Real Name: Smithers (first name unrevealed ("Skinny" was likely a nickname)

Identity/Class: Human (Old West era)

Occupation: Rodeo performer

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Unidentified owlhoot

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "The Greatest Gunman Since Annie Oakley" (as billed on poster) (see comments)

Base of Operations:  Mobile

First Appearance: Two-Gun Kid I#61/4 (January, 1963)

Powers/Abilities: Armed with a single six-shooter pistol, the slender Skinny Smithers was an expert marksman and sharpshooter.  Despite his slight build and appearing to have little skill in fighting, he seemed unafraid to take on a larger and stronger opponent in a physical confrontation, and he only resorted to using his gun when openly challenged.  Smithers wore eyeglasses to correct a visual impairment--perhaps he was nearsighted (and he may have had another impairment (see comments)).

Height: 5' 8" (by approximation)
Weight: 140 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unknown
Hair: Blond

History (Two-Gun Kid I#61/4 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Skinny Smithers is unknown, but he used his skills as a gunman to become a rodeo performer.  While in between performances, Skinny rode into a town near the rodeo, and went into a saloon.

(Two-Gun Kid I#61/4) - Smithers was sitting in the saloon, leaning his chair against the wall, just relaxing and dozing.  But trouble came Skinny's way when a big owlhoot came bursting into the establishment, causing much fear and trepidation amongst the saloon patrons.  The big man noticed Skinny and came lumbering over, then the ornery owlhoot kicked the chair out from under him, and Skinny fell to the floor.  Skinny angrily shook his fist at the giant, but the big man cruelly smiled and backhanded Skinny when he stood up, knocking him against the wall.  Skinny got up and threw a punch at the big man, to no effect, and the owlhoot punched him to the floor.  Undeterred, Skinny got back on his feet, a look of seething rage on his face.  The owlhoot pointed to his own gun, challenging Skinny to a gunfight.  As the two faced each other eye-to-eye, sizing each other up, Skinny realized he had no choice but to accept the big man's challenge for a showdown (Cuz a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do).  Then just as the owlhoot pulled one of his guns, Skinny shot it out of his right hand.  Shocked, the big man immediately tried to draw his other pistol, and Skinny shot it out of his left hand.  The humbled owlhoot stooped on the floor, cradling his left arm, a look of stunned disbelief on his face, while Skinny merely put on his hat and walked out of the saloon.

Skinny climbed on his horse and lit a cigarette, and as he rode out of town, he passed a poster advertising his appearance at the rodeo.  

Comments: Created by Stan Lee (scripter (see comments) and Dick Ayers (artist)

This 5-page story--And Not a Word Was Spoken!--was a "silent" story, and completely told visually--other than the story title and a short editorial caption explaining that it was "a tale told in silence" on the first page, and the words on the poster and "THE END" on the last page, there were no other words in it (no word-balloons or thought-balloons, no captions, and no "sound-effects"), yet on the first page, Stan Lee was credited as "scripter"; the reason that this story was done the way it was (other than Stan (or the letterers) being too busy while it was in production)  was probably to illustrate an aspect of the "Marvel Method" of doing comics.  To quote a passage from page 50 of the book "Marvel Comics: The Untold Story" by Sean Howe (2012):

The "Marvel method," as it would come to be known, required that the artists could break down a basic plot into a finely paced, visually clear story over which Lee would write his dialogue.  He wanted the panels to function like silent movies, to minimize the need for verbal exposition.  Ideally, the artists would also contribute their own narrative ideas--characters, subplots--to the stories, just as Kirby and Ditko did.

Just a thought--Since this was a silent story, maybe Skinny was actually deaf, and the story was told from his perspective.

I can think of the perfect foe for Skinny -- the boomerang-throwing Australian Fat Man.

In regards to this story's mention of Annie Oakley: Timely/Atlas did do an Annie Oakley series (#1-4 in 1948, and #5-11 in 1955-6).

That unidentified owlhoot reminds me of Hulk Hogan, an enemy of the "original" Two-Gun Kid, singing cowboy Clay Harder (@ Two-Gun Kid I#1-59).  In the first appearance of the "new" Two-Gun Kid, lawyer Matt Hawk (@ Two-Gun Kid I#60), Hawk revealed that he took his alter-ego's sobriquet from a fictitious gun-fighter he'd read about in dime novels; thus all the previous issues of the "original" Two-Gun Kid were pretty much rendered "imaginary".  Now if Clay Harder was only a fictional character, then by extension, we can assume that Hulk Hogan was as well.  So I had a thought: Maybe the writer of Harder's adventures happened to be present in this particular saloon on the day Skinny fought that owlhoot, and that writer then based his story of the Harder/Hogan confrontation on this incident, so maybe this big owlhoot was the inspiration for Hulk Hogan.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

Skinny Smithers has no known connections to:

The unidentified owlhoot has no known connections to:

Unidentified owlhoot

A mountain of a man (I pity the horse he rode!), this hard-drinkin' hombre was armed with a pair of six-shooters.  He burst into the town's saloon, ready to raise a ruckus.  Pounding his fist on the bar, he demanded a drink; but when he saw the bartender pouring into a shot-glass, he pushed the bartender aside as he grabbed the bottle of redeye, then proceeded to drink it all with one swig.  After throwing the empty bottle against the wall, the big man menacingly drew out his gun and spun it around his finger, intimidating the other saloon patrons and causing them to scatter in fear  But then he noticed a scrawny man dozing on a chair, so he plodded over and kicked the seat out from under him, knocking the thin man to the floor.  After punching the scrawny man a few times, the big man pointed down to his pistol and challenged him to a gunfight.  But when the two faced each other for a showdown, this ornery owlhoot found himself bested by the slender man when he had both his pistols shot out of his hands.

As the humbled big galoot stooped on the floor, cradling his injured left arm, the slender man put on his hat, walked out of the saloon, and rode off; possibly the big man never knew that he made the mistake of challenging... Skinny Smithers, the greatest gunman since Annie Oakley!

--Two-Gun Kid I#61/4

images: (without ads)
Two-Gun Kid I#61/4, p4, pan6 (main image, enraged Skinny Smithers stands up after getting punched)
Two-Gun Kid I#61/4, p5, pan2 (head shot, Skinny Smithers)
Two-Gun Kid I#61/4, p4, pan4 (Skinny throws punch at unidentified owlhoot)
Two-Gun Kid I#61/4, p5, pan7 (Skinny passes rodeo poster as he rides out of town)
Two-Gun Kid I#61/4, p2, pan5 (unidentified owlhoot about to drink bottle of redeye)
Two-Gun Kid I#61/4, p5, pan1 (Skinny Smithers faces unidentified owlhoot)
Two-Gun Kid I#61/4, p5, pan4 (unidentified owlhoot's gun shot out of his hand by Skinny Smithers)

Two-Gun Kid I#61/4 (January, 1963) - Stan Lee (scripter/editor), Dick Ayers (artist) 

Last updated: 04/20/16

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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