The Man with No Name gets a title
By Gavin Ford
With the Lone Ranger series proving that a once-popular character and genre done right can still be viable in today's marketplace, Dynamite Entertainment has obtained two other properties that are sure to appeal to fans of the Old West. The first is Zorro, who will be covered in more detail at a later date. But it is the announcement of the second title that has caused the most fervor on Web sites throughout the comics' community.
When Dynamite first reported on their acquisition of the Zorro license, they cryptically referred to another title chronicling the adventures of an iconic western character from the silver screen. The Internet was abuzz with speculation as to whom it would be, and to the fans credit, most guesses were accurate. The official announcement finally came. The Man with No Name, made famous by Clint Eastwood in a trilogy of Sergio Leone movies, will star for the very first time in a comic book bearing his, uh... no name.
The Man with No Name first burst onto the scene in a 1964 "spaghetti western" entitled "Per Un Pugno Di Dollari." But it wasn't until the domestic release in 1967, under the title of "A Fistful of Dollars," that American audiences first embraced the character. The concept of the stoic, American gunslinger was forever changed.
Next seen in "For A Few Dollars More" and then "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," the cigar smoking, poncho wearing, and slightly amoral anti-hero stood in stark contrast to his other movie counterparts of the time.
Now, 40 years after his first American appearance, the character that has served as a template to comics' creations ranging from DC's Jonah Hex to Marvel's Wolverine winds up on the four-color page himself.
Writer Christos Gage promises that all stories will remain true to Eastwood's original portrayal and that no stunt casting of true-life historical characters will be involved. Origins and past information, at least initially, will also remain suitably vague. Stories will take place during and after the Civil War and MGM has final say on all material produced.
The artist for the series has yet to be determined, but fans shouldn't worry too much. Since their inception a few years back, Dynamite has produced some of the highest quality books featuring licensed characters and properties.
"The Man with No Name" is tentatively scheduled for release in November or December of this year. Check your local comics' shop and this column for further updates.