A trio of Kirby reprints from RAWHIDE KID #27 (1962) in this issue. Not sure of the inking, the first two look a little different from the usual Ayers (who the Kirby checklist has inking the last story), but I’m hardly an expert on the styles, and the reprint quality makes it even harder to judge.
“When Six-Guns Roar” is a seven-page story where the Kid takes a job at a ranch to build up a grub-stake. The ranch owner’s policy is that no-one can wear guns at the ranch, and some of the other cowpokes think that gives them an advantage, but of course the Kid can take care of himself guns or no.
The no gun policy of course makes the ranch an easy mark for some bandits, with one of the Kid’s tormentors as their inside man. The Kid is able to get loose (thanks to his small hands. No, really), get to the guns that are kept locked up and lead the others in driving off the bandits. The ranch owner learns the importance of always packing heat.
“The Man Who Caught the Kid” has the Kid on the run from the law again, this time making a five-page run for the border. The sheriff leading the pursuit can’t understand why the Kid doesn’t take advantage of several easy opportunities to ambush them. Finally, almost scott free, the Kid stops to admonish a man abusing his horse. The posse catches up to him, but the sheriff lets him go, taking in the horse-beating coyote instead.
There are some great horse-riding scenes in this story, through a variety of terrains. Really just a pleasure to look at.
“The Girl, The Gunmen, and the Apaches” is a six-pager with the kid encountering a family heading west on a stage-coach when they run into an Apache raid. The daughter is taken prisoner, and the Kid pursues, taking on Red Wolf in hand-to-hand combat. The Kid wins, but Red Wolf pursues, so the Kid starts a bison stampede. The Kid then leaves the girl to return to her family, with the usual ending of both wishing they stay together but assuming the other wouldn’t be interested. Bit of a western cliche story, but some pretty art of the girl and the Apache tribe.