How did a (then) all-new story about Hawkeye and the Two-Gun Kid end up in the back of the 100th issue of the reprint comic Marvel Tales?
I had no idea why “Killers of a Purple Rage” ended up there … at least not until the editor of the book at the time, Roger Stern, explained it all on his message board:
Back around 1976, Marvel editorial started commissioning a number of short back-up-sized stories — partly to audition new talent and partly to help ease some deadline crunches. Scott, Mike (Nasser), and Terry (Austin) had produced that Hawkeye and Two-Gun story and it was sitting on the shelf, when the decision came down in 1978 to make MARVEL TALES #100 a double-sized issue. I had more or less in been charge of the reprint line when I first came to work at Marvel, and at that time I was still overseeing MARVEL TALES.
Anyway, I decided to plug the story in there, before it became too dated. Plus, I really liked the idea of publishing a new story in what was otherwise a reprint comic. I remember it as being a nice little story, and placing it there helped make the hundredth issue of MARVEL TALES something special.
Thanks for shepherding it into print, Sterno!
And if you’d like a peek at the sstory, check out Diversions of the Groovy Kind.