TITLE: Lady Rawhide: Miniseries Vol. 1, Issue #1
YEAR: July 1995
COMPANY: Topps Comics
Writer: Don McGregor
Penciler: Mike Mayhew
Inker: Jimmy Palmiotti
Letterer: Michael Delepine
Colorist: Chris Vodopia
Separations: Colored Stone KGM Graphics
Editors: Jim Salicrup, Renee Witterstaetter, Dwight Jon Zimmerman
The ’90s was big business for the Comic Book Industry but the decade also showed us what comes up can surely come crashing down. And the comic book market collapsed.
Independent comic book companies began to pop up through the early-to-mid ’90s as investors wanted to get part in the action and for Topps, best known for its collectors trading cards, Topps Company, Inc. went the comic book publishing route and would start in 1993 and last through 1998.
Specializing in licensed titles for TV series and film, “The X-Files”, “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”, “Jurassic Park” and “Zorro” were big titles for the company. But the company would also release one-shot comic books based on concepts by the then-retired Jack Kirby back in 1993.
In 1995, Topps Comics would create their own original series with “The Barbi Twins Adventures”, “Cadillacs and Dinosaurs” and “Lady Rawhide” (two five-part mini-series) and the character still continues on today in Dynamite Entertainment (which was founded in 2005 by Nick Barrucci and similar to Topps in the ’90s, Dynamite Entertainment features license adaptation of film properties and public domain properties).
“Lady Rawhide” is perhaps one of the first superhero comic books to feature a Mexican woman as a heroic protagonist to have her own several issue miniseries.
The series revolves around Anita Santiago who became a costume hero seeking revenge against the Commandante of Los Angeles, Captain Enrique Monasterio who tortured, shot and burned her brother’s face severely, because he was thought to be Zorro. Her brother roman is now permanently blind and his face is disfigured and she vowed to get revenge against him, until she met the real man and respected his fight against injustice.
In the first Topps Comics miniseries, Lady Rawhide is in Yerbe Buena and observes a Russian man being chased by a group of Men who accuse him for killing a pregnant woman.
Lady Rawhide manages to save and protect the Russian from his aggressors but how did this man, Nikoai Antonov, get embroiled in all this trouble?
And this would lead Lady Rawhide to investigate.
The first issue is no doubt full of humor, as people question why she is wearing such attire and why is she wearing a costume?
Of course, the series no doubts try to capture the attention of those attracted to women wearing skimpy outfits, which was a big part of the ’90s. But despite the fan service, the storyline actually is quite captivating and action-packed.
Part of the problem of collecting “Lady Rawhide” back in the early ’90s was its price at $2.95, definitely making it one of the more expensive comic books at that time (especially for an issue that was not a special or annual issue).
With the saturation of the market of having the big two comic book publishers and getting close to nearly a dozen independent comic book publishers, unfortunately despite enjoying the series and other titles, and as a college student living on a strict budget, “Lady Rawhide” had to be cut out of my comic book purchases. But fortunately, was able to come back to it thanks to online auctions over two decades later.