Billy the Kid: The Outlaw as Lone Hero, 1952–1958
The trope of the lone hero is so entrenched by the 1950s that Billy the Kid regularly, and quite simply, is turned into a hero in three different versions—in the American Toby/Minoan series (1950–), Charlton comics (1957–), and the British comic The Sun (1952–). Although this is achieved in slightly different ways (e.g. he may be mistakenly believed to be an outlaw but is in reality a vigilante with his own code of honor), there is a remarkably similar trope where as a lone figure, partially outside society, he can right wrongs, often without any clear reward or approbation. Several key stories establish to what extent the reputation as an outlaw increases Bonney’s isolation and his relation to violence.