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Despite its flaws, I overall enjoyed Slap Leather a surprising amount. I had hoped that Rawhide Kid: The Sensational Seven would be better or at least on the same level. However, it turned out to be one of the strangest mixes of hate and love I have read from a comic in a while. I liked the good parts more and disliked the bad parts more. I’m not sure how else to say it.

TL;DR Synopsis:

Rawhide Kid recruits a gang to go rescue Wyatt and Morgan Earp, who have been locked up by a group of bandits led by Cristo Pike; relative of the baddie from Slap Leather.

The Good:

Two-Gun Kid. Honestly, that’s all that needs to be said; he is the only character aside from Rawhide that I really liked. He is funny and sweet and genuinely nice. Also, he’s apparently the only ‘Kid’ that has a legitimate job lol.

The best scene was easily when Rawhide Kid told Two-Gun Kid he thought he was also gay, and it’s really calm and not depicted as awkward or embarrassing, but rather two buds having a casual conversation. Two-Gun doesn’t act all grossed out or angry or nothing. Two-Gun then says how he guesses he has to change his appearance and Rawhide says–and this is my fave line–“Why? If you like it, wear it. You know what makes a man tough, Matt? Not being afraid of what anyone else thinks. Standing your ground. Being comfortable with who you are. If you can do that, then you’re tough.” It’s a scene where a gay man and a Jewish man in the Wild West have a pep talk with each other, it’s nice.

In general I really liked how Rawhide has a group of friends that are all accepting of him and stick up for him against assholes who have a problem with his sexuality. Well, aside from one rude comment from Kid Colt; “kin we get on with this ‘fore I puke” when Rawhide is flirting with a guy. 😒 (Colt is easily the most annoying of the three ‘Kids’.)

The first issue opens where Rawhide is able to scare a whole town into behaving nicely whenever he’s in view. I laughed.

I failed to realize last time that Rawhide is short? I’m not used to seeing male characters being short and not also Wolverine-shaped.

When Pike reveals he has Rawhide’s abusive shithead father captured like that was gonna be some big gambit… and then Rawhide’s like “why the fuck would I give a damn about him…” that was some good shit. I was expecting some moral attempt at “you need to forgive the people who abused you even though they have done nothing to work for it,” or “it’s your responsibility to fix your abusive and hateful parents,” but no. The series ends with Rawhide Kid planning on travelling to Hong Kong.

The Bad:

I don’t really think this belongs here, because I think the writer might just be making playful fun at his own name, but FYI anyway: There is a joke about Two-Gun’s surname being hard to pronounce. (It’s not even though…?)

There’s some really gross things in this one. I don’t want to even go into detail, I’ll just say there’s piss, vomit and STD related ‘jokes’ that weren’t so much funny as they were just disgusting.

Red Wolf isn’t quite as terrible as I was expecting… but mind you my expectations were six feet below, so I won’t be giving any congratulations for being at least above ground. (Note: This is Johnny Wakely Red Wolf, not William Talltrees, in case anyone reading this and just got really confused.) He’s still the most eye-rolling, cringey caricature you can imagine from a Western series like this one. Every time I think the writer plays with or subverts stereotypes–for example, Red Wolf talks about attending Harvard–he follows up by just diving right into them. For example, unlike the other protagonists, Red Wolf’s only motivations are “killing pale-faces” and this is absolutely played just as you expect it to. And he’s literally called “the noble savage” in the blurb.

Like a number of the characters in this series, Annie Oakley was a real person. Unlike the other real people, the way Annie Oakley is treated and depicted in this comic is downright disrespectful. She is nothing but a ditsy pinup doll for male readers. Basically her only role is to be lusted after by the straight men. At one point she straight-up rips open her top ‘because she can’t stand the heat’ while Kid Colt watches lecherously.
She’s even dressed like a pinup cowgirl.

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I would like to also note that she’s only around 17-18 years old during the time of this series. So let that sink in as well. 

This series is much more plentiful with it’s slur use than Slap Leather as well. There’s a lot of derogatory comments against women (Annie), Natives (Red Wolf) and gay men (Rawhide). (Note: One such is the Q Word, which while I’m aware is a… hot debate… about reclamation in current times and don’t want to get into that, this the 19th century where it is purely meant as pejorative. It is also used in the same sentence as other pejorative terms. So despite me personally being fine with the word today, I am counting it.)

Billy the Kid is so often looked upon favourably in media, and this series depicts him as an irredeemable asshole in every way. I don’t know enough about him to know what the truth was, I just wanted to say I found this surprising. The problem I had with this is that I think it was supposed to be funny? Seriously, Billy’s like “dumb injuns, dumb fairies, slavery never should have ended” and Doc drags him away to beat him up like it’s all “haha, oh, that Billy.”

The… Weird:

I also found this really strange; the artist continuously drew a lot of downright claustrophobic close-ups of the faces. Not even the whole head, just the face. It was like a meme that continuously zoomed in on an image for effect or something lol. There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for this either. It would just at random have really, really close faces where entire pages looked just like this:

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Star Wars: Empire Ascendant #1

Publisher: Marvel Comics
(W) Charles Soule, More (A) Caspar Wijngaard, More (CA) Riccardo Federici, Michael Golden, John Tyler Christopher

DESTINED FOR HOTH!
•  Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa and smuggler Han Solo have have struck blow after winning blow against the Empire. The Rebels are digging in their defenses on the remote ice world of Hoth but how long will they truly be safe from their many enemies?
•  Darth Vader will stop at nothing to crush the rebels but his efforts to locate their new base have been in vain. Will the dark side of the Force guide him to the missing rebels and to young Skywalker or mire the dark lord in the conflicts of his past?
•  Despite a life riddled with treachery and destruction,  Doctor Aphra has found a family (of sorts). Former Imperial inspector Magna Tolvan and Aphra’s young ward Vulaada will have to face the struggles of a life of rebellion…while Aphra reckons with her legacy.  
•  Former Imperial loyalist turned cyborg bounty hunter BEILERT VALANCE is taking on a dangerous new mission. And the lives of the entire Rebellion-including his old buddy HAN SOLO’s-are at stake should he fail!

In Shops: Dec 18, 2019

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Runaways #28

Publisher: Marvel Comics
(W) Rainbow Rowell (A) Genolet, Andres (CA) Kris Anka

J-TEAM GO!
•  While the Runaways are wards of (LA’s Most Venerable Hero) DOC JUSTICE, it’s only polite to make themselves useful, right?
•  It’s hard to see a downside to fighting alongside this cape-wearing crusader for justice!
•  Their costumes (designed in real-life by the legendary KRIS ANKA) may be secondhand, but they look amazing! And the Doc’s got one for every–wait…

In Shops: Dec 18, 2019

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New Mutants #4

Publisher: Marvel Comics
(W) Ed Brisson (A) Marco Failla (CA) Rod Reis

When Armor and her team set off to bring their friends home to Krakoa, they thought it’d be an easy sell and a quick trip. Then everything went sideways, and now they’re in serious trouble-looks like it’s time to call in the cavalry. But will that be enough to turn the tide?

In Shops: Dec 18, 2019

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Future Foundation #5

Publisher: Marvel Comics
(W) Jeremy Whitley (A) Alti Firmansyah (CA) Carlos Pacheco

THE FINAL FRONTIER!
The Future Foundation once banded together to help the Fantastic Four rebuild the entire Multiverse. Now they may have brought about its collapse. As the team reels from last issue’s death, the Maker is getting further out of reach. The team that promised to solve all the Multiverse’s problems is inches away from watching everything die - again.

In Shops: Dec 18, 2019

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