Wednesday, July 12, 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 116th installment of my “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” columns.  

The Rawhide Kid #129 [October 1975] has a cover by Larry Lieber and inker John Tartaglione. It’s an altered reprint of the cover of The Rawhide Kid #57 [April 1967]. Most of the alterations were done to confirm to the current Marvel trade dress. Others were editorial in nature. Dialogue was added and the coloring was somewhat brighter.

“When the Scorpion Strikes” was written and penciled by Lieber and inked by Tartaglione. I first wrote about this issue in June, 2013, and you can read my comments here.

At this time, Rawhide Kid was almost editing itself. The reprinted stories were being reprinted in order. They were the 17-page length then standard for Marvel comic books, which meant no pages had to be cut to make them fit.    

There is a slight increase in comics-related “classified” ads. Last issue had twelve. This issue has fourteen. Because the ad-selling agency Marvel uses was slightly more successful this time around, there were fewer Marvel house ads. Only two.

The Marvel Treasury Edition ad we saw last time out is exactly as it was last time out with the same six issues. The subscription ad that has appeared before is back and offering the following titles:

Amazing Adventures
Amazing Spider-Man
Astonishing Tales
Captain America
Captain Marvel
Chamber of Chills
Conan the Barbarian
Crypt of Shadows
Dr. Strange
Fantastic Four
Ghost Rider
Guardians of the Galaxy
Incredible Hulk
Iron Fist
Iron Man
Journey into Mystery
Jungle Action
Kid Colt Outlaw
Marvel Chillers
Marvel Double Feature
Marvel’s Greatest Comics
Marvel Premiere
Marvel Spectacular
Marvel Spotlight
Marvel Superheroes
Marvel Tales
Marvel Team-Up
Marvel Triple Action
Marvel Two-In-One
Master of King Fu
Mighty Marvel Western
My Love
Our Love Story
Power Man
Rawhide Kid
Son of Satan
Strange Tales
Supernatural Thrillers
Super-Villain Team-Up
The Defenders
The Human Torch
The Outlaw Kid
The Mighty Thor
Tomb of Darkness
Tomb of Dracula
Two-Gun Kid
Uncanny Tales
Vault of Evil
Weird Wonder Tales
Werewolf by Night
Western Gunfighters
Marvel Treasury Edition
Savage Sword of Conan
Planet of the Apes
Marvel Movie Premiere
Thor the Mighty
The Legion of Monsters
Marvel Super Action
Sherlock Holmes
Doc Savage
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu
Science Fiction
Marvel Preview
Kull and the Barbarians

If some of those titles don’t look quite right to you, you are not alone in that. The Scarecrow never got his own title, but appeared in some other title for an issue or two.

On the magazine side, Science Fiction was actually Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction. Thor the Mighty, Starlord, and Sherlock Holmes never got their own titles, but appeared in Marvel Preview. There was a Legion of Monsters title, but it ended up being a one-shot. Times were tough.

The only other editorial page in this issue is the Marvel Bullpen Bulletins page which kicks off with the usual “Stan Lee’s Soapbox” feature. Stan’s lead is Jack Kirby’s return to Marvel, commencing with the Marvel Treasury Edition of 2001: A Space Odyssey and King Kirby’s return to Captain America, which I was writing at the time. Stan also plugged Son of Origins of Marvel Comics and teased about a Silver Surfer graphic novel reunited him and Jack on their first comics project in years. Jack joined Stan on a panel at the Mighty Marvel Con and a good time was had by all.

Much to my surprise, the first item after Stan’s piece was a plug for the Champions series I was launching with Don Heck. The new comic was called the “grandest, goofiest and possibly greatest guest-star extravaganza of all”...“featuring five of our most far-out fightin’ furies ever to cross the pages of a comic mag.” There was no mention of how editors Len Wein and Marv Wolfman had shaped the roster of Angel, Black Widow, Ghost Rider, Hercules and Iceman. Instead, this was the “brainchild of TONY (the Tiger) ISABELLA.” It almost made me blush.

The second item announced the new Howard the Duck series written by Howard creator Steve Gerber and drawn by Frank Brunner.

The third item was all about the black-and-white magazines. Savage Tales was gone, but was being replaced by Marvel Super Action and Sherlock Holmes. Dracula Lives and Monsters Unleashed were kaput, but being replaced by The Legion of Monsters, Masters of Terror, Marvel Movie Premiere and Star-Lord.

Masters of Terror was edited by me and contained reprints of prose story adaptations previously published in various Marvel comics and magazines. It lasted two issues, but I’m pretty proud of those two issues. I’d hoped it would continue with a budget that would have allowed me to commission new adaptations.

Don McGregor got a shout-out for the completion of the “Panther’s Rage” serial in Jungle Action. The item also mentions that handsome artist Billy Graham has been appearing in TV commercials.

The final item told readers what a grand time by those who attended the Mighty Marvel Con. Those who didn’t attend could look forward to a con report and lots of photos in FOOM Magazine #10.   

That’s all for today. If all goes well, I’ll have something special for you tomorrow that I hope will tide you over until I return from G-Fest. See you then.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

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