Among the very earliest Lucky Luke work (produced the following year after the first story, Arizona 1880), these two stories were published before Morris began his five year stay in US. The artwork of the two stories (which shows obvious differences although created only months apart) demonstrates the changes from the earliest style to what would become the settled Lucky Luke expression. At this point the Jolly Jumper character had not yet been given the power of speech.
The end of "The Look-Alike of Lucky Luke" marks one of the very few times Lucky Luke kills the villain. The final duel of Lucky Luke et Phil Defer originally ended with the death of the latter. Although, in the censored version, the doctor then declares him simply injured but his shoulder in such a state that his career as a gunman is over. Bob Dalton (cousin of the less fierce Daltons) also met a violent end in the story Hors-la-loi, though after the original Spirou publication this was judged to be too bloody by La commission française de surveillance des publications destinées aux jeunes after new restrictions by the law of 1949, and softened for the album reissue, with the Daltons simply being hanged and buried.
These stories also feature caricatures of people from Morris' circle, notably André Franquin, Will, and the fathers of Morris and Eddy Paape.
|Morris (Maurice de Bevere) - Dec 01,1923 - July 17, 2001|
In "Dick Digger's Gold Mine (24 pages)", Lucky Luke and Jolly Jumper meet an old friend, the prospector Dick Digger in extasty over a recent gold ore discovery, en route to register his gold mine claim in Nugget City. Celebrating loudly at a saloon, Digger is identified as a target of robbery by two hardened criminals, and after assaulting him alone in his room, they get away with his gold and a map leading to the gold find. The following day, Lucky Luke and Jolly Jumper take up pursuit following their trail.
In "The Look-Alike of Lucky Luke (22 pages)", Luke discovers he causes fear in the inhabitants of a town, because he is remarkably similar to a notorious villain named Mad Jim, currently in prison and scheduled for hanging. Spotted by two thugs who are Mad Jim's associates, Luke is ambushed and knocked out in a scheme to replace him with the doppelgänger in a drunken sheriff's jail cell, in order to get a share of Mad Jim's loot. Taken without doubt for the dangerous villain, Lucky Luke barely escapes the mob lynching before he is able to pursue the criminals and bring them to justice.