.However, a similar bit that i *do* remember specifically, is George Lazenby showing up in the "Man from UNCLE" TV movie, drving a gadget-equiped Aston Martin with plates that read :JB"…

  6. mike weber says:

    BTW – were you aware that there's a possible remake, starring Eminem – possibly "updated" to modern settings, if i read the posts i just encountered – in play?

  7. Mike Gold says:

    Boone went on to star in an aptly named anthology series, The Richard Boone Show. It had a repertory cast that starred Harry Morgan, Lloyd Bochner, Jeannette Nolan, and a very young Robert Blake (who's still looking for his gun). Buck Houghton was the producer, coming in from The Twilight Zone, and Clifford Odets was story editor. With a pedigree like this, it was, of course, doomed to failure after one shortened season. Amusingly, it was done by Goodson-Todman Productions, producer of many an amazingly successful teevee game show.

  8. Paul McCall says:

    I remember Have Gun Will Travel from my childhood more as a whole rather than individual episodes so I'm getting a massive amount of pleasure watching the DVD season sets, three of which are currently available. Several early episodes were written by Gene Roddenberry. As Mr. O'Neil stated, it was a very atypical western for the times.

    • Andy Vaughn says:

      Paladin's real name was never revealed in the series. In a later episode entitled "Genesis" the origin of paladin was revealed. "Paladin" for an unexplained reason, was a West Point dropout, and was lured into a crooked poker game by a character played by William Conrad. After losing everything in the game, including an IOU, the character is forced by millionaire Conrad to go after a cowboy, simply known as "Smoke", who has been making things "hot" for Conrad's land-holdings. The character ends up trapped in a box canyon by Smoke, who is also played by Richard Boone. He wears the same black outfit that we know, yet his hair is snow white. Smoke is also dying of consumption, while he playfully toys with the character, even to the point of calling him "my young Paladin." During the byplay, we learn that Conrad is evil and Smoke has only been protecting the local ranchers. Smoke later dies, and Boone takes up the mantle of the black outfit, and calls himself "Paladin", smoke's nickname for him.

  9. Linda Gold says:

    I loved "Have Gun, Will Travel" as a child and Paladin was at the top of my TV heroes list. Mike and I have been watching the DVD's of the show and my first reaction was that the shows were so well written and packed in so much story that I had always remembered them as being a hour long instead of the actual half hour they were.

  10. Michael H. Price says:

    One of the better teevee programs, all right. Memorable theme-song, too — with a melodic hook sufficient to have inspired an instrumental pop-rock version by Duane Eddy. The show also provoked a splendid pun: The Wrigley's vending-machine jobber in my hometown adorned his truck with a sign reading, "Have Gum — Will Travel."

    • Zonker says:

      So, Denny, was Paladin the inspiration for your treatment of Bat Lash? Or was his nature largely developed by Infantino & Aragones, with you more or less simply supplying the dialogue?