MARVEL MILESTONES: RAWHIDE KID & TWO-GUN KIDGreat stuff, to be sure. It's also clearly aimed at trying ramp up interest in Dan Slott and Eduardo Barreto's upcoming Two-Gun Kid story, "Tooth and Claw."
Written by STAN LEE
Penciled by JACK KIRBY & DON HECK
Cover by JACK KIRBY
Is the Rawhide Kid really a cold-blooded killer? Why do they fear his guns from Abiline to Tombstone? See how the Kid became an “outlaw” in RAWHIDE KID #17 (August 1960). Plus: What is the strange secret of Matt Hawk? Find out in TWO-GUN KID #60 (November 1962).
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: RAWHIDE KID VOL. 1
Written by STAN LEE
Penciled by JACK KIRBY, DON HECK, DICK AYERS & PAUL REINMAN
Cover by JACK KIRBY
Saddle up, buckaroos! It’s time for the Marvel Masterworks to tame the wild, wild West with the one and only Rawhide Kid! Back before Stan “The Man” and “King” Kirby spun stories of sensational super heroes, they told the tale of a young man who bore two Colt six-shooters and his mission to bring law to the American frontier. After his Uncle Ben Bart was killed at the hands of outlaws, Johnny Bart made it his personal mission to bring justice to the town of Rawhide. Packed full of shootouts and showdowns, renegades and rustlers, guns and girls galore, these Western yarns will be sure to please you in the Mighty Marvel Manner! We guarantee you won’t be able to hold on to your ten-gallon hat when you read the tale of the Terrible Totem, the Kid’s battle against the bank robbing Bat, and the war with Wolf Waco! Lasso your copy today, True Believer!
Collecting RAWHIDE KID #17-25.
What strikes me as disappointing, though, is that they're reprinting early Silver Age stories, and completely skipping over the Golden Age stuff. Note in particular that the Masterworks book reprints Rawhide Kid #17-25. The first sixteen issues came out several years prior to those. The book was cancelled for low sales, but brought back when Westerns started becoming en vogue again.
Now, to be fair, the stories in those first sixteen issues featured a character who bore little resemblence to the one we grew to know later and trying to sell two different characters with the same name at the same time could be confusing. Except that DC has been doing exactly that with their Archive books for several years now. They have Golden and Silver Age books for Flash, Green Lantern, Superman, Batman... They do have more material to work with, as their characters were certainly bigger and more popular at the time than Marvel's, but I think this is just indicative of the company's two stances. DC seems more willing/able to continue to promote their older material while maintaining their dedication to producing new material. Marvel -- with the exception of a few editors -- seems more keen to cut most of their ties to the past and simply look at what the next big thing might be.
I find that approach somewhat disappointing. As a company policy, Marvel seems more interested in whatever flash-in-the-pan fad might come available next. And while that was certainly how Martin Goodman ran the company back in the day, it wasn't until they stopped jumping on every bandwagon and ran with the superhero genre that they started to really make their mark as a company. I don't want to pin this current approach solely on Joe Quesada's shoulders, but DC is proving that there is a viable business model for publishing new AND old material. I don't think there should be really all that much guesswork involved on Marvel's part. Yes, it would require some upfront capital to print large stocks of books and keep them in circulation for several years, but Marvel's not in the painful financial position it was ten years ago when they first started actively rejecting the idea. Put out a little cash and really go to town with the Masterworks. Let's see more Golden Age Captain America and Sub-Mariner. Let's see more Golden Age Westerns and romances and monsters and every other genre they tried.