RAWHIDE KID #40 June 1964
Jack Kirby/Sol Brodsky original artists
1964 was a very good year for the-then young Marvel Comics Group. By then, already a hopelessly devoted fan of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, I had no problem working up enthusiasm for anything they did. Even, as it turned out, teaming up two of their Wild West gunslingers! Okay, sure--as things went in the Marvel Pantheon, Rawhide Kid and the Two-Gun Kid were several steps--make that a couple whole floors--below the likes Spider-Man and the Hulk,but somehow this cover made the prospect of this pair of marginal members of the ever expanding Marvel Universe meeting for the first time seem tremendously exciting!
Of course,it wasn't. The pairing was pleasant, but not particularly riveting. Not like that cover. The magnificent Kirby, too busy with more important features like the Fantastic Four, Thor, and a host of others, left it to Dick Ayers to illustrate the actual story, and while he did a fine if unexceptional job, it's that Kirby image that still resonates after all this time. Who would have ever thought that a leather-clad cowpoke jumping outof a tree would make for such a memorable image? And just who ever would have thought,decades later, that very same cowpoke would be pushed out of the closet?? But that's a whole 'nother story!?!...