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.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: DC had an ongoing comic that simply repackaged old TV tie-in comics.
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.
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the Gillis stories (from 5-6 years earlier), retitled the characters, changed their hair colors, and switched out any outdated references, and ta da….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)….
became THIS comic (Windy and Willy #1)…
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.
Here is the 1971 cover…
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.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Superman once got into trouble for spilling American nuclear secrets.
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!