Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Classics - Rawhide Kid #92

   By the early '70s, Western comics were starting to fade (with occasional attempts to revive them), and most of the comics on the stands - like this 1971 issue of Rawhide Kid, were reprints of earlier stories.

   That wasn't entirely a bad thing - it made it possible to catch up on some classic stories.

   In those days before collections and digital reprints, this was the source for such things - and this issue has some gems.

   The Rawhide Kid followed the typical mold, as a young man who's skilled at gunplay is labeled an outlaw after a misunderstanding, so he wanders the west, looking for a home.

   The issue includes two stories written by Stan Lee, drawn by Jack Kirby and inked by Dick Ayers, and one written and drawn by Larry Lieber and inked by Ayers.

   The Lee / Kirby / Ayers stories are the real gems. In the first story, the Kid goes up against a gang of outlaws set on robbing a train. It's improbable, it's somewhat silly, but it's lots of fun.

   The second story is all about the legend of the Rawhide Kid. A short, slim fighter who draws his guns with lightning speed, the Kid listens to townspeople describing the legend that has grown around his adventures. They describe him as a giant of a man. It's a fun look at the birth of tall tales.

   I'd love to see the return of the Western - there's always room for good stories, strong characters in a wild setting (and there's not much difference between the typical western setting and the post-apocalyptic setting so popular today).

   And it lends itself to almost any kind of story - romance, adventure, character study, etc.

   In the hands of a good writer and a good artist, the sky is the limit!

Grade: B+


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