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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #7!

This is the seventh 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 six.

Let’s begin!



COMIC URBAN LEGEND: DC had an ongoing comic that simply repackaged old TV tie-in comics.

STATUS: True

In 1969, in the 81st issue of Showcase, DC tried out a new pair of teen characters, Windy and Willy, who were two hippy friends.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

The first story was titled “The Haunted Hippie.”

The story was popular enough to launch a Windy and Willy ongoing title, which only last four issues.

However, the really interesting thing about Windy and Willy is that they were really Dobie Gillis and Maynerd G. Krebs!!

Ya see, DC once put out a tie-in comic based on the TV series, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

Well, years later (while DC was in the midst of still trying to compete with Archie for the, well, Archie demographic), DC dusted off the Gillis stories (from 5-6 years earlier), retitled the characters, changed their hair colors, and switched out any outdated references, and ta da….

This comic (Dobie Gillis #18)….

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

became THIS comic (Windy and Willy #1)…

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Luckily, Bob Oksner drew the first series and was still available to do the retouches.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: The woman on the cover of House of Secrets #92 (Swamp Thing’s first appearance) is Louise Simonson.

STATUS: True

Here is the 1971 cover…

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I cannot do it any better than he can, so I will let artist Bernie Wrightson explain (courtesy of this excellent interview:

I recall Len offered me the ‘Swamp Thing’ short story to draw that night. The deadline was really tight and I remember doing most of the work on a weekend. I had help from Kaluta, Jeff, Weiss and Louise. I remember that to save time we photographed the whole thing. The bad guy is Kaluta who could make himself look really oily. I parted his hair in the middle and he had this great moustache. Of course, I was the hero because the girl was Louise Jones, Jeff’s wife, who I had a crush on and I got to put my arm around her.

Cool, huh?

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Superman once got into trouble for spilling American nuclear secrets.

STATUS: False

Alvin Schwartz wrote Superman stories in the 1940s and 1950s, including the daily comic strips at one point.

In one story, Superman fought Professor Duske, who had a cyclotron (one of the earliest types of particle accelerators).

According to the Amazing World of DC Comics #16, the United States War Department was alarmed by this story, and in a letter from the War Department to the District Engineer at the United States Engineer Office in Tennessee, expressed their concern.

They were not, as some people feared, upset about the level of detail the books went into, but rather, the fact that having a cyclotron appear in a comic book would cause the public to take the device less seriously, and the government wanted its citizens to have a healthy amount of fear about the nuclear devices the government used.

So no, Superman was never a Benedict Arnold!

That’s it for this week!

Feel free to tell me some urban legends you have heard, and I will try to confirm or deny them!


3 Comments

Wow, Weezie was HOT back in the day …

DC did cooperate with the wartime censors about atomic power. See:

http://www.supermanhomepage.com/comics/comics.php?topic=articles/supes-war

[quote]

“Battle of the Atoms” was originally going to appear in late 1944, but finally appeared in Superman #38 (January-February 1946) and featured a classic battle with Luthor save for the fact that Luthor’s new weapon was an “Atomic Bomb”. Since the Manhattan project, which gave rise to the first two American nuclear weapons, was in full swing in 1944, the Defense Department wanted nothing tipping off the Germans that America was even considering work on an atomic bomb, not even from a comic book. While the weapon used by Luthor looked nothing like the actual weapon, and was not anywhere near as destructive as the real bomb, government agents came to DC’s offices and demanded that the story not be printed until official clearance was given, citing the need for a unified national defense. Obviously, the people at DC were confused, realizing that they must have come up with something more than their normal fantastic story.

Following that, another story, “Crime Paradise”, was also censored and delayed. It ultimately appeared in 1946 in Action Comics #101 and told the story of Superman covering an atom bomb test, actually filming it for the Army. It featured a great cover by Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye showing an explosion with the now familiar “mushroom cloud”. [/quote]

“Battle of The Atoms” was reprinted in SUPERMAN, V1 #243.

Kevin

So if the first Swamp Thing story was drawn from photographs, then the obvious question is — who (or what) posed for Swamp Thing himself??? Pickman’s model?

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