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Although shy with girls, the original Rawhide Kid was not intended to be gay. The new version uses double entendres and euphemisms to reveal his homosexuality without saying anything explicitly. Based on a blurb on Marvel's Web site, the tone may be campy.
In a bubble in the first edition of the series, Rawhide Kid comments about the Lone Ranger: "I think that mask and the powder blue outfit are fantastic. I can certainly see why the Indian follows him around."
USELESS COMIC BOOK KNOWLEDGE FOR YOUR THIRSTY BRAIN
And yeah, now we know why the Rawhide Kid always enters the saloon through the back door.
Northstar debuted in the Uncanny X-Men back in issue #121, the first appearance of Alpha Flight, a canadian superhero team. That was around 1981. In 1983, Alpha Flight received its own series, written and drawn by John Byrne. During his initial 28 issue run, John Byrne dropped hints and innuendoes about Northstar's sexuality. Northstar's real name is Jean-Paul Beaubien. Finally, somewhere around 1992, I think issue #106 to be exact, he was outed in an issue that dealth with an AIDS baby in a trash can and Captain Maple Leaf.
Marvel unveiled its latest publicity ploy in an exclusive article by Dareh Gregorian in today's New York Post in which the publisher revealed that the new "mature line" Max comic, Rawhide Kid: Slap Leather, will feature the outing of the eponymous pistol packer in what editor-in-chief Joe Quesada called, "the first gay western." Speaking about the teenage gunslinger, who first appeared during the heyday of the TV western in 1957, Quesada remarked, "the Kid was always shown as a shy-around-girls kind of guy, now you know why." Series writer Ron Zimmerman told the Post that the new Rawhide Kid series "is a classic western, but with a gay twist... and a comedic slant."
According to Quesada the Kid's sexual orientation will be obvious "from the moment you see him," alluding to the Kid's new costume which consists entirely of black leather set off by white gloves and a white hat fashioned from albino Canadian beaver pelts. According to the Post, the sharp-dressing six-shooter's sartorial interests extend to other cowboy heroes including the Lone Ranger, about whom the Kid remarks, "I think that mask and powder blue outfit are fantastic, I can certainly see why that Indian follows him around." The new series obviously derives its humor from gay stereotypes, though scripter Ron Zimmerman still hopes that gay readers will decide that the Rawhide Kid is "an empowering character that the gay community will be able to embrace."
The "outing" of the Rawhide Kid demonstrates Marvel's knows which buttons to push to gain nationwide publicity for its comic projects. Coming on the heels of Truth, the saga of the first (black) Captain America, which has received major attention on television, in newspapers, and on public radio, the Rawhide Kid saga shows that the "house of ideas" is as adept as ever in its use of "high concept" projects to gain the kind of publicity that money (and Marvel) can't buy.
At the Springfield State of the City Address when the Mensas took over the Government:
Comic Book Guy: Inspired by the most logical race in the galaxy, the Vulcans, breeding will be permitted once every seven years. For many of you this will mean much less breeding, for me, much much more.