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Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #3!

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This is the third in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous two.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Al Milgrom was fired by Marvel after sneaking an insult to Bob Harras into a comic book.


Al Milgrom apparently was not a fan of former Marvel Editor-in-Chief, Bob Harras.

Milgrom was formerly a member of Marvel editorial, but had left to be a freelancer.

In the late 90s/early 00s, Milgrom had a deal with Marvel to do freelance inking for them.

In Auguest of 2000, Bob Harras was replaced as Editor in Chief of Marvel Comics by Joe Quesada.

A few months later, Universe X: Spidey was released, which was a one-shot story tied into the Earth X/Universe X/Paradise X trilogy by Jim Krueger and Alex Ross.

The story was drawn by Jackson Guice, with inks by John Stansici, Johm Romita Sr. and Al Milgrom.

At one point in the story, Al Milgrom snuck into the backround of a panel, along the spines of books on a bookshelf, the phrase, “Harras, ha ha, he’s gone! Good riddance to bad rubbish, he was a nasty S.O.B.”

Thanks to Credo for the following scan of the page in question.


In any event, this mistake was caught, but somehow STILL managed to end up in the issue, which Marvel pulped and then republished.

Milgrom’s freelance contract was terminated, although he is still (in theory) able to work for Marvel as a non-contract employee.

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[…] * Was Wonder Girl added to the Teen Titans by mistake? […]

It’s worth noting that Milgrom has worked at Marvel, since the incident, most notably a 12 issue stint as inker of Thanos, although there have been other projects.

He hasn’t been blacklisted or anything, which has become an urban legend on its own.

Yeah, I was actually considering doing that one, as well. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I noted that he could still work for Marvel in the piece, but yeah, it has become an urban legend of its own that he was outright fired, and not just fired from his staff job.

It’s fair to say, though, that “Len Wein denied it” doesn’t quite constitute debunking.

[…] In one of the very first installments of Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed, I talked about how Al Milgrom got into trouble at Marvel for sneaking an insult of exiting Editor-in-Chief, Bob Harras, into the background of a comic book that Milgrom was working on. […]

That’s a bit harsh with the Milgrom thing. Especially since during Harras’ tenure, I had the opportunity to visit Marvel’s offices. At the door of one editor was a huge picture of Jim Shooter with the headline “PORTRAIT OF A MADMAN.”

But I guess that was okay since it was done inside the Marvel offices only. :P

Actually, the second Swamp Thing (Alec Holland) had an origin much more similar to the Man-Thing than that of the original Swamp Thing (Alex Olsen). Remember, the HOS#92 Swamp Thing (Olsen) lived around the turn of the century in 1905, was not working for the government, and subjected to an explosion caused by a man who wanted his spouse, not his formula. Man-Thing, on the other hand, was a scientist hunted by AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics), a criminal group that wanted the results of his research. Just substitute the Conclave for AIM and you have the Alec Holland Swamp Thing.

Perhaps it is worth noting for younger readers that at the time the “*=things” were created, and the Heap was brought back to publication, there was a resurgence of horror comics due to a laxing of the comics code restrictions that banned depictions of the undead.
Suddenly Vampires and Werewolves and flaming skull-headed motorcyclists were all the rage, plus a few other less successful horror-character resurrections.

[…] know they were there unless someone pointed them out to you. Some are just cool little shoutouts, some have gotten people fired. Groo The Wanderer used to have a secret message in every issue, and back when I was a kid I used […]

In the second book from the top of the spine, you can read “Bob”, so the complete sentence is: “Bob Harras, ha ha, he’s gone! Good riddance to bad rubbish, he was a nasty S.O.B.”

if you look at the orgin(revamp)Alan Moore did in Swap Thing,it is awfully similar to Man-Thing’s as penned by Steve Gerber who by the way came up with the tag line Whoever knows Fear etc… I personaly care for Man-Thing.J/k I hate Alan Moore.Oh here is an example ST(Garden of Trees) MT(Nexus of all Reality) other little things like that are just plain lazy on dc’s part +one thing they do have in common all cinematic potrals of both charcters suck.Idea for a post Is Watchman overrated crap?

Considering that Watchmen changed comic book superheroes forever, I wouldn’t think to say that it is overrated. Things are overrated all the time because they really are that good and the people saying that things are overrated usually doesn’t like that thing.

[…] mistake of continuity (no, really, the original Wonder Girl was a mistake by Bob Haney. Long story. Brian Cronin explains it better.) that has since warped everything near her. But it isn’t good enough. There’s the […]

The Heap was predated by Theodore Sturgeon’s short story “It.”

[…] Milgrom was a prominent Marvel editor during the 1980s and apparently had his share of grief with colleague Bob Harras, who assumed editor-in-chief duties in 1995. When Harras got the ax in 2000, Milgrom took the opportunity to sneak some parting words into his inking for Universe X: Spidey. Observant readers noticed one background bookshelf contained a secret message disguised as book titles: […]

In any event, in mid-1964, he teamed up the sidekicks of three major superheroes in The Brave and the Bold #54, which starred Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad.

The pairing was quite popular

Not to nitpick but that’s a trio not a pairing.

[…] Collaborating with and meeting fellow masters of the industry, Mayerik landed a regular gig with the now-iconic (and certainly iconoclastic) Steve Gerber working on Marvel’s Man-Thing. Both Mayerik and Gerber saw the Man-Thing assignment as something of a challenge for the Distinguished Competition’s Swamp Thing series (both muck monsters premiered in 1971, though all parties involve swear it was a coincidence). […]

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