Issue by Issue – Rawhide Kid Vol.2 #1

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Herb Trimpe
Inker – John Severin
Colours – Marie Severin
Letters – Rick Parker

It is 1897 and the Rawhide Kid is not quite an old man but he is much older than he was and he feels it. Arriving in Laramie in the great state of Wyoming, his reputation precedes him, the years filled with the deeds he committed never having been forgotten. At the moment, he simply wants a rest and a hot meal with a glass of milk but there are those who will not let it lie, wanting to test the mettle of the man they call the Rawhide Kid and perhaps make a name for themselves in the meantime. The Kid manages to take the fight to the men before the sheriff breaks it up, and being an old friend of the Rawhide Kid, they head on over to the jail so that the elder gunfighter can get a bit of rest without being interrupted. Such as it is though, there is a young man who is looking to become the next great gunfighter and so taking it upon himself to ‘free’ the man he hopes to learn from and causing more trouble than was originally stirred up earlier in the day. Bill Mantlo teams up with an all-star creative roster including Herb Trimpe, John Severin and Marie Severin to tell the stories in this miniseries starring one of Marvel’s greatest gunfighters. Having it star an older Johnny Bart was a stroke of genius as it shows that while the man is still formidable, he is not quite as invincible as he once was, age catching up to him like it does with everyone and everything. Mantlo retells the origin of Bart through flashbacks, of how he promised to never raise his guns in violence until the death of the man who taught him all he knew and forever changed his path in life. Mantlo does a great job of showcasing the Kid throughout the book and most of it through the eyes of other people, building up the legend without showing so much of it. He gets the character and he brings him to readers new and old, the same gunfighter he always was, simply a little older and a little wiser. This was a strong start to the series and one that definitely makes people want to come back for more.

4 out of 5

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