Gunsmoke Western #56 - Matt Baker art, Jack Kirby / Steve Ditko cover

Jack Kirby / Steve Ditko
Gunsmoke Western #56, 1960 - While it's always challenging to fit multiple features on a cover, Jack Kirby's division of space doesn't quite work. The meandering border dividing the two main characters makes little sense. Steve Ditko's inking enhances the pencils, but not enough to compensate. On the other hand, Matt Baker's tale seems better planned and well executed. A band of outlaws prepares an ambush for the much-feared Lightning Kid. The opening splash has a straightforward layout, but subsequent pages have varying and interesting perspectives. Other artists in this issue include Dick Ayers, Jack Keller, George Klein, Joe Maneely and Doug Wildey. This is number 4 of 4 Gunsmoke Western issues with Baker art and/or covers.
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Kirby cover pencils / Ditko inks = **
"The Fastest Gun" Baker story pencils and inks 5 pages = ***

Matt Baker
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