Unofficial Biography SCALPHUNTER [Brian Savage / Ke-Woh-No-Tay]
 Created by Michael Fleisher and Dick Ayers


Personal Data

Real Name: Brian Savage / Ke-Woh-No-Tay
Occupation: Western lawman, formerly gun-for-hire
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: Matthew Savage I (father; deceased), Laurie Savage (mother, deceased), Annie Savage (wife; deceased), Steven Savage, a.k.a. 'Balloon Buster' (son), Samantha Savage (sister), unnamed grandmother (deceased), plus a possible relation to Matthew Savage II, a.k.a. 'Trail Boss'
Base of Operation: St. Louis, Missouri (late 1860s), Opal City (1890s)
Group Affiliation: None
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Originally black, later gray
First Appearance: Weird Western Tales #39 (March-April 1977)

Profile written by Ola Hellsten

"Lady, there is something you'd better know. All of you. The people who raised me wouldn't hold elegant tea socials while others of their tribe were starving and hungry across town. The people that raised me were the finest." - Brian Savage

Quote taken from Starman Annual Vol. 2 #2 (1997)




  Raised by native Americans, Scalphunter was a force for justice in the nineteenth century. He eventually came to be the sheriff in the area which would become Opal City, and was known for his direct, honest manner. He would eventually come to be reincarnated as Matt O'Dare.


  In the late 1840s, a ranch that was home to Matthew and Laurie Savage and their young son Brian, was attacked by Kiowa Indians, who injured the elder Savage and kidnapped his son. Mourning, Matthew later left the ranch and died under unrevealed circumstances.

  Brian was admitted into the Kiowa tribe and raised by them. He was renamed Ke-Woh-No-Tay ('He Who Is Less Than Human').

  Years later, when he was part of a Kiowa raiding party, Ke-Woh-No-Tay was captured by white men and recognised as the long-lost Brian Savage by a birthmark on his neck. Brian was charged, tried, and convicted with three murders he had not committed, and sent to prison. Eventually, he managed to escape, captured the real killers, and was pardoned.

  Though he at first refused to admit his non-Native American heritage, Savage eventually chose to do so. When he learned about the death of Matt Savage, he mourned him in the Kiowa tradition.

  Following his father's death (his mother had passed away years earlier), Brian learned of the existence of his younger sister, Samantha, and eventually tracked her down in Atlanta. However, he did not reveal his true identity to her.

  Given the name Scalphunter by non-Native Americans he encountered, Ke-Woh-No-Tay started an interesting career, sometimes working as a lawman, sometimes as a gun-for-hire, sometimes just adventuring. As he grew older, he became more and more of a gunfighter, but never lost touch with his Kiowa traditions that were part of him. Among other things, he shared a number of adventures with Bat Lash, worked together with Lash and Jonah Hex as a bodyguard, and once even foiled a plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.

  In his 40s Savage put down roots, adapted to a life as a white Western lawman, and became the sheriff of Opal City. There, he became best friends with the enigmatic immortal Shade. Savage also fell in love with a prostitute named Annie.

  Later, Savage also encountered another woman, the rich and beautiful Margaret DeVere, whom he helped after she had been robbed of some of her treasures. Whether it was love, or passion, or a mutual contempt for the conventions of the society, that drove the two in each other's arms, one can only speculate, but Savage left his Annie for Margaret, and he briefly - and unwillingly - became a part of the upper-class life of Opal. However, after a shoot-out with a vengeful criminal at a garden tea-party, Brian and Margaret realised that their worlds were too different, and so they split.

  Savage eventually returned to Annie, who took him back. He maintained order in Opal for more than a decade until the two of them married and retired to a farm in Turk County outside the city, where they had a son named Steven. After a few quite happy years together, Annie died from fever.

  In 1899, a particularly violent year in the history of Opal, Brian Savage returned to the law and was successful in bringing order to the town. He opposed the powerful Tuesday Club, a secret Social Society consisting of many of the town's wealthiest men, who had used blackmail and murder to get rid of smaller store owners in their business quarters. In return, members of the Club killed four of Savage's deputies – Tunny, Lark, Mordicai, and Smitty Joe. The very same night, Savage and his surviving deputy, Carny OŽDare, killed every member of the Club - fifty-seven of the most powerful and corrupt men in town, including two councilmen and one judge. However, they missed the newly-inducted Jason Melville, who had looked forward to becoming a Club member in his entire life. Enraged and disappointed that his dream was destroyed, Melville shot Savage in the back. Carny O'Dare answered by killing Melville, but Scalphunter was already dead.

  After this, the legend of Scalphunter has lived on, much due to the dime novels that were written about him in the late 19th century. Brian Savage's son Steven eventually grew up to become the heroic flying ace called the Balloon Buster in World War I, becoming a legend in his own right.

  In modern times, the corrupt policeman Matthew O'Dare of the Opal City Police Department realised he was the reincarnation of Brian Savage. This made O'Dare reform to a good cop again. He also befriended Savage's old friend Shade, who helped him clear his name. O'Dare began to adopt the dead sheriff's mannerism and speech patterns, and in a way, Scalphunter had returned to Opal once again. Recently, Matt O'Dare was killed by his villainous brother Barry during Culp's ravaging of Opal City. However, it is told that the soul of Brian Savage/Matthew O'Dare is predestined to be reborn as the Xanthuan hero Star Boy in the 31st century.

  [Note: Although it has been said that Brian's father Matthew was identical with the legendary 'Trail Boss' Matt Savage, this cannot be the case. The Trail Boss Matt Savage was apparently the same age or younger than Brian. However, a possible relation between the two has been suggested.]

Powers and Weapons

  Scalphunter was a man of above average physical strength and a master hand-to-hand combatant. He was an expert horseman, and adept at using bow and arrows, tomahawk, rifle, and handgun.

  Matthew O'Dare, the reincarnation of Scalphunter, was the toughest cop of Opal, strong, a good hand-to-hand combatant, and a master with most handguns. Starboy, the future reincarnation of Scalphunter, has several superpowers including super-strength, flight, and gravitation powers.

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