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Comic Book / Rawhide Kid

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Rawhide Kid is a 1955 Western comic, initially published by Timely Comics and later by their successors Marvel Comics.

Set in the old west, it stars the titular masked gunfighter.

The first version of the character is was an unnamed gunslinger, who features in issues #1-16.

The second Rawhide Kid, debuting in issue #17, is actually Johnny Bart, originally given as Johnny Clay. A heroic gunfighter of the 19th-century American West who was unjustly wanted as an outlaw, he is one of Marvel's most prolific Western characters. He and other Marvel western heroes have on rare occasions guest-starred through time travel in such contemporary titles as The Avengers and West Coast Avengers.

After the switch to Bart as protagonist, the previous version was eventually revealed to have disappeared under unrevealed circumstances.

Rawhide Kid provides example of:

  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: The Kid's usual M.O. (along with every other cowboy hero of the The '50s and The '60s). If the writers were feeling edgy enough, the hero might occasionally shoot the villain in the hand or shoulder, but shots intended to kill or seriously harm were a big no-no.
  • Cool Horse: Like all Marvel western heroes, Rawhide had a cool horse. His was named Nightwind.
  • Fiery Redhead: The Kid is a redhead whose hot temper sometimes lands him in trouble.
  • The Gunslinger: Typical of Marvel Comics' western heroes of The '50s and The '60s, Rawhide is equal parts Trick Shot and Quick Draw, able to draw with blinding speed and always disabling his opponents without killing them.
  • Killer Gorilla: In #39, Rawhide battles the Ape: a trained gorilla under the control of Mad Scientist Dr. Karlbad.
  • Master of Disguise: In #49, Rawhide battles a villain known as the Masquerader. As no one had ever seen his true face he was able to easily disguise himself so no one would guess that he was a gunfighter. He was even able to disguise himself as people of different ethnicities, such as a Chinaman and Mexican. He even impersonated Kid Colt in order to put the two gunslingers at each other's throats.
  • Obfuscating Disability: The Masked Maverick was really a rancher named Mason. Mason had been crippled in an accident and confined to wheelchair years earlier. After suddenly regaining use of his legs, he adopted the identity of the Masked Maverick and started rustling cattle to rebuild his failing fortune, keeping his regained mobility a secret.
  • The Paralyzer: Rawhide once fought a villain called Scorpion who was an expert pharmacist. He developed a gun that fired plastic capsules containing a quick-acting paralytic. The capsule melted almost instantly, and the drug took effect as soon as the victim was struck by the capsule. Scorpion would later change his alias to Sting-Ray and go on to fight the Phantom Rider.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Rawhide once fought a villain wielding a paralysis gun called the Scorpion. The Scorpion later broke jail, changed his alias to Sting-Ray, and battled another western hero, the Phantom Rider.
  • This Bear Was Framed: In #94, a man called Ace Fenton dresses up in a grizzly bear costume in order to rob the Pony Express. After almost getting caught by Rawhide and the Two-Gun Kid, Fenton starts persuading the locals that Rawhide has been training bears to rob for him. The next stage of his plan involves breaking into the courtroom during Rawhide's trial and dragging him away so it will look like Rawhide and the grizzly are in cahoots. It makes just as much sense in context.
  • The Trope Kid: The "Rawhide" Kid.
  • Weird West: Although most of Rawhide's adventures were standard horse opera stuff, he did also fight monsters which were not a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax. One particularly famous (or infamous) example was the Living Totem: a alien who looked like a totem pole with arms and legs.