Issue by Issue – Rawhide Kid Vol.2 #2

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Herb Trimpe
Inker – Gerry Talacc
Colours – Paul Becton
Letters – Diana Albers

A new day has come upon them and the Rawhide Kid and the young man who travels with him intending to learn the art of gunfighting from him have arrived in town to a bit of fanfare from the local kids. Johhny Bart cannot understand why everyone makes such a fuss over him and yet on some level, he has to kind of like the attention. Looking to get a little money out of his bank account, the Kid realizes that something is wrong and he was played for a fool when he is unable to do so. Meaning to get to the bottom of it, he and his understudy whom he calls ‘Understudy,’ board a train to do just that. Unbeknownst to Bart, Understudy has a secret of his own – he is wanted for murder and a couple of Pinkertons are hot on his trail. So it is that Bill Mantlo and Herb Trimpe set up the action which is to take place for the rest of the book as the two men try to evade the lawmen who are out to get their quarry. While doing so, they sabotage a train, run into Wild Bill Hickock and his Wild West Show along with Rawhide’s old flame, Annie Oakley. Still, no matter what they do, the Pinkertons will not give up until confronted by those who look to protect Rawhide and his companion. Mantlo also continues to have Rahide show his age, much as he did in the last issue. The man might be fast with his guns still but his back and his bones feel the years though his mind is still just as sharp as those pistols he wields. As for his money, despite all that is going on around him, fate helps him to solve that which he set out to do in the first place and gain the currency he was owed by finding the man responsible holed up with Wild Bill of all people. It was a good thing to see other western legends woven into the story, it making Rawhide’s world seem a little bigger than it was had it just been other Marvel western characters making an appearance, though it does not rule them out for later issues. When all is said and done, this series continues to be a lot of fun, readers privy to what seems like the last ride of the Rawhide Kid.

3.5 out of 5

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