Kirby’s contributions to the interiors in the Marvel westerns dropped off in early 1963, after all the super-hero books were launched, with just a few short bits after that. He stayed as the artist as most of the covers until mid-1965, though. This is the last issue of KID COLT OUTLAW to have a new Kirby cover, and he went out with a bang, pitting KC against over a dozen fully rendered bad guys.
No agreement on the inker of this one. Dick Ayers is sometimes credited, but that doesn’t seem to fit. The GCD entry has apparently had Ayers, Jim Mooney and Carl Hubbell at various times. Don’t think I know of any credited examples of the latter two inking Kirby to compare, and 1965 seems a bit early for Mooney to be inking at Marvel, since he was artist on Supergirl for a while.
After drawing the stories for the first few issues of new new version of the Two-Gun Kid, Kirby went to just covers for the series with this issue, along with his most frequent western inker at Marvel, Dick Ayers. This is a pretty effective example of the sometimes tricky use of panel art to tell a mini-story on a cover.
So, assuming that gun falling away is Kid Colt’s, and there appears to be one in his holster, plus the one in his hand… How many guns did this guy need, anyway? I thought the Two-Gun Kid was being excessive.
Nice little Kirby/Ayers cover, although the Marvel age of hype was clearly in full force by this time, and is a bit distracting.
Here’s a nice bold, in-your-face western cover by Kirby and Chic Stone. The Kid’s pose is nicely confident and ready for action.
This issue has a reprint of the 7-page Kirby/Ayers story “Trapped by the Bounty Hunter”. RAWHIDE KID #26 . The Kid is nervous around town, knowing a bounty hunter is after him but not knowing who it is. Leaving town, he falls for the oldest trick in the book, an hombre pretendin’ to be thirsty for some water.
While taking him in, the bounty hunter gets ambushed by some outlaws. The Kid of course won’t let them kill the hunter in cold blood, and saves his captor, earning his freedom and a promise that the bounty hunter will quit his job.
The Kid sure did end up making a lot of friends in his time on the run. You’d figure a couple of them might have been able to help him clear his name or something. Anyway, nice little story with some good western gunplay.
The Kirby/Ayers cover to this issue is also from RAWHIDE KID #26.
Typical day on the range for Kid Colt…
That horse must get so sick of this after a while. Catch train, get shot at, have the Kid jump off at full gallop…
A nice little Kirby/Ayers cover.
I love the figure of Grizzly Grogan on this cover, a great rough and cruel Kirby villain type that he refined over the years until we got the likes of Kalibak a decade later.
Inks on this cover by Dick Ayers.
Doesn’t look like Kid Colt is the most popular guy in Gila Pass. But the Kid has fear? A thousand times no! (sorry, been watching a lot of TV recently…)
Dick Ayers inks over Kirby on this cover.
Here’s a nice later western cover from Kirby, with a great feeling of some invisible weight coming down on Kid Colt as mentioned in the dialogue, and a nice worried look on his face. I also really like the inking on the villain of the piece. This one is inked by Paul Reinman.
You’d think by 1959 a comic book publisher could have figured out how to put the comics code stamp on a cover without making it look like the book is called GUNSMOKB WESTERN, wouldn’t you?
Anyway, another of Kirby’s covers early on his return to Marvel, featuring two characters he didn’t draw interiors for but drew on a lot of covers. Split covers like this always look a bit cramped, but in this case I like how it emphasizes the tall, lanky look of Earp and the crowding of the group around Kid Colt.
Inking on this one is credited to Chris Rule.