1960’s Rawhide Kid #17 (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers) was the first issue of a revival of an Atlas series from a few years earlier, reworking the main character’s origin. It involves his uncle Ben being murdered. Lee really did like certain names and plots.
Gil Kane once cited this cover to MIGHTY MARVEL WESTERN as his favorite of all the covers he’d ever drawn. And despite the copy- and trade dress-heavy upper half, it’s easy to see why. It’s an intriguing angle to take, the reflection of the gunslinger who has the drop on Rawhide in the pool of water is a novel approach, and the guns pointed at Rawhide’s head direct the eye perfectly towards the center of the image like arrows.
The three-act pod format would work really well for a theme like this.
This is how I’d structure it (assume the team was sent through time at the end of the previous season. Also assume Yo-Yo and Robbie were upgraded to series regulars):
Pod 1, Old West: The gang lands somewhere in the 1800s and team up with Marvel’s Wild West characters, like Rawhide Kid, the Phantom Rider, and the Two-Gun Kid. Imagine Robbie Reyes teaming up with the Phantom Rider and the two of them racing across the desert, Robbie in his Hell Charger and Carter Slade with his Hell Horse.
Anyways, Fitz and Simmons attempt to fix the time machine while the rest of the group protects them from a gang of cowboys, who believe that they are devil worshipers…which is not too far off from the truth because of Ghost Rider.
Pod 2, mix between 2099 and present day: Fitz and Simmonsmanage to repair the time machine but half of the group gets sent too far in the future. Let’s say Fitz, Daisy, Mack, and May are stuck in present day while Simmons, Robbie, Coulson, and Yo-Yo are sent to the far future. Also, the Two-Gun Kid decides to follow SHIELD and ends up with the present day group.
2099 is a dystopian world, ruled by the rogue time traveler who is responsible for the disturbances in time. The rogue time traveler is also the main antagonist of the season. While trying to find a way back in time, the group teams up with Miguel O’Hara (Spider-Man 2099), a very old but still alive Daisy Johnson, and a SHIELD agent who is later revealed to be Fitz’s grand-daughter.
Since the writers love fucking with Fitzsimmons, it’s revealed that Fitz moved on at some point in the 2030s and got married to someone else. Imagine the angst potential here, with Simmons having to talk to Fitz’s granddaughter.
Pod 3, 1955: Both groups reconnect in 1955, the year where the rogue time traveler came from. The Two-Gun Kid and Miguel O’Hara follows SHIELD into the past.
While in the past, SHIELD teams up with Agent Carter and her team. This is a way to provide a solid ending to Agent Carter.
Anyways, the season ends with the rogue time traveler’s defeat. The Two-Gun Kid and Miguel O’Hara stay in the present day since the time machine was destroyed in the final battle with the time traveler. Also, Coulson finds an old, never-before-seen picture from Agent Carter’s collection, which is of her and Coulson’s team together.
As one final cliffhanger to end the season, SHIELD recruits a new agent, who is revealed to be a Black Widow agent who was raised in the Red Room alongside Natasha Romanoff. We then learn that the Black Widow agent was Fitz’s wife from the aborted timeline (let’s say the granddaughter revealed the name of her grandmother in the 2099 arc).
That’s the arc for next season; BLACK WIDOW
(EDIT: Completely forgot that Black Widow agents are sterilized. Let’s just say Fitz and the Black Widow agent adopted and Fitz’s granddaughter just got used to saying grandma).
A lot has happened in today’s brief hours already but I just remembered that this morning I found out I’ve been wrong all these years, thinking the Rawhide Kid miniseries that established him as gay came out in 2004, when in fact it was announced in 2002, a scant few months after Fantastic Four featured a plotline where Johnny plays him in a movie and anyway.