The Man With No Name

I was cruising around and I saw this blurb that immediately caught my eye. Dynamite has gotten the licensing rights to MGM’s character “The Man With No Name.” That’s right. You heard me. I am totally psyched. The Man With No Name appeared in Sergio Leone’s unofficial trilogy of movies including A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).

I am an unabashed Clint Eastwood fan and The Man With No Name movies are my three all-time favorite Eastwood movies. Well, actually, they are tied with Eastwood’s other movies in High Plains Drifter (You have to love the scene where Eastwood has the town painted red and then changes the name of the town to “Hell” on the sign outside of town.), Pale Rider (The best scene is when Eastwood arrives in the town right as a small girl is reading from the Book of Revelations: “And behold a pale horse, and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.”), Outlaw Josey Wales and The Unforgiven. And those other movies deal with similar Man With No Name themed characters. Obviously, William Munny from The Unforgiven is most certainly meant to be The Man With No Name as an old bitter gunfighter.

At any rate, The Man With No Name is an absolute icon. This character served as the inspiration for ever anti-hero character in movies, TV and comic books ever since. Marvel’s Wolverine is a great example of a comic book character influenced by The Man With No Name. Just listen to Wolverine on the X-Men cartoon with his Clint Eastwood sounding voice.

The Man With No Name is the coolest enigmatic drifter who moves more like a spirit than a man across the Old West. Well, The Man With No Name will now be drifting his way through his own comic book. Christos Cage has been tapped as the writer for this new title. Cage is an excellent choice. Cage is a talented writer who has the proper knowledge, love and respect for this character.

With Cage handling the writing, I have few reservations about this title. I am worried about the caliber of artist that Dynamite is going to be able to bring to this title. And I’m also worried that Cage might make the fatal error of giving into the temptation of revealing too much back-story surrounding The Man With No Name.

However, it appears that Cage understands that this character works because we know nothing of his past. That this character works because we don’t know his thoughts. We only know The Man With No Name through his actions. Cage states in the interview with Newsarama that “you don’t get to see what he’s thinking. You see what he’s doing. You can infer or guess at The Man’s thoughts, but an air of mystery is part and parcel of who he is.” That is great to hear. Any inner monologue would go against the very essence of this character.

Yet, what I don’t like to hear is that Cage is kicking around the idea of doing a “Year One” type of origin story for the Man With No Name. I absolutely hate that idea. Leave the past alone. What happened with this character’s past is irrelevant. And the interviewer pretty much said what I was thinking “that Wolverine took so much from The Man throughout the years of stories being told with him, and now Wolverine can serve as a cautionary tale to The Man in some ways – large chunks of his origin are known which, arguably, do take away some of the mystery which made him cool.”

While Cage agreed to some degree with that argument, it was pretty clear that there is a good chance at some point that there may be a “Year One” style story in the works. Hopefully Cage resists that urge and leaves the past well enough alone.

At any rate, I am beyond excited that the Man With No Name is finally getting his own comic book. I dig Cage and I hope that Dynamite pairs him with a solid artist on this title. This comic book has plenty of potential to be one kick-ass read.