Magazine article The New Yorker

YEE HAW Series: 6/6

Magazine article The New Yorker

YEE HAW Series: 6/6

Article excerpt

The walls of Axel Alonso's office at Marvel Comics are covered with illustrations, but the one that first catches the eye is a cover for the upcoming relaunch of "Rawhide Kid." The Kid, who debuted in 1955 but went dormant in 1979, is looking as fancy as ever, handsome as all get-out, his white Stetson concealing a shock of red hair, his blue chaps neatly pressed, his six-shooter dangling suggestively between his legs.

"The new series asserts that you haven't been looking closely enough at the Kid," Alonso, a Marvel senior editor, said recently. A year ago, he was trying to come up with a way to revive the Western, a once robust but long neglected comic-book genre. "It sort of hit me one day that the Kid looked better than anyone had a right to. And he was tidier than the other cowboys in the Marvel catalogue." How could we not have known? The Kid is gay.

In five new issues due out this year, the Kid comes tumbling off the prairie to save a quiet town (with a mayor modelled on George W. Bush) from a gang of outlaws. Along the way, he falls for a pair of orphaned brothers and dishes his fellow hot shots. The Lone Ranger's outfit? "Fantastic." Wild Bill Hickok? "Very nice man. Bigger than life."

Ron Zimmerman, a Hollywood screenwriter and actor, who wrote the new episodes, thinks that the new Kid is a positive role model. "At least the Rawhide Kidkicks the shit out of everybody," he said. "Whenever a straight guy makes fun of him, the next panel is the Rawhide Kid just smashing into the guy's face. …

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