Wednesday, March 7, 2018


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 136th installment of my “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” columns.

The Rawhide Kid #149 [January 1979] has a new cover by Gene Colan with inks by Bob McLeod. The cover kind of sort of depicts a scene from the story, save that the startled individual by the campfire is much younger inside the comic.

This issue reprints “The Young Gun” (14 pages) from Rawhide Kid #97 [March 1972]. The cover to that issue was pencilled by Larry Lieber and inked by Bill Everett. The story was written and pencilled by Larry Lieber with inks by George Roussos. I wrote about this story on July 27, 2016 and you can read that column here.

The inside front cover is the ad for that Amazing Energized Spider-Man that ran in the previous issue! The thirteen-and-a-half inches tall toy came from Remco and the company also offered an energized Green Goblin. Also repeated: a full-page subscription ads offering savings on Marvel’s top titles. If you ordered five subscriptions, you got a free sub for Star Wars.
Simon & Schuster has a full-page ad proclaiming “1979 Heralds a New Year of Marvel Greatness!” The volumes offered: Marvel’s Greatest Super-Hero Battles, The Mighty World of Marvel Pin-Up Book, Marvel Mazes, the Silver Surfer graphic novel by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, The Incredible Hulk Calendar, The Incredible Hulk and others.

There are two pages of classified advertisements. There are 25 ads from mail-order comic-book dealers, the regular ad for 3 mil comics storage bags at three bucks per hundred, and a large-ish for “The world’s biggest and best comic convention.” Given the ad was placed by Adam Malin, I’m guessing this event was the first or, at least, an early Creation con.
Clark Bars has a half-page ad for “The Famous Clark Bar Superhero Posters!” Your choices are Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, the Hulk, Captain America, Shazam, Thor or Wonder Woman. These posters were  $2.75 apiece with six wrappers from any famous Clark or Holloway candy. That’s six wrappers for each poster. That’s also a whole lot of candy to consume.

The Heroes World ad is a Star Wars special pitching dozens of cool action figures, stand-up posters and more. I’ve scanned and posted this ad at a large size, but I think you’ll still need a magnifying glass to see all the items and how much they cost.

There are two half-page and six full-page ads in this issue.  The half-page ads are from Fun Factory (novelty items) and Grit (sell the newspaper and make $2-$10 per week). The full-page ads are for Blammo Soft ‘n SugarFree Gum; Crossman Air Guns; Safety Wing Bike Reflector in conjunction with Whoppers malted melt candy; 100 toy soldiers for $1.75; full color posters of Shaun Cassidy and other 1970s celebrities on the inside back cover; and Lego Expert Builder toys on the back cover.

There’s a half-page ad for Marvel’s full-color adaptation of Jaws 2. The magazine-size comic was written by editor Rick Marshall with art by Gene Colan and Tom Palmer. It was reproduced directly from Palmer’s hand-painted originals. Also in the magazine: an exclusive interview with Jaws 2 director Jeannot Swarc.

The full-page bare bones Pizzazz subscription ad from the previous issue is back in this issue. It offered a free six-month sub to any one of these Marvel comics: Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Captain America, Defenders, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk, Invaders, Marvel Tales, Thor or Star Wars.

The Outlaw Kid reprint comes from The Outlaw Kid #17 [May 1957]. John Severin was the cover artist.

“Fists of Steel” (4 pages) was drawn by Doug Wildey. The writer has not yet been identified. This is the second reprinting of the tale. It also appeared in Outlaw Kid #5 [April 1971]. I’m going to skip the usual spoiler warnings because, well, because there’s not much going on here that we haven’t seen before.

The Outlaw Kid is again cast as the guy who takes down bullies. In this story, its miners who come into town every Saturday and make life miserable for the citizens with their bullying and carousing. When they start shooting up a saloon, the Outlaw Kid shoots their guns out of their hands. He accepts a challenge to duke it out with the main bully. He beats him easily and then, when the others try to gun him down, again shoots the guns out of their hands. Ordered to pay for the damage they have caused, the miners mend their ways. Now the town enjoys their weekend visits.

Though the story is familiar - most of the Outlaw Kid reprints in Rawhide Kid have this same basic theme - I sort of like the notion of a masked bully-tamer. Someone should develop the idea for a new and contemporary hero. Maybe it’ll be me.

The issue’s “Bullpen Bulletins” page kicks off with Stan Lee using his “Stan’s Soapbox” column to talk about the Marvel philosophy on making comic books. It’s a subject Stan returned to on a number of occasions. The rest of the page, which you can read if you click on the image above this paragraph, is the usual less-than-thrilling plugs for upcoming projects. In the Jim Shooter era, these kinds of plugs just lack the sassy fun of editorial administrations before his reign.

This issue’s Marvel/Hostess single-page crossover is “Captain Marvel Meets the Dreadnought.” The Dreadnought is a raider ship that has hijacked the Omega Space Station’s shipment of Hostess Fruit Pies. The moral of the extremely short “story” is that it’s not right for evil to rule men’s destiny or to deprive them of their fruit pies. I dunno. I expect a more thought-provoking moral from a cosmically aware super-hero.

There are only two more issues before The Rawhide Kid ends its long run. I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff and back next Wednesday  with a new installment of “Rawhide Kid Wednesday.”

Happy trails to you, my bloggy friends.

© 2018 Tony Isabella

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