April 25, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

RAWHIDE KID (Marvel, $2.99, monthly) The news that Marvel was reviving this long-dormant Western title and making the hero gay was initially met with a groan by some EW staffers. But as it turns out, writer Ron Zimmerman’s droll rendering of ol’ Rawhide as an ironic, dandyish gunslinger is plumb delightful. Much of the humor derives from the reactions of gaydar-deficient cowpokes (”Nice guy, but there’s somethin’ ’bout him I can’t quite put muh finger on,” muses a character in RK #2). The scratchy art by Golden Age penciler John Severin adds an appealingly incongruous old-school feel to the proceedings. Now, then, about that rumor that the mask-wearing Two-Gun Kid is an S&M enthusiast …

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