That’s a really nice horse there on the cover of this western cover, one of the last handful Kirby of western image would draw at Marvel. Chic Stone inks, and makes me wish he had inked at least one Kirby western story in this era, just to see what it would be like.
Three Kirby/Ayers stories and one cover reprinted from 1962 in this issue.
The cover and lead story are from RAWHIDE KID #30. “When the Kid Went Wild” features a favourite plot device of comics of that era, the hypnotist (there were a lot in the super-hero books). The hypnotist in question is Spade Desmond, who comes to town and uses his powers to get free drinks and embarrass people. When the guns come out he’s too distracted to use his powers, so the Kid helps him out. Desmond is pretty ungrateful, though, and decides to bring the Kid under his powers.
I love that middle panel. Those Kirby extreme close-ups are always fun, and this one especially so. He uses the Kid’s reputation to do some robbing, until finally he tries to force the Kid to cross the one line he refuses to.
The other two stories are from RAWHIDE KID #27, “The Man Who Caught the Kid” and “The Girl, The Gunmen, and the Apaches”, which I talked about from a prior reprint. A good variety of the types of adventures the Kid encounters in this issue.
A Kirby/Rule (*) cover for this western cover. I really like that foreground indian with the bow-and-arrow, and I like the way the block-out colouring works with this design, and how all those design elements (arrow, gun, hand) lead the eye to KC.
(*)possibly George Klein, see comments
Interestingly, this came out the same month as HULK #3, which also featured a “Circus of Crime”. It would be curious to find out exactly what order these were done in. I assume some, but not all, of Kirby’s cover-only jobs in this early era were done before any interior work on the issue (thus providing springboards for the stories and character designs). And of course another version of the Ringmaster was a golden age villain for Captain America.
Dick Ayers inks on this cover.
Another late-period western cover by Kirby, inked by Sol Brodsky according to the GCD.
A nice cover, but do you ever wonder if those western stars at both DC and Marvel get together and talk about how in their early days it was so simple, they’d fight outlaws and indians, and then in later years started encountering aliens and dinosaurs and magic boomerangs.
A 6-page Kirby/Ayers reprint titled “Trapped by Dead-Eye Dawson” from RAWHIDE KID #31 (1962) leads off this issue. Really odd splash page with an extreme close-up of Dawson with the Kid reflecting in his eyes. The story had Dawson, a special deputy, hoping to make his reputation by bringing in the Kid. He also travels with his young son, Peter. The Kid attempts to flee before Dawson can get together a posse, but winds up in a shoot-out.
In the end the Kid only has one bullet, and uses it to save Peter from a rattlesnake, earning a pass out of town from Dawson. You’d think with all these lawmen who wind up having their lives or those of loved ones saved by the Kid every month one of them would put in a good word to get his outlaw status changed.
Lovely riding and shoot-out scenes in a fast-paced little story.
Boy, there’s nothing but trouble in Dodge for Wyatt, easily the best dressed of the western stars of Marvel. Christopher Rule is the attributed inker of this one from the Kirby Checklist, but as usual those credits are open to debate. I don’t see some of the signs that other Rule-attributed covers have on this one.
Another Kirby/Ayers western cover.
I especially like faces of the leads on this cover. Drawn very small, but very clear and expressive. Let’s take a closer look:
No question there about what emotion the Kid is expressing, and a great classic Kirby heroic face on the sherrif (looks a bit like Reed Richards, actually).
Here’s a nice different kind of cover from Kirby/Ayers featuring Kid Colt. Obviously not the kind of design that works if you do it every issue, but good for a change of pace, as a nice little mini-story. I especially like the posing on the third panel.
Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers supply the cover to this Marvel western. Fortunately for Kid Colt the Daltons and Ringo and the rest are notoriously bad shots, hitting walls and lights when aiming for him. Of course, you have to question KC’s logic of shooting the gavel out of Jesse James’ hand when there are people there with guns. It’s a symbolic victory, true, but hardly the best use of your first shot.
(possibly George Klein on inks, see comments)