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Rawhide Kid #1-151 (March 1955 - May 1979; # 119-151 Reprints).

Rawhide Kid 17The Rawhide Kid debuted in a 16-issue series (March 1955-Sept. 1957) from Marvel's 1950s predecessor, Atlas Comics. Most of the covers from the series were produced by highly acclaimed artists, generally either Joe Maneely or John Severin, but also Russ Heath and Fred Kida. Interior art for the first five issues was by Bob Brown, with Dick Ayers on the reins thereafter.

After a hiatus, the Rawhide Kid was revamped for what was now Marvel Comics by writer Stan Lee, penciler Jack Kirby and inker Dick Ayers. Continuing the Atlas numbering with issue #17 (Aug. 1960), the title now featured a diminutive yet confident, soft-spoken fast gun constantly underestimated by bullying toughs, varmints, owlhoots, polecats, crooked saloon owners and other archetypes squeezed through the prism of Lee & Kirby's anarchic imagination. As in the outsized, exuberantly exaggerated action of the later-to-come World War II series Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos, The Rawhide Kid was now a freewheeling romp of energetic, almost slapstick action across cattle ranches, horse troughs, corrals, canyons and swinging chandeliers. Stringently moral, the Kid nevertheless showed a gleeful pride in his shooting and his acrobatic fight skills — never picking arguments but constantly forced to surprise lummoxes far bigger than he.Rawhide Kid 25

Through retcon, bits of and pieces of the Atlas and Silver Age characters' history meshed, so that the unnamed infant son of settlers the Clay family, orphaned by a Cheyenne raid, was raised by Texas Ranger Ben Bart on a ranch near Rawhide, Texas. Older brother Frank Clay, captured by Indians, eventually escaped and became a gambler, while eldest brother Joe Clay became sheriff of the town of Willow Flats; neither were in the regular cast, and each died in a guest appearance. Shortly after Johnny's 18th birthday, Ben Bart was murdered; Johnny, an almost preternaturally fast and accurate gunman, wounded the killers and left them to be taken into custody. A later misunderstanding between the Kid and a sheriff over a cattle rustler the Kid wounded in self-defense led to the hero's life as a fugitive.

Kirby continued as penciler through #32 (Feb. 1963), while helping to launch the Fantastic Four, the Hulk and other iconic characters of the "Marvel revolution". He drew covers through issue #47. Issues #33-35 were drawn by EC Comics veteran Jack Davis - some of the last color comics he would draw before gaining fame at the black-and-white, satirical comics magazine Mad. After several issues by Ayers, followed by a single issue by longtime Kid Colt artist Jack Keller, Larry Lieber, Lee's writer brother, began his long run as the seires' writer-artist. Lieber said in 1999:

Larry LieberI don't remember why I wanted to do it, particularly. I think I wanted a little more freedom. I didn't do enough of the superheroes to know whether I'd like them. What I didn't prefer was the style that was developing. It didn't appeal to me....Maybe there was just too much humor in it, or too much something. ... I remember, at the time, I wanted to make everything serious. I didn't want to give a light tone to it. When I did Rawhide Kid, I wanted people to cry as if they were watching High Noon or something. . . . I'm a little unclear about leaving the superheroes and going to Rawhide Kid. I know that at the time I wanted — what's the expression? — a little space for myself or something, and I wanted to do a little drawing again.

As superheroes become increasingly ascendant and sales of all companies' Western titles dropped, The Rawhide Kid became primarily a reprint title, though often bearing new covers by such top artists as Gene Colan, Gil Kane and Paul Gulacy. It ended publication with issue #151 (May 1979). This initial volume of the series included single annual publication, cover-titled Rawhide Kid King-Size Special (Sept. 1971).

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Rawhide Kid 75