|Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa|
|Genre||Action/Adventure, Science Fiction, Western|
|Created by||Ryan Brown|
|Starring|| Pat Fraley|
|Country of Origin||United States|
|No. of Seasons||2|
|No. of Episodes||26 (List of Episodes)|
|Running Time||22 minutes (approx.)|
|Production Company(s)|| Ruby-Spears|
King World Productions
|Original Run||September 12, 1992 – December 4, 1993|
Like many cartoons during its time (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Street Sharks), C.O.W.-Boys dealt with a mutation of some kind; in this case, an irradiated meteor struck the late 19th century Western plains creating a miles high mesa shrouded in clouds. Everything trapped on top of the mesa was "cow-metized" by the light from the "cow-met" and "evolved" into a "bovipomorphic" state. Inspired by old tales of the Wild West, this new bovine community developed to the point where they emulated that era's way of life, including the requisite ruffians and corrupt sheriffs. However, their knowledge of Wild West living was limited, and as such, many things about their culture had to be improvised to 'fill in the blanks'. The concepts of steampunk and Weird West were utilized throughout its run.
The series focuses on trying to keep justice in the frontier territory. The lawbreakers were too much for the corrupt regulators of Cowtown - Mayor Bulloney and Sheriff Terrorbull - to handle by themselves. Helping them out, whether they wanted it or not, were a group of peacekeepers known as C.O.W. Boys, short for "Code of the West." Led by bull Marshal Moo Montana, the C.O.W. Boys also included the Dakota Dude and the Cowlorado Kid. The muscle-bound Marshal and his deputies had their hands full with various ruffians and outlaw gangs that plagued the otherwise peaceful town.
Marshal Moo Montana (voiced by Pat Fraley) — Leader of the C.O.W.-Boys and marshall of Moo Mesa. Courageous and quick on his hooves, Moo Montana "battles the bad guys and makes the West a safer place to graze." He lives by the Code of the West, which he seems to make up as he goes along ("The Big Cow Wow"). His horse's name is Cyclone.
The Dakota Dude (voiced by Jim Cummings) — The soft-spoken muscle of Montana's posse, Dakota possesses a cool temperament and rarely gets mad, even in near-death experiences ("Dances with Bulls"). Dakota agreed to marry Cowlamity Kate in "Wedding Bull Blues" to save her father's inheritance. His horse's name is Rebel.
The Cowlorado Kid (voiced by Jeff Bennett) — The youngest of the group and a self-proclaimed ladies' man with a good singing voice, regardless of his skill with the lasso and guitar. Cowlorado isn't a deputy yet. In "Stolen on the River", he tries to prove he's worthy of being a deputy by catching Five Card Cud only to get in trouble and be rescued by Dakota and Moo. His horse's name is Jezebel.
Lily Bovine (voiced by Charity James) — Lily is a bartender, former showgirl and owner of the local saloon, The Tumbleweed. Also Moo Montana's love interest. Her best friend is Cowlamity Kate.
Cody Calf (voiced by Troy Davidson) — Nicknamed "Calf-Pint" by Moo and his posse, he idolizes the marshall and hopes to be a lawcow himself when he grows up. He is apparently related to Lily Bovine in some way and lives with her, though he does not appear to be her son; like everyone else, he refers to her as "Miss Lily". Though well-meaning, he often gets himself into serious trouble trying to "help" the lawcows, but has also been a useful asset on several occasions.
Cowlamity Kate Cudster (voiced by Kay Lenz) — Kate is the tomboyish rancher and operator of the highly profitable Golden Cud Mine. She's as hard-working and hard-riding as any bull, and has enough skill with a lasso to put Cowlorado to shame. She returns Dakota's romantic feelings and she gave him the hat he wears and nearly married him in "Wedding Bull Blues". Her name is a play on that of the famous Wild West heroine, Calamity Jane.
J.R. (voiced by Michael Horse) — An Indian buffalo who occasionally aids Moo, Dakota, and Cowlorado when the situation calls for it. He tends to ramble about the scientific principles of his inventions, which the cowboys don't want to listen to.
Mayor Oscar Bulloney (voiced by Michael Greer) — The greedy and corrupt mayor of Cowtown in Moo Mesa, Bulloney rigs elections ("Stolen on the River") and makes taxes so high that the Masked Bull compares it to stealing. He also serves as Cowtown's crooked Justice of the Peace and Bank President.
Sheriff Terrorbull (voiced by Joe Piscopo) — Selected by the corrupt Bulloney, Terrorbull uses his sheriff's badge to conceal his evil intentions. He was forced to leave Cowtown after losing a bet to Moo in "No Face To Hide". Subsequently, he became sheriff of the remote town of Lonesome Gulch, where he continued his unlawful exploits.
Saddle Sore (voiced by Jim Cummings) — A scorpion, and one of Sheriff Terrorbull's comically inept henchmen. He is slightly smarter and braver than Boot Hill Buzzard, but only slightly.
Boot Hill Buzzard (voiced by Danny Mann) — Sheriff Terrorbull's other comically inept henchman. As the more dim-witted of the two, he is often saddled with more than his fair share of the grunt work, especially if the job involves something embarrassing or unappealing such as cross-dressing. His name is taken from an old west slang term for a graveyard.
Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa has a total of 26 episodes spread over 2 seasons that were produced from September 1992 to December 1993.
Comic Series Adaptation
Archie Comics released both a mini-series and regular series of Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa comic books. The first issue of the mini-series came with an exclusive pull-out wanted poster available only through the direct sales market. Three issues of both the mini-series (December 1992, January and February 1993) and the regular series (March, May and July 1993) were released.
The C.O.W.-Boys made their TMNT universe debut when they teamed up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in issue #21 of the Mirage Studios title "Tales of the TMNT." The TMNT aided the C.O.W.-Boys in stopping Sheriff Terrorbull from stealing a magic crystal shard.
Moo Montana and his deputies returned in number 32 of the Tales of the TMNT series. This time the horned heroes come up against Savanti Romero and the Eye of Aga-Moo-Tu. The story takes place in the astral realm of Bov-gamesh and introduces the character Tsou-T'an-Jin an ancient sorceress tortoise that lives on Moo Mesa. A special event exclusive edition of this issue was sold at a one-day event on March 31, 2007 at the Wayne Center for the Arts in Wooster, Ohio. It differs from the regular release because of its alternative cover by Andre Ponce, Ryan Brown and Steve Lavigne. It also has a special message from the arts center on the inside front cover.
The C.O.W.-Boys make their third appearance with the ninja turtles in the November 2008 issue of Tales of the TMNT. The story concluded in Tales of the TMNT #58 printed in May 2009.