Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Return of the Mighty Marvel Western

How happy to you think I was to see this book on the shelf at my LCS? I was all like – Whaaaaa? A Mighty? Marvel? Western? I was so stoked to see that Marvel was giving western the same treatment that they gave Monsters last year.

It’s a pretty kooky idea – mixing old with new, action with humour. It worked with many of the Monster books, so I hoped that it work well here too. Dan Slott’s Two-Gun Kid story is a perfect example of why there should be more ongoing western titles today. It’s about as entertaining as anything you’ll read this year. You’ve got missing cattle, werewolves and Lone Ranger and Tonto look-alikes. It makes for a great story. The key here is Slott’s obvious love for the genre. Cowboys and comics are a great fit, and Slott seems to know it. The Barreto art was a perfect - he has a very good feel for portraying the Old West.

The second story is a pretty funny gag story by Keith Giffen. Nothing special, but these shorter tales are in keeping with the Silver Age Western tradition (minus the doll sex, of course). Finally, we’ve got an infamous Kirby drawn Rawhide Kid story. As we are living in the Age of Irony, this seems like a very appropriate reprint, as it shows just how hilarious things were back at the dawn of the Marvel Age. I’d actually prefer to see a more straightforward story against either a villain or a band of outlaws so that modern fans can see that Silver Age stories could be very entertaining without resorting to living totems.

But then, who am I to complain? I certainly never thought I’d see the words Mighty Marvel Western again.