Story Title: New Kid In Town
Reviewer: Paul Sebert
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Juan Bobillo
Inks: Marcelo Sosa
Colors: Avalon’s Dave Kemp
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Editors: Tom Brevoort, Joe Quesada
Publisher: Mighty Marvel Publishing Group
If there’s one thing that I firmly believe it’s that the comics industry needs more Cowboys. Lets face it, Jonah Hex has carried the weight of the entire genre for entirely too long. It’s time for westerns to run free in our comic stores. So let us rejoice partners, because at the end of She-Hulk’s long strange time-travel adventure Dan Slott has dragged the Two-Gun kid into the modern comics world.
But just who is the Two-Gun Kid? Well he’s the star of one of Marvel’s longest running western series which ran from 1948 and 1975. The original Kid, Clay Harder was a singing cowboy framed for a crime he didn’t commit who traveled the country trying to clear his name. This western meets the fugitive series was created by Syd Shores. Then in 1962 the team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby decided to give the concept a silver-age makeover. Born under the name Matthew Liebowitz, the new Two-Gun Kid was a masked crime fighter similar to the Lone Ranger. Working as a lawyer under the pseudonym “Matt Hawk” in his secret identity, the new Two-Gun Kid battled a variety of colorful foes with names like “The Rattler” and “The Purple Phantom.” In addition to teaming up with other Western heroes, Two-Gun even got to meet Hawkeye and the Avengers during a time-traveling adventure, which helps set up this story. Only instead of throwing Marvel Superheroes into the Wild West, we’ve now got a western character thrown into modern day New York, superheroes and all.
Dan Slott takes this basic fish-out of water concept and makes it work with lots of good natured humor, and quality characterization. While a lesser writer may have made the Kid look dim-witted or played up some timely sophomoric “Brokeback Mountain” humor, Slott makes him come around as a likeable, capable hero who just happens to be perplexed by our modern world. Meanwhile ample time is given to title’s supporting cast allowing Pug, Mallory Brooks, and Awesome Andy time to shine.
Artist Juan Bobillo also makes a standout performance in this issue as the body language and facial expressions are hilarious. Subtle touches like Awesome Andy’s response to the Kid’s arrival and a support group for time travels are also delightful. Throw in a couple of brief appearances by D-tier villains and readers are assured for a good time.
In short in this issue demonstrates why She Hulk has become something of a cult favorite title. It’s fast paced, funny, and consistently clever. It’s one of the best titles Marvel has going.