Thursday, May 26, 2016


This is the second half of my “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” installment  covering Rawhide Kid Special #1 [September 1971]. I got through the first half of this 68-page, reprint special yesterday. Which brings us to...

“The Fallen Hero” (5 pages) by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers was the third and final Rawhide Kid story from issue #29 [August 1962]. With a few changes, it’s the same plot as “The Defeat of the Rawhide Kid” from issue #20 [February 1961]. This story reprinted a second time in The Mighty Marvel Western #37 [February 1975].

Rawhide rides up to a farmhouse and asks for water for him and his horse.  The farmer and his young son Davey are glad to help even a stranger.  Davey recognizes the Kid and asks for an exhibition of Rawhide’s shooting prowess.  After a brief show, the youngster asks his dad if the Kid can stay for dinner.  To Davey, the Rawhide Kid is a hero and he wants to be a famous outlaw just like him.

The Kid bullies Davey, prompting a facedown with Davey’s dad.  The Kid’s guns don’t scare the father and he proceeds to deliver unto Rawhide a righteous beatdown.  The “cowardly” Rawhide makes tracks for the wide open spaces.  But Davey’s dad knows what the Kid just did for Davey and, when Davey is old enough to understand, he will tell him what kind of a man the Rawhide Kid really is.

Rawhide pretending to be an actual outlaw was a frequent element of these short tales.  Once his stories got longer on a regular basis, I don’t think it was ever used again.

Next up is a full-page house ad for The Mighty Marvel Western #14 [September 1971] with a new cover by Herb Trimpe. This is a 68-page reprint issue featuring...

Rawhide Kid in “When the Kid went Wild” (7 pages) by Lee, Kirby and Ayers from The Rawhide Kid #30 [October 1962]

Rawhide Kid in “Riot in Railtown” (5 pages) by Lee, Kirby and Ayers and also from The Rawhide Kid #30.

Rawhide Kid in “Showdown With the Crow Mangum Gang!” (6 pages) by Lee, Kirby and Ayers and also from The Rawhide Kid #30.

“Return of the Outlaw!” (4 pages), a non-series story by Stan Lee and artist Syd Shores originally published in Kid Colt Outlaw #67 [December 1956] and also reprinted in The Rawhide Kid #31 (December 1962]. 
Kid Colt Outlaw in “The Snake Tattoo!” (5 pages) with art by Jack Keller and originally published in Kid Colt Outlaw #67.

Kid Colt Outlaw in “The Plundered Stage” (5 pages) with art by Jack Keller and originally published in Kid Colt Outlaw #67.

Kid Colt Outlaw in “The Dude” (5 pages) with art by Jack Keller and originally published in Kid Colt Outlaw #67.

“Dance, Or Draw, Tenderfoot!” (4 pages) by Lee, Kirby and Ayers and originally published in Two Gun Kid #54 [June 1960].

Two-Gun Kid in “Be Outta Town Before Noon, Kid!” (7 page) by Stan Lee and John Severin and likewise from Two Gun Kid #54. The Two-Gun Kid tales in this issue are all reprinted from the pre-masked hero era of the character when he was a singing cowboy who traveled the West. I am not making this up. For these reprints, the production department would redraw the singing cowboy to look like the masked hero.

The above was followed by a full-page “Two-Gun Kid Pin-Up Page” by Lee and Severin. The copy proclaimed the page showed the lightning draw of the Kid “thru the magic of our artist's pen." The page was also from Two Gun Kid #54.

Two-Gun Kid in “ The Two-Gun Kid, Murderer!” (5 pages) by Lee and Severin. It’s also from Two-Gun Kid #54. The GCD indexer notes that “the court generously allows the Kid to keep his mask on during his murder trial.” Of course, in the original publication of the tale, the Kid would not have been wearing a mask.

Back to the Rawhide Kid stories...

“The Trail of Apache Joe” (7 pages) leads with a great splash page of a barroom bully terrorizing the patrons of said establishment. Rawhide sends the bully running, but, while the other patrons are thanking him, the town’s elderly sheriff gets the drop on the Kid. The sheriff offers his prisoner a deal: bring in the dreaded Apache Joe and the lawman will use his influence with the governor to get the Kid a full pardon.  The highly-motivated Kid does just that in a short-but-exciting action sequence.  But, when he brings Apache Joe in, he learns the old sheriff has passed away without telling the new sheriff about their deal.  Rawhide manages to escape, but there’s still a price on his head.

This story is also from Rawhide Kid #29, was reprinted again in The Mighty Marvel Western #36 [December 1974] and is also by Lee, Kirby and Ayers. It’s likely Lee and Kirby co-plotted it and their other stories in this special, but, absent “I was in the room when they did it” evidence, we can’t know for sure. Me, I just love the whole of the parts.

The Marvel Bullpen Bulletins page follows the “Apache Joe” story. It’s the same one that was in Rawhide Kid #90 [August 1971].

The special concludes with two Rawhide Kid stories from Rawhide Kid #28 [June 1962]. Both are by Lee, Kirby and Ayers.

In “The Guns of Jasker Jelko” (6 pages), the Kid hides from lawmen at a carnival. Star attraction Jelko is a bully and thief.  Rawhide catches him robbing the carnival and outguns him. The best thing about it is the gag at the end of the story as the Kid walks away into the distance.

SLIM: Say, Sheriff! There’s the hombre who caught Jelko!  There’s only one gun in the West could beat Jelko! And that’s...

SHERIFF: Yeah! I know, but he ain’t the one!

SLIM: How can you be sure?

SHERIFF: Heck, Slim! He don’t look nothin’ like -— Annie Oakley!

This story got a second reprinting in The Mighty Marvel Western #41 [September 1975].

“When a Gunslinger Gets Mad” (5 pages) is the final Rawhide story in the special.  It’‘s hilarious.  The Kid orders milk in a saloon. Bullies get in his face.  Brawl breaks out and Rawhide mops up the floor with the creeps.  Cut to “a short time later” when a cowboy comes in for a drink in the trashed establishment.

COWBOY: Hey, Fatso! Gimme a drink!

BARKEEP: What kind of drink?

COWBOY: Huh?  Rotgut, of course! What else?!!

BARKEEP: Rotgut!!

The barkeep punches the cowboy in the face.

BARKEEP: That’s what I thought you said!

The barkeep pours a glass of milk.

BARKEEP: Rotgut is for pipsqueaks!  We only serve men here!

Seated at what may be the only chair and table left standing, the Kid thanks the barkeep for the milk.

RAWHIDE: Much obliged, mister!

BARKEEP: Likewise, son!

Me? I wonder if people really asked for “rotgut” in the Old West or anywhere else.  Was it a brand name?  If it wasn’t, it should be. Maybe there should also be a Diet Rotgut for when you want to get really sick without gaining weight.

This story was reprinted again in The Mighty Marvel Western #40 [August 1975].

That’s the big finish for this special two-day edition of “Rawhide Kid Wednesday.” If all goes as planned, I’ll be back tomorrow with updates on my appearance schedule and my Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales. See you then.

© 2016 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. As far as I can tell, "rotgut" dates to the early 1600s; several websites give 1633 as the earliest known use. It was always a negative term, not something that people would ask for unless they were being ironic.