Friday, June 25, 2010
Marvel Tries To Revive the Western... With a Side of Spaghetti
During the 1970's, DC had unleashed a string of Western comics that drew from the spirit of the Italian western films. Although they also reprinted earlier stories of heroes like Pow-Wow Smith and Johnny Thunder, they had introduced more contemporary charcters like Jonah Hex, Scalphunter and Bat Lash.
Marvel, on the other hand, had produced a nearly endless string of reprints of Kid Colt, Rawhide Kid, Two-Gun Kid and Outlaw Kid. Their new Western comics were usually a new story featuring one of their old, Atlas heroes backed up by reprints of their old, Atlas heroes. They introduced Red Wolf, but his adventures were formulaic, and very similar to Atlas' Apache Kid.
In 1980, Marvel tried to introduce a new style of Western hero. Well, new to Marvel. Caleb Hammer has the look and feel of an Italian Western. Caleb bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain high plains Drifter. And, if it reminds you a little bit of a DC Western from 10 years before, it may be because it was inked by Tony DeZuniga, the original artist on DC's Jonah Hex.
From 1980's Marvel Premiere #54, we have "The Coming of Caleb Hammer" by Peter B. Gillis, pencilled by Gene Day and inked by Tony DeZuniga.
And as a bonus, this comic had two Western-themed ads:
Man, Dingos look like some killer boots!
I mean, alleged killer boots. I have to confess, I had a pair of these in second grade.