Monday, June 13, 2011

Handkerchief Code & Marvel's Gay Cowboys

In a past post I pointed out that not only is the Rawhide Kid gay in the current incarnation, but if you look closely at the old ones he pretty much rode that trail in the 70’s, too.  If you read the old Marvel westerns, you notice that almost every one of the Marvel cowboys wears a bandana.  They all stick to a single color bandana, and they always wear it on the same side.  Ever hear of something called the Hanky Code?  The Code is a way that gay men communicate their sexual proclivities, with color advertising what you like to do and which pocket you wear it letting folks know if you are a top (left side) or a bottom (right side).  Legend has it that the Code goes back to ‘49ers in San Francisco, a time and place where women were scarce and men did manly things with other manly men.  It came back around in the 70’s, when Marvel was still cranking out cowboy comics.  Coincidence?  I think not.  So how did Marvel’s cowboys swing?

It seems that gay cowboys are riding all over the Marvel Wild West. The Rawhide Kid wears a light blue bandana which hangs to the left, so he is an oral top.  Both the Two Gun Kid and Caleb Hammer wear red bandanas, which apparently means there is some fisting going on when these two traildust crimefighters meet up, and Hammer is the one walking away funny. They probably regularly meet up with the Outlaw Kid, who wears his red bandana around his face, which I’m guessing means he’ll play both sides of the field. With his blue bandana, Kid Colt seems to have a uniform fetish, fitting for a cowpoke on the run from authority.  Kid Cassidy's white bandana shows he is interested in safe sex only (or whatever the 1870's equivalent is); his partner Reno Jones, alas, has no bandana, so he may be the only straight one riding the owlhoot trail.  

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