Rawhide Kid (Earth-616) from Rawhide Kid Vol 1 1 (Cover)

Original costume

The original Rawhide Kid should not be confused with the later, more famous Jonathan Clay, another hero of the American Frontier who also operated under the same name[1]. While his origins are unknown, the Rawhide Kid earned a reputation as a gunfighting hero around the same time, earning his name partially due to the rawhide shirt he wore as well as the whip he carried. Proficient with both guns and whip, he rode around the west on his horse Apache righting wrongs whenever he came across them.

In his earliest recorded appearance the Rawhide Kid came to the aid of the Clayton ranch which was under attack by a gang of outlaws, however the Kid was unable to save Mr. Clayton the owner. His son Randy soon arrived with his uncle Cash and accused Rawhide of being part of the gang, chasing the hero off. The Kid instead rode into town and learned that after Clayton's son Randy, Cash was the next in line to claim ownership of the Clayton ranch. On a hunch the Rawhide Kid went back to the ranch and found Randy and Cash missing. Following their trail to a nearby cave, the Rawhide Kid prevented Cash from trying to kill his own nephew, slaying him in the process. With nothing left in his old life, Randy convinced the Rawhide Kid to ride together becoming the heroes constant sidekick. Not long after when Randy's horse suffered a broken leg they were forced to put it out of their misery. Riding into Last Chance, Texas to get a new one the learned that the town was under the control of the masked outlaw known as White-Face. The pair temporarily took the role of sheriff and deputy in Last Chance, defeating White-Face and returning the stolen horses. Randy purchased a new horse which he named Smokey. Not long after this, the Rawhide Kid and Randy investigated why Tall Eagle's band of Sioux warriors were attacking settlers. They learned that the tribe was taken over by Saganak the tribal medicine man who sought to drive settlers out of the west. Rawhide and Randy rescued Tall Eagle who took back control of his tribe and had Saganak executed[2].

The Rawhide Kid later found himself railroaded in court over a trumped up murder charge by Jared Ketchum, in a complex plot to destroy the Hondo Bank records to avoid getting caught for embezzling the bank's money. Freed from jail by Randy, the Rawhide Kid found evidence to clear his name. Deciding that Randy needed to go to school, the Rawhide Kid enrolled him in a school house in the town of Tumbleweed, but came afoul of the crooked administrators, whom the Kid soundly defeated. Later Randy was captured by a gang of outlaws who sought to force the Rawhide Kid to rob a stagecoach. However the Kid opened the coach's sand box in order to follow the outlaws back to their hideout and rescue Randy and recover the stolen goods[3]. When Nogood Norris tried to convince Randy and his classmates that they did not need an education, the Rawhide Kid showed the boys that an education is useful in life by beating Norris in various challenges, doing such a good job that he convinced Norris to go back to school as well. Shortly thereafter Randy was once more captured by outlaws who sought to use him as a pawn to help rustle cattle, until he was once more rescued by the Rawhide Kid. The pair next found a cache of green gold located in the Valley of 1000 Shadows, a region purported by local Native Americans as to being haunted. When Randy inadvertently tipped a gang of outlaws off to the gold's location, Rawhide and Randy tried to stop them. However the curse appeared to stand true when a unexpected freak avalanche buried the outlaws alive[4].

When Randy's friend Juddy Clayton's father was framed for murder, the Rawhide Kid investigated the murder scene and found evidence clearing Mr. Clayton's name. Not long after this, Randy's horse Smokey was spooked during a mountain lion attack making the horse useless to ride. After putting Smokey out to pasture, the Rawhide Kid helped Randy in finding a new one, eventually travelling to a nearby mountain range and helping Randy tame a white stallion named King. Later when Randy discovered some valuable fire opals, the Rawhide Kid helped the boy defend them from a pair of outlaws seeking to claim them for themselves, the value of the opals allowed the Kid and Randy to live comfortable thereon after[5]. The Kid and Randy later saved Rawhide's old sidekick the elderly prospector named Java Joe and invited him back home with them. Joe was interested in becoming the Rawhide Kid's partner again, but the Kid soon grew irritated by the old man. When the Rawhide Kid related this to the local sheriff, he was unaware that Randy was listening in on the conversation and that the boy believed he was speaking of Randy. When Randy and Joe later ran away from home, the Rawhide Kid rescued them from danger and decided to let Joe stay with them. However Joe has not been seen since. The Rawhide Kid and Randy later rescued local rancher Lyle Lambert from a man posing as his son seeking to poison him with King Cobras that he brought back with him from India. They later saved a female mountain lion and her cub from some trappers[6].

When Shotgun City was taken over by Gunner Gans and his gang, the Rawhide Kid and Randy Clayton revealed that they were using a forged letter to take power and put a stop to them. Not long after this, a man named Barlow stole Randy's horse King, but the Rawhide Kid tracked Barlow down and recovered the horse. The Kid and Randy were also integral in preventing a misunderstanding from leading the people of Shotgun City to accidentally shoot US Marshall Whit Towney when he was mistaken for the outlaw known as the Hornet. When Randy's school is robbed by two young men, the Rawhide Kid confronts them and helps them break free from the control of outlaw Toady Gibbs and reform[7]. The Kid then rescued Randy and his friend Tad from the Fargo gang who were hiding out in a nearby abandoned mine. The Kid later assisted Jim Halford in taking down Haskin's crooked gambling table. With Randy, the Kid also helped recover weapons stolen from Fort Slater after they were stolen by a gang of outlaws. Shortly thereafter Randy became a target of Toady Gregg and his gang after discovering gold dumped by a Pony Express, but as usual the Rawhide Kid was there to protect his ward from danger[8]. The Kid next stopped the Clem gang from blowing up a rail bridge to force the local railroad to build a new pass through his land. Soon after outlaw Wildcat Gantry managed to take over at the town sheriff, imposing a no gun law in order to commit robberies unimpeded, but was soon stopped by the Rawhide Kid and Randy. The Rawhide Kid later failed to stop a gang of outlaws who succeeded in stealing over ten thousand dollars. But when the outlaws captured Randy the young boy proved so much trouble they surrendered to the authorities. Later, with the help of reformed outlaw Waco Pardee, the Rawhide Kid and Randy prevented Barrel Kane and his gang from robbing the Shotgun City bank[9].

Shortly thereafter, the Rawhide Kid helped capture Clip Haggard who framed a man named Carter for a bank robbery. Later, the Rawhide Kid was shocked when Judge Jim Blake found outlaw Trigger Flaig innocent of his crimes and began to investigate. He uncovered that Flaig was threatening Blake's son, and convinced the disgraced justice to return to Shotgun City to retry Flaig, and deliver the proper guilty sentence. Rawhide and Randy also helped prevent a war between the local Comanches and the people of Shotgun City that was being instigated by a gang of outlaws looking to profit from the sale of weapons. The Rawhide Kid then began a crusade to clear out Faro Price a crooked gambler in town. However the Kid was framed for Price's murder by his chief rival Slick. Randy, with the help of his Native American friend Takuma broke the Rawhide Kid out of jail and assisted him in clearing his good name[10].

By this time the Rawhide Kid changed his attire from his trademark rawhide shirt, and stopped carrying the whip that was his namesake, opting for more stylized clothing, including a colorful button up shirt, brown chaps, and a white Stetson with a checkered brim. In one of their more unique adventures, the Rawhide Kid and his pal Randy crossed paths with Mr. Anson, who was targeted by outlaws for his hat which apparently was just a second hand duster. However they soon uncovered that it once belong to Sam Dodd, who went missing. bringing supplies and weapons to the soldiers fighting in the Alamo in 1836. As it turned out instead of a map to these supplies they only found a letter of encouragement written by President Andrew Jackson. It was during this time that Shotgun City elected a new sheriff named Ben Yarby. The Rawhide Kid often worked with, or turned outlaws over to Yarby for the remainder of his recorded career, such as when he helped the sheriff expose a complex plot perpetuated by Stud Gantry to open an illegal gambling house in the city. To this end, he had Confederate Civil War deserter Shuck Butler break the Kelsey gang out of jail and steal Shotgun City's law books. However the pair captured the outlaws and recovered the books and restored order to the city, converting Stud's gambling den into a dance hall. Travelling into the lawless town of Poncho, the Rawhide Kid helped restore law and order with the assistance of Jim Parker, who became then became sheriff. The Kid later stumbled upon rustlers trying to use Shadow Gap to travel their stolen beef. The hero was captured and left tied up in the gap to be trampled to death by the moving beef. However the Kid sent his horse Apache for help, bringing Randy and Sheriff Yarby to his rescue and he eventually captured the rustlers[11].

When it came to younger criminals the Rawhide Kid attempted to rehabilitate them, such as when he took in Jack Bell and helped him break free of the criminal lifestyle forced upon him by his uncle Matt Dawson. The Kid was later briefly deputized by Sheriff Yarby to go up to Grizzly Cave and capture the Shand gang who were holed up there after nearly killing a US Marshall sent out to arrest them. The Kid was also deputized as a tax collector by Yarby to recover outstanding taxes from area ranchers who refused to pay. Learning that Bat Kimball had broken out of jail, the Rawhide Kid tracked him to Laramee. Learning that Kimball was framed, he assisted him in capturing the real criminal Mako Tilson[12]. When the Rawhide Kid helped new coming nestors that came to settle on recently opened government land, the Rawhide Kid and Randy prevented Bull Brennan from stopping them from setting up their new homes. The pair also provided shelter for lawman Russ Howland who was being chased by the notorious Briggs brothers and after a long stand-off helped Howland capture them. When rustlers cause a stampede that results in Old Ben Gannon losing his job, the Rawhide Kid and Randy helped him capture the rustlers and get his old job back. Later with the help of Randy and Sheriff Yarby, the Kid also helped famous gunslinger Duke Sperry find new meaning in his life[13]. The Kid also kept lynch mobs at bay while defending Buck Garrett who was accused of stealing the gold from the Shasta stage, capturing Joe Lindsay and his gang who were really responsible. After the Rawhide Kid and Randy prevented the Sloan gang from robbing a Pony Express. Not long after the children of Shotgun City, including Randy Clayton, and the nearby Comanche tribe sick. With the help of Dr. Gil Jackson, the Kid uncovered that they were all made sick from tainted water from a nearby river that was a dumping ground for poachers. They shut down the poachers operations and Jackson cured Randy and the other children. Rawhide and Randy also exposed a plot by Cameron to takeover some swampland in order to force area ranchers to pay him water rights[14].

Later, much like with Jack Bell, the Rawhide Kid helped young Jimmy Alton get a second chance of living a good life. The Kid also exposed a plot by a man named Barrow to swindle Professor Scott into selling his property cheap so he could capitalize on the passage rights for a railroad looking to purchase the land. He also prevented Faro James and his gang from robbing the Gold Coast Express which was carrying a record amount of gold at the time. The Kid later recovered a baby panther cub whose mother was killed by poachers. He then Sheriff Yarby he cannot keep the cub when it grows up as it will be too expensive to feed. Unaware to the Kid at the time, Randy came home at that moment and believed the Kid was speaking of him and ran away from home. That night the Kid went out looking for Randy, and found him a prisoner of the poachers and rescued him. The pair cleared up the misunderstanding and were happily reunited. In the end the Kid decided to keep the panther cub after all[15]. Soon after a drought struck Shotgun City and was made worse thanks to the Gore Brothers damming up their water supply. When the Rawhide Kid and Sheriff Yarby went to confront the Gore Brothers, they narrowly avoided being drowned by a torrent of water unleashed from an ancient Native American well supposedly built to appease the Manidoog deity known as Manitou. When Sheriff Yarby was force out of the role of sheriff due to a legal technicality, the Rawhide Kid insured that an emergency election was held for Yarby to be voted back in, stopping efforts of outlaw Tippy Cole from taking the position himself. Not long after this, in a rare reversal, Randy Clayton taught the Rawhide Kid a lesson in not judging people by their appearances by being nice to ugly outlaw Clem Boggs, convincing him to change his criminal ways. Shortly thereafter the Rawhide Kid was framed for cattle rustling by an outlaw named Crack, who bore a striking resemblance to the Rawhide Kid. However with the help of Randy Clayton, the Rawhide Kid managed to capture his look-alike and clear his name[16]. When a US Marshall clinging to his life arrived in town, the Rawhide Kid gathered evidence leading him to the Hyatt gang, capturing them to avenge the Marshall. The Kid and Randy also prevented the Fluke gang from sending stampeding herds of stolen cattle through Shotgun City in order to rob the local bank. The Rawhide Kid was once more deputized as the city tax collector, forcing local trouble maker Jack Bragg to pay up. Reformed Bragg also joined the Rawhide Kid in collecting outstanding taxes from other area ranchers who refused to pay their due. In his last recorded adventure, the Rawhide Kid and Randy helped young Clyde Madison and his father Blast go straight[17].

The Rawhide Kid continued to be active in the west for a short period of time before he eventually disappeared under unrevealed circumstances.


The Rawhide Kid rode his horse Apache.


The Rawhide Kid often used a pair of six-shooters, a shotgun, and regularly carried a whip or lasso as a weapon.

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