Public Domain Super Heroes
Calamity Kate
Calamity kate.jpg

Real Name

Patricia Layne/Wentworth

First Appearance

The Westerner Comics #26 (April 1950)

Original Publisher


Created by

Bernie Kriegstein


Patricia Layne was the owner of the Lazy Bar M ranch and daughter of the late Michael Layne. Layne was a sheriff before he was killed after discovering the plot of his deputy Jed Brady and bank owner John Olsen. The two were deliberately robbing Olsen's own bank's money using fake stage coach robberies and then collecting money from the insurance company.

After her father's death, Patricia becomes the masked vigilante called Calamity Kate and with help from her ranch foreman Jim Mansing staged her own robberies to prevent Olsen and Brady from continuing their scam and turn them against each other by making them think one of them was Calamity Kate's accomplice.

Olsen recruits Wild Bill Pecos and Nuggets Nugent to guard the next stage coach as insurance-appointed guardsmen. However, their guns were loaded with blanks to sabotage their efforts and Calamity Kate gets away with the loot. As she escaped however, Bill noticed that she wore a topaz ring which led to him discovering her identity after Patricia Layne helps him fight off some thugs hired by Olsen to frame Pecos as Calamity Kate's accomplice.

Olsen and Brady then set a trap by rigging a chest with dynamite to take care of Calamity Kate once and for all, but Bill and Nuggets save her before the explosives detonated. Kate then explains her plans and motivations for the fake robberies in order to capture the men who murdered her father.

The group then sets their own trap for the crooks by sending them a telegraph saying Kate knew were they had hid the money. Olsen and Brady rush to their secret hiding place only to discover nothing was missing, but also that Wild Bill and Calamity Kate had followed them. The heroes then turn Olsen and Brady into the Federal Marshall.

Wild Bill managed to convince Patricia Layne to continue her crusade against outlaws as Calamity Kate and she agreed to keep wearing the mask. Some of the outlaws she brought to justice included the Gaucho Kid and Waco Johnny.

Public Domain Appearances

  • The Westerner Comics #26-33


  • In issue 26, her name was Patricia Layne, but it was changed to Wentworth in issue 27 only to be changed back in the following issue.
  • Calamity Kate was most likely inspired by real-life western legend Calamity Jane.

See Also