Wednesday, September 6, 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 121st installment of my “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” columns.

There’s a new reprint editor in town for The Rawhide Kid #134 [July 1976]. Roger “Sterno” Stern was promoted to that position when Impish Irene Vartanoff was promoted to Reprint Production Manager. He immediately started shaking things up for the bimonthly title. Abandoning the by-the-issue-numbers approach to reprinting Rawhide Kid stories, he went with three short stories by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the writer-artist team who had created this new version of the western hero.

The Jack Kirby/Dick Ayers cover art for this issue was the same as what had appeared on Rawhide Kid #30 [October 1962} with a couple of alterations. The original cover had a striking red background and was open concept. This new version of the cover eliminated the open concept to conform to the current Rawhide Kid logo design and, in doing so, went with a black background. The cover and lead for this reprint issue was the seven-page “When the Kid Went Wild” by Lee, Kirby and Ayers, originally published in issue #30, reprinted five years earlier in Mighty Marvel Western #14 [September 1971] and now getting its third publication. I wrote about the story in June 2012, and you can read my comments here.

In choosing that cover and cover story, Marvel passed on using the arguably stronger cover of Rawhide Kid #27 [April 1962], which was also penciled by Kirby and inked by Ayers. My pure speculation as to the reason for the decision is that Marvel was beginning to show some sensitivity towards its past portrayals of Native Americans. On the other hand, it could’ve been as simple as Marvel not having a good stat of this cover. The remaining two Rawhide Kid tales are also from issue #27

The Lee/Kirby/Ayers “The Girl, the Gunman, and the Apaches!” (8 pages) had previously been reprinted in Rawhide Kid #84 [February 1971]. The five-page “The Man Who Caught the Kid!,” which was also reprinted in issue #84, was also by Lee, Kirby and Ayers. I wrote  about these two stories in May, 2012, and you can read what I wrote about them here.
The inside front cover of the issue has a full-page ad for Spalding basketballs. Other upscale advertisers include Slim Jim and Sugar Daddy, Sugar Mama, Sugar Babies and other candies from Nabisco. On the back cover is Monogram Models pushing a trio of “Hot Chevies.” On the classified ads pages, there are 17 ads for mail-order comics dealers, up one from last issue.

Before we get to any actual Marvel house ads, there’s an ad for a Spider-Man ring that “actually changes color.” It’s your basic mood ring and costs $3.99 postpaid.

The first Marvel house ad is a full-pager hawking Marvel T-Shirts. There are six shirts: Captain America, Fantastic Four, Thor, Hulk, Spider-Man and...Stan Lee! The man-size shirts cost $3.99. The boy-size shirts cost $3.39. There are no girl-sized or woman-sized t-shirts available. Women had not yet been invented.

The half-page “Mighty Marvel Checklist” plugged titles released the same week as this issue of Rawhide Kid. They were: Incredible Hulk #201, Power Man #33, Defenders #37,  Avengers #149, Jungle Action #22, Omega the Unknown #3 and Conan #64. The rest of the page was a half-page ad for Crazy, “the magazine that dares to be dumb” and also “America’s answer to the bubonic plague!”
Doctor Doom was featured in a half-page house ad, extorting readers to subscribe to FOOM and “become a Friend of Ol’ Marvel.” The four-dollar membership included four issues of the fan club’s magazine.

This brings us to the “Marvel Bullpen Bulletins” page. This issue’s “Stan Lee’s Soapbox” is plugs and thanks. Stan touts “Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero.” It’s a record album. His follow-up plug is for John Buscema’s New York City art class. Finally, the Man thanks the recent MiamiCon for inviting him there and showing him a good time.

The first “news” item is about the Marvel Value Stamps, which were evil incarnate. Even if the second set was conceived by my friend Paty. They were still evil incarnate.

Item the second plugs the Captain America Annual by Jack Kirby and the Master of Kung Fu Annual by Devil-May-Care Doug Moench and - I am not making this up - Keith “Punch-‘Em-Up” Pollard. Oh, I am so looking forward to the next time I see my pal Keith at a comics convention.

Item the third announces Chris Claremont leaving the Bullpen to be a full-time writer. His replacements: Jim Shooter and the afore-mentioned Roger Stern. This item also announced the promotions of Stern and Vartanoff.

Item the fourth. Artist Larry Hama was playing three separate roles  in Broadway’s Pacific Overtures. Larry also had a memorable guest spot on TV’s M*A*S*H, but that happened later.

Item the fifth. Larry Lieber was back at Marvel following his time at an editor at Atlas Comics. He was the new art director of Spidey Super Stories.

Item the sixth. Steve Englehart was working on a comics adaptation of The Prisoner. It never came out.

Item the seventh. The Invaders and Nova were going monthly.

The final item announced The Eternals, a new series by Jack Kirby. This was an interesting time for Kirby as he tried to invent what was sort of his own corner of the Marvel Universe. While I cannot speak to specifics here, it certainly seemed there were some Marvel folks not at all pleased with Jack’s well-earned independence.

There were two comic-book style ads in this issue of Rawhide Kid. “Captain America and the Red Skull” has Cap winning the Cosmic Cube over to the side of good by giving it a delicious Hostess Twinkie. Naturally, there are no tasty treats for Nazis. The page was drawn by Sal Buscema. The inker? It could be Joe Sinnott, but that’s just a gut filling...err...feeling on my part.

The second comic-book style advertisement is titled “Eagle-Eye GI Joe meets the Intruder, Strongman from Another World.” Eagle-Eye GI Joe has moving eyes, which allow him to spot the Intruder from his helicopter and then defeat the strongman with a judo throw. The ad was clearly produced by Marvel, but the art is so generic for the era that I’m simply not confident enough in my art detective skills to even guess at who drew it.

That’s it for another Wednesday with the Rawhide Kid. I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2017 Tony Isabella


  1. Tony,

    The Cap ad is inked by Frank Giacoia. G.I. Joe is possible Larry Lieber pencils and (definitely) Romita inks. I was thinking All-Romita but the figures have a Kirby-ish look which Larry was adept at (and appropriate to mention Larry on a Rawhide Kid post!)

  2. Thanks, Nick. I appreciate the information.