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The Buckaroo of the Badlands is a story written and drawn by Don Rosa. It is the third chapter of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. It features Scrooge McDuck, Murdo McKenzie, the McVipers, Rhutt Betler, and in their first appearances, Theodore Roosevelt and Hortense. It also
Scrooge McDuck, changing his first name to "Buck" to better fit with his new surroundings, becomes a cowboy for rich fellow scotsman Murdo McKenzie. Due to his amazing skills, he is put in charge of an especially ferocious bull that McKenzie hopes to present in an important contest. However, two rustlers called the McVipers try to steal the bull. Scrooge chases them through the Badlands to get the bull (and his job) back, and on the way meets a young Theodore Roosevelt, a bear, two very confused Native Americans, a dinosaur and more.
- The story was inspired by comments Scrooge McDuck makes about his life in Only a Poor Old Man (1951).
- Scrooge bumps into someone who discovered Plain Awful, from Lost in the Andes (1948), although (as expanded upon in the Behind the scenes section of this page) the specifics are thorny.
- Cattle Wars (1992) is made up of nine pages cut from an alternate draft of this story, rejected by Byron Erickson wholesale for being too reliant on "dopey gag" and featuring Scrooge beating the McVipers using a trick too similar to that previously used against the Whiskervilles in The Last of the Clan McDuck (1992).
- Scrooge bumps into the McViper Family for the first time; this clan of bandits' rivalry with Scrooge was first established by Carl barks in The Cattle King (1967).
Behind the scenes
The Buckaroo of the Badlands was created by Don Rosa in 1992 and first printed in the Danish Anders And & Co. #1992-45, before being printed in English the British Mickey and Friends #1992-06 and reprinted in Uncle Scrooge #287, and, of course, in the various versions of the Don Rosa Library and collected editions of the Life and Times. It is the third chapter of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.
Rhett Butler's thorny appearance
Don Rosa used Rhutt Betler in the story by mistake, having forgotten that Lost in the Andes stated he had died before reaching civilization. Later printings of the story featured an attempt to correct this by having him be the man who bought the Square Eggs from the Padre in Cuzco and subsequently brough them to the Duckburg Museum, but this proved to be equally problematic, as no one after Rhutt Betler knew the "square rocks" were eggs.
In the end it must be assumed that it is indeed Rhutt Betler whom Scrooge McDuck met on the train, somehow; perhaps the blind huntsman was simply mistaken in believing the man had died, or perhaps it was Betler's ghost whom Scrooge encountered, still trying to share his discovery with the outside world even after death. (This would grant him the distinction of being the second supernatural being encountered by young Scrooge, following Sir Quackly McDuck's ghost.)