|Reintroducing Rawhide Kid in Issue #1.|
|Cover to Issue #2 by Terry Dodson|
and Kaare Andrews... subtle, right?
With a faint recollection of a news story about the Rawhide Kid being re-envisioned as homosexual in the early 2000's, I bought the individual issues of Rawhide Kid, Volume 4 (2003) for cheap to see what the hubbub was all about. At the time, I missed the red flag that the subsequent trade paperback collection of the mini-series, bore the title of the story arc from the miniseries, "Slap Leather." From the start, the tone is sophpomric and most of the updated characterization is played for "laughs."
|Clue 1 from Issue #1: Rawhide Kid|
likes celebrity gossip!
|The flirtation begins in Issue #2.|
Though subsequently billed as "the first openly gay comic book character to star in his own magazine," the Kid's openness is almost entirely comedic in its presentation, limited to obvious campy humor, puns and double entendre. Used as simply a way to differentiate the protagonist from those around him (and as a subtle reasoning behind his colorful attire), the Kid's homosexuality fails to add a level of depth to the characterization or by extension, the title's proceedings.
|As seen here in issue #3, the Kid is|
always on the cutting edge of fashion.
Even typography choices made by the writer and letterers, Rich and Wes @ Comicraft, seem to purposely reinforce the stereotypical depiction of our hero. As you can see from the pane at the top of the page, wherein the Rawhide Kid makes his first appearance wit the phrase "Oh, stop..." which when read aloud with the proper emphasis applied for the bold lettering sounds somewhat affected. Upon my own internal reading an inflection was intended, as it is through out the series.
So, is it worth checking out? As a snapshot of the misguided attempt by a mainstream publisher to take an older character and re-boot him in such a way, yes. Despite the somewhat clumsy effort, Severin's art (and the ability to analyze the hell out of the whole package) is just enough to recommend it. Both The Rawhide Kid: Slap Leather (2003) and it's sequel, The Rawhide Kid: The Sensational Seven (2010) are available as trades at your local comic book store (or in the back-issue bin).
|Happy trails, Trey! from Issue #5.|