Cowboy Comics aren't Superhero Comics

Cowboy Comics aren't Superhero Comics

Only a few cowboy comic characters look like superheroes. Not even the classic Marvel Jack Kirby Westerns have any indication this is the same artist who does the Fantastic Four. The only way to tell is that some characters have that Kirby-style face structure.

When I go to comic shops, the classics I pull for, Rawhide Kid, Kid Colt Outlaw, and Two-Gun Kid, all have one thing in common. Other than having “Kid” in the title, they are period-piece settings with little to none of the fantastical imagination Marvel is celebrated for. Two-Gun Kid once time-traveled to the present and became an honorary member of the Avengers, off-panel in #174. Besides a few instances, cowboys don’t get the respect that superheroes get. But they used to.

There was a line-the-sand by genre in the Golden Age and Silver Age comics. Batman came from “Detective Comics”. Superman came from “Action Comics”. Spiderman from “Amazing Fantasy”. It's hard to imagine that was a time when Western Comics were more popular than superheroes. It’s displayed beautifully in the Toy Story montage of how Sci-Fi won the American public over Westerns.


All the Kirby western designs mostly have a campy rodeo-style outfit you'd see on a TV western like "The Lone Ranger." I very much enjoy it, but design might be one of the reasons Wantedman could be in the Avengers. His modern design still fits in the old Western aesthetic.

Wantedman having a strange scarecrow-like mask and an ironic black spandex suit in the desert is enough to make his appearance a Superhero costume. He even has his own emblem with the X-target logo. But the trick that makes The Trigger Happy Gunfighter still have the cowboy charm, is his hat. I will save that for another blog.

Your homie,



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