Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Mighty Marvel (Western Week Part II) Moment

Check out this stunning cover by legendary Spider-Man artist "Jazzy" John Romita from Mighty Marvel Western #30. Romita provides both pencils and inks on this classic gunfight cover which prominently features the Rawhide Kid shooting down a gang of ornery owlhoots who have run afoul of the Kid.

Marvel published the adventures of many cowboy characters during their long history (whether as Timely, Atlas or Marvel), beginning way back in the golden age of comics. A short list of their western stable includes: Rawhide Kid, Kid Colt, Two-Gun Kid, Apache Kid, Ringo Kid, Matt Slade, the original Ghost Rider, Red Wolf, and, well - you get the picture.

In the year 2000, Marvel released a mini-series featuring some of these characters in a last hurrah-type sendoff. Blaze of Glory (and it's subsequent follow-up, Apache Skies) featured a dark and violent updating of Marvel's classic western heroes, primarily the Two-Gun Kid, the Rawhide Kid, Kid Colt and the Outlaw Kid. In contrast to characters' standard looks until then, Blaze of Glory depicted them as grizzled, weather-beaten cowboys and gunfighters, wearing less stylized, but more historically appropriate outfits than their classic ones. In fact, Blaze of Glory specifically retconned that the naively clean-cut Marvel Western stories of years past were merely dime novel fictions of the characters' actual lives.

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