Issue by Issue – Rawhide Kid Vol.2 #3

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Herb Trimpe
Inker – Gerry Talacc
Colours – Paul Becton
Letters – Janice Chiang

A new player enters the game, a bounty hunter who has no qualms about who his quarry might be, legend or not and he has just accepted a contract to hunt down both Jeff ‘Understudy’ Packard and the Rawhide Kid himself. At the moment, the latter two men are shooting targets, the Kid teaching Understudy all he knows or at least as much as the young man is able to let sink in. It turns out that Understudy is a quick learner and those skills which he is picking up will definitely come in handy as the bounty hunter along with the Pinkertons have caught up to him and Rawhide once again. There is no cooperation forthcoming of course when said bounty hunter asks where Rawhide is and yet, it is not long before his mentor enters the eventual fray. Suffice it to say, Bill Mantlo and Herb Trimpe get Rawhide out of that mess but it is not very long until they find themselves smack dab in the middle of another. In a small town inhabited by African-Americans, Black men and women who were freed not so long ago after the Civil War, they find that not all men look upon them as equals, that they are in fact still the slaves they once were and that nothing will ever change that. A group called the Night Riders have already killed all the men in town and left them hanging as an affront to all that is good and holed up in a church are the women and kids who fear they will be next. Things being what they are and Rawhide being the man he is, the injustice he sees before him cannot go unanswered, especially as the Night Riders are on their way back to finish the job. Making things just a little more complicated is the fact that the bounty hunter has caught up with them and while Rawhide thought he might have a hard time convincing the man to come over to his side and postpone the hostilities at least until the upcoming fight is over, he is surprised to find that it was not hard at all. There is a lot of action as the book closes, Trimpe along with Gerry Talacc doing an excellent job at making it as exciting as possible and Mantlo continues to write a fantastic tale of a gunfighter past his prime but still as accurate as ever. Three issues down and one to go in this short but fantastic series.

4 out of 5

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