Wednesday, June 21, 2017


RESOLVED: The Rawhide Kid is my favorite western comics character and one of my favorite comics characters period.  This is why I’ve written over a hundred columns about him. Something about his short stature, but large courage, honor and fighting skills speaks to me.  After rereading the Kid’s earliest adventures when Marvel reprinted them in a pair of Marvel Masterworks and an Essential Rawhide Kid volume, I decide to reacquire every Rawhide Kid comic, reread them and write about them. We’ve reached the title’s extended twilight.  We’ve seen the last new Rawhide Kid story that will appear in the now-bimonthly reprint series. This is the 114th installment of my “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” columns.

The Rawhide Kid #127 [July 1975] has a cover pencilled by Rawhide Kid writer and artist Larry Lieber with inks by John Tartaglione. It’s a reprint of the cover of issue #76 [May 1970], albeit with a brighter yellow background and a rearrangement of the cover copy to allow for the addition of the “Blazing Western Action As You Like It!” blurb. 

“Guns of the Bandoleros” (18 pages) is reprinted from that issue. Written and drawn by Lieber with inks by Tartaglione and lettering by Jean Izzo, it has been edited from its original 20-page length. However, it should be noted that the original story was not really 20 pages. Two of those pages were half-pages in the centerfold of the original issue, the better to squeeze two additional half-page paid ads into the comic books. Though their credits don’t appear in #127, Len Wein was the editor and Irene Vartanoff was the reprint editor of this issue.

I wrote about “Guns of the Bandoleros” almost three years ago and you can read those comments here. To make the reprinted story fit the allotted page count, Vartanoff cut page 10 of the original and combined the half-pages into one full page. Though the story still reads smoothly sans the missing page, we lose the violent passion between the Lynx and her henchman Juan that will inflame the man’s hatred of the Rawhide Kid.

The “Marvel-Hero Stick-Ons” ad from the previous issue is back in this one. Another returning full-page house ad promotes Stan Lee’s The Origins of Marvel Comics and the Mighty Marvel Calendar for 1975. I can’t recall who wrote and edited the 1975 calendar, but I got the job for the 1976 Bicentennial edition. I’ll doubtless write about that somewhere.

New this time around is a full-page Marvel merchandise ad featuring the Spider-Man, Hulk and Captain America model kits from Aurora; bendable plastic figures of Spidey, Cap, Hulk, the Lizard, Iron Man and the Green Goblin; and brightly-colored hard plastic figures of Spidey, Hulk, Iron Man, Cap, Daredevil and Thor. The Aurora models were $3.39 each, the bendables were $3.98 each and the hard-plastic figures were a set of all six for $4.18.

The “Marvel Bullpen Bulletins” page kicked off with another “Stan Lee’s Soapbox” column, this one promoting Marvel’s Classic Comics adaptations of classic novels, Stan speaking at Penn State, and a sequel to Origins of Marvel Comics.

The first news item spoke of legendary producer George Pal coming to the Marvel officers to be interviewed about his forthcoming Doc Savage movie for the premiere issue of Marvel’s black-and-white Doc Savage magazine. The interview was conducted by Chris Claremont and Jim Harmon.

The second item has Herb Trimpe penciling War Is Hell, written by Chris Claremont. Also mentioned: a guest appearance of the Phantom Eagle, a World War I character co-created by Trimpe, in Ghost Rider #12. I wrote the Ghost Rider story, but, alas, I didn’t receive a shout-out in the item.

The third item reported that Bob Brown would be drawing the Thing team-ups in Marvel Two-In-One.

The fourth item told of other moves. Steve Gerber would be the new editor of Crazy magazine. Marv Wolfman was launching his new Skull the Slayer comic-book title. Don McGregor would be the new writer of Luke Cage, Power Man. Chris Claremont would be the new writer of Iron Fist.

The final item was a plug for FOOM aks Friends of Ol’ Marvel. The ninth issue of the fan club magazine would feature a cover by Jim Starlin. Membership in the fan club was a mere $2.50

This issue’s Hostess comics ad had Captain Marvel battling Nitro. To save the world, the Kree super-hero drops a shit-ton of Hostess Twinkies on his explosive foe, more than enough to last Nitro and his henchmen for a month. Drawn by Ross Andru, the page teaches us the important lesson that...”You get a big delight in every bite of Hostess Twinkies!” Can I get an “amen?”

The final editorial page in this issue is a full-page house ad for Marvel t-shirts. You could order shirts featuring Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man and the Hulk. Cost was $4.45 per shirt for “man-size” shirts or $3 for “boy-size” shirts. Because, as we all know, women and girls don’t read comic books.

That’s all for this week’s “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” presentation. I will be back tomorrow with other stuff. See you then.

© 2017 Tony Isabella


  1. Could you possibly tell us your top 10 favorite rawhide kid issues ?
    Any favorite two-gun issues ?
    Jonah Hex ?

  2. Good ideas. But it'll be a while before I can get to them.