Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mighty Marvel Westerners!


Here's a typical "Marvel Masterwork Pin-up" from the olden days. Marvel produced these little gems now and again, sometimes as premiums in the annuals and elsewhere, but often as page fillers for comics which ran short in some way. This one seems frankly to be the latter. It appeared in Mighty Marvel Western #46. The figures of Kid Colt, Two-Gun Kid, and Rawhide Kid all seem to be drawn by Jack Kirby and inked by Dick Ayers.

Gil Kane

The same figures were used on the covers of Mighty Marvel Western as icons, part of the logo beginning with issue sixteen of the comics rather impressive Bronze Age run. But where did these distinctive images first appear. As it turns out all three are not surprisingly from classic Kirby and Ayers covers.

John Severin


The Kid Colt figure first appeared on the cover of Kid Colt Outlaw #95 from the winter of 1960. Colt is busting out of town, guns blazing as cowboys clamber all over the somewhat off-scale buildings to get a good shot at the infamous Holstein haute-coutured owlhoot.
 

The Two-Gun Kid image first shows up on the cover of Two-Gun Kid #62 from 1963, imbedded in a wordless thought balloon as the damsel wishes the more heroic masked hero were on the scene to assist the atypically bold and brazen Matt Hawk. Little does she know of course.


The Rawhide Kid drawing first appeared on Rawhide Kid #20 from 1961, and showcases Mrs.Bart's leather-clad little boy facing off against his enemy  in the middle of the street as the townsfolk shuffle off to seeming safety. The comment though about the Kid's ability to draw seems off point as his pistol appears already pointed at his opponent.

All comics companies are well practiced at re-purposing artwork, squeezing out the last gram of value from the hard work of their employees. It's always fun to track down these classic images in their original environments.


UPDATE: Here is a vintage 1965 ad which features the very image used in the later pin-up. The original images were apparently assembled for the first time for this merchandise. Thanks for the tip Darkmark.

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12 comments:

  1. iconic poses...from the best of the best of the Mighty Marvel's west

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    1. Great characters, great looks.

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  2. I can't be sure because the image isn't large or sharp enough to be certain, but that Rawhide Kid cover from which the figure was taken looks as if it may have been inked by Joe Sinnott. I can see a hint of him in the brushstrokes, but I'll have to check.

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    1. GCD says its Ayers, but it is interesting that most of the cover by Kirby and Ayers for this run are signed and this one is not. I see what you mean about a possible Sinnott influence.

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    2. The cover of Journey Into Mystery #83 was also attributed to Ayers in different sources for many years (as was FF #1) before finally being corrected. If only I could find a large clear copy of that Rawhide Kid cover somewhere, I could ascertain for certain.

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  3. The Rawhide Kid image is bizarre. If he is quick drawing the gun on his right then why is his leg and the holster in back of him and at a weird angle and then his left arm is in a weird unnatural position.

    The Two-Gun image looks much better in the pin-up. The coloring of his clothes aren't as good in the original. They made the image too dark.

    Infamous Holstein haute-coutured owlhoot. what a great turn of phrase!

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    1. "Owlhoot" might just be my all-time favorite comic book term. It's so evocative!

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  4. Wow! Just An Amazing Blog
    Everyday A Go To
    Thank You For The Effort
    -Sam

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    1. It's still fun to do. Thanks.

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  5. Actually, the image in the pin-up was taken from a drawing used on Marvel's T-shirts circa 1965.

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    1. Thanks for the tip. I found an image of that t-shirt and added that info to the post. Doubtless that's the first time those three were assembled.

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  6. Ya gotta remember. The Kid is fast on the draw...that owl hoot tried'a get the drop on him...faster than the eye could see he drew his six gun and spun to take aim

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