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Marvel Comics Re-Imagines Some Classic Characters

Marvel is reviving two classic comic book series, giving each a modern twist. CNN.com has reported that Marvel Comics' upcoming revival of the comic series THE RAWHIDE KID will feature the title character as an openly gay gunslinger. This move marks Marvel's first gay title character in a comic book. THE RAWHIDE KID first debuted in 1955 at the height of Western comic book mania. Although it did not perform well its first time out, the title was revived by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the '60s and ran for more than 150 issues, ending in 1979. For 2003's THE RAWHIDE KID: SLAP LEATHER, the potentially campy comic series will be drawn by John Severin and written by Marvel vet Ron Zimmerman. The initial run for the comic is six issues, with the first issue available February 6, 2003. Marvel plans to gauge the reaction to the series before committing to future issues. Although the company has never had a gay title character, other popular Marvel comics have featured gay characters, including Pyro and Destiny of THE X-MEN and Northstar of ALPHA FLIGHT. One of Marvel's most enduring icons has been CAPTAIN AMERICA and according to Marvel, sales of the original comic have doubled since September 11th. Now Marvel Comics' new 6-part TRUTH series, which debuted on November 20, 2002, tells the real story of the first Captain America: he was actually an African American. TRUTH: RED, WHITE & BLACK, is a CAPTAIN AMERICA prequel of sorts, and ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY reports that a creative meeting with Marvel editor Joe Queseda sparked the idea for the series, which details the secret origins of the super-soldier serum that created Captain America. The controversial premise of TRUTH is that the government experimented on African American soldiers in World War II, and so the first man to gain powers from the serum was black. A "DotComics" version of TRUTH #1 is now available at www.marvel.com.

The comic book industry and especially Marvel Comics have been tied to New York City since practically their inception. Gerard Raiti reports on how Marvel responded to the attacks of September 11th. http://mag.awn.com/index.php3?article_no=1544

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