Out of the night
When the full moon is bright!
Comes the horsewoman known as Rawhide!
This bold renegade
With her corset asplayed,
And they call her Lady RAWWWHIIIIDE!
Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
Trautmann spins a pulp-like tale.
Nice work on scenery and backgrounds.
SERIOUS anatomy problems.
It can get a bit wordy…
LADY RAWHIDE #2
Writer: Eric Trautmann
Artist: Milton Estevam
Colorist: Dinei Ribeiro
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Editor: Joseph Rybandt
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Lady Rawhide: Anita Santiago became Lady Rawhide to avenge a savage beating that her brother received from the “authorities” of Los Angeles, striding in the footsteps of the legendary El Zorro. Course, she kinda hates her caped counterpart, as well, since her sibling was attacked partially because he was mistaken for the Big Z in the first place. Her issues with her fellow masked man aside, Lady Rawhide fights the good fight against corruption and greed in Mexico, never realizing that decades hence, women would be dressed like her up and down Sunset Boulevard…
HARD TO EXTRICATE HER FROM HER OGLY ORIGINS FOR A NEW TALE..
The original Lady Rawhide stories came out during a dark age of comics, the ‘Bad Girl’ craze of the mid-1990s. In those heady post-Image days, any book could become a phenomenon, so long as the heroine was sassy, busty and scantily-clad. It’s always a bit daunting when titles of that period get revamped, since part of the appeal was in the leer factor, but Lady Rawhide’s book was one of the best, written by old-school comics great Don McGregor. This issue starts off at high-speed, and to its credit, doesn’t focus on the fact that our hero is pretty much going into combat in her underwear, instead giving us a tale of a corrupt governor, a Capitano who believes himself a moral man, and a mysterious injured girl. The pluses here are the main character’s cleverness and speed (although she doesn’t get a lot of character work past “noble rogue”) and the way Trautmann uses his caption boxes to simulate the storytelling of a turn-of-the-century pulp novel, while the story itself feels a little paint-by-numbers Zorro. Still, it’s early going, and the lovely establishing shots are well-done…
ESTEVAM SEEMS TO BE AN AFICIONADO OF LIEFELD…
…which is not to say that the art is 100% top-notch. Early in the book we are introduced to bounty hunter Judson Cole (Who is clearly NOT Jonah Hex, and by which I mean he’s a pretty faithful ersatz Jonah Hex minus facial scarring), whose first appearance marks him as a very flexible man with some VERY long arms. Throughout the issue, anatomy problems recur, with one particular fight sequence so confusing that it at first seems like a multi-limbed man is actually shooting himself in the back. Lady Rawhide herself is handled well, but moves an awful lot like a cheerleader in battle, and several appearances by a group of female desperadoes are undermined by their having indistinguishably identical faces and hugely emphasized breasts that show even through their western tunic shirts. Estevam can’t really be faulted for the main characters’ stripperific costuming or top-heaviness, but his proportions and facial expressions are very reminiscent of recent Rob Liefeld work (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) including strange misshapen hands in most appearances (which is a bad thing.) Still, the main character always looks good, and the backgrounds and locations are pretty impressive and skillful work.
THE BOTTOM LINE: I DON’T BELIEVE THE LETTERER IS ACTUALLY NAMED MARSHALL DILLON…
Dynamite’s choice to bring this book back was probably a decent one, given that they already have Zorro rights, and the inevitable crossover potential is strong. They even make sure to prominently credit Lady R’s creators throughout the issue, a move which I appreciate, even if it turns out that they were forced to. Given that we’re dealing with cowboy-type eighteen-seventy-something time periods, the artist does good stuff, as his horses, shootin’ irons and haciendas are strong, but weaknesses of anatomy and clothing can mitigate the enjoyment. All told, Lady Rawhide #2 manages to overcome at least most of its peep show origins for me, delivering an okay proto-Zorro tale with some interesting narrative choices, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall. Much like their Shadow and Green Hornet tales, it is something that should appeal to fans of Zorro/Lady Rawhide, but remain accessible to the casual reader as well…