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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #14!

This is the fourteenth 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 thirteen.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Destiny and Mystique were intended to be Nightcrawler’s parents.

STATUS: Essentially True

Hisham Zubi wanted me to address this, so here it is!

In X-Men Unlimited #4, in 1994, it was revealed that Nightcrawler’s mother was the former member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Mystique.

However, this was not always supposed to be the case. Mystique WAS supposed to be one of his parents, but NOT his mother.

Here is John Byrne, on the issue:

As originally created, Kurt was the son of gypsies who worked for a circus in Germany. That’s it. That’s all.

Then Chris decided Kurt’s mother was Destiny — and his father was Mystique. That also went the way of ALL FLASH.

Now? Who the **** knows?

So yes, apparently, at ONE point in time, Mystique was supposed to be Nightcrawler’s FATHER!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Marvel Comics licenses the use of the name “Hulk” to Hulk Hogan.

STATUS: False, now.

Reader Marc asked whether Hulk Hogan and/or WWE has to license the name “Hulk” from Marvel Comics.

The answer is no, not at the moment. In the past, however, it was a different story.

“The Incredible Hulk” Hogan made his debut for World Wrestling Federation in late 1979. The Incredible Hulk was, at the time, a fairly popular television program. WWF, never one to ask for permission first, did not confer with Marvel before debuting this new character. As you could imagine, Marvel did not take kindly to the idea of someone using their character’s name, and warned them to stop. However, Vince McMahon Sr. had a clever way of avoiding the problem. Rather than get caught up in litigation, he just struck up a deal with Marvel to license the name “Hulk” from Marvel for his new wrestler.

That was the arrangement Hulk Hogan went under for basically the rest of his career. When he went from one wrestling organization to another, the new organization would simply just take over the licensing agreement.

This followed until 1996, when Hogan “reinvented” himself as “Hollywood Hogan,” and at that point, Hogan tried (unsuccessfully) to extricate himself from the licensing agreement (presumably, Hogan and the wrestling organizations had deals where Hogan had to chip in on the fees).

This led to various legal entanglements until finally, in 2005, Hogan just flat out purchased the name “Hulk Hogan” from Marvel Comics outright. Now, whoever he wrestles for (WWE, at the moment) has to license the name from HIM.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: For almost a decade, there were born again Christian comics produced starring the Archie characters.


Comic great Al Hartley began his career in the 1940s, working for a number of companies, and enjoyed success in the 50s working for Marvel on such titles as Kid Colt, Two-Gun Kid, Gunsmoke Western and Rawhide Kid, and then, later on, in the 60s, he had great success with the Patsy Walker line of comics (Patsy was basically Marvel’s female version of Archie), but when the Patsy line of comics (at one point, she had FIVE titles!) closed shop, Al was out of regular work.

It was at this same time that Al became a born again Christian. Soon after, he began working for Archie comics, and became one of their most prolific creators. Ultimately, although Hartley managed to work mention of his Christian views into the comics often, he felt as though Archie comics could do even MORE good as a way to get Christian thought out there.

So Al asked Archie publisher, John Goldwater, if he would license the Archie characters to Spire Christian Comics to appear in religious-themed stories. Goldwater (who happened to be Jewish) was good friends with Hartley, and he agreed.

The first comic, Archie: One-Way, was published in 1973.


The comics continued on until 1982, producing 19 comics in total, and selling a good deal of copies.

As you can tell from the cover, the comics were basically the same as a regular Archie comic, except there would be overt references to born again Christian ideas, such as witnessing. Indeed, since the comics were not published by Archie, they were allowed to be slightly more graphic, if need be.

The publisher, Spire, was purchased by another company, named Barbour, which continued to publish the comics.

Archie eventually ceased the license.

Al Hartley passed away in 2003.

Well, that’s it for me this week!

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


To add more to the Hulk Hogan/Marvel story.

When Hogan started using Hulk Hogan in the 80’s they didn’t notice for the early 80’s anyhow. Once he and the WWF started to steamroll and became huge , Marvel stepped in. Of course Vince McMahon ( WWF owner ) did himself no favors in promos proclaiming ” He’s the Immortal HULK HOGAN ! ” or ” He’s the Incredible Hulk Hogan ” lol.

When Hogan went to WCW they too were forced to pay Marvel. So to get by that Eric Bischoff ( WCW VP ) would try and not use the word Hulk as much . Then in 1996 the NWO happened and for 2 to 3 years WCW simply called him ” Hollywood Hogan ” . The move freshened up Hogan’s career and saved them from paying some.

In funny news Hogan now has some overseas company saying they own the trademark to the name Hogan. But I doubt he’ll win since Terry Bolloa ( Hulk Hogan ) has used his name for 2 decades.

To add….sorry Brian didn’t notice the more detail you went into in that article…

Hogan left the WWF in 1980 and went to the AWA and came back to the WWF in 1983. I think it was Vince Jr which really pissed Marvel off when he’d call him ” The Incrtedible Hulk Hogan ” lol.

I find the whole Hogan thing funny. I do believe Hogan had to pay for using the name as you said. And that by doing ” Hollywood Hogan ” him and Eric Bischoff were trying to make a run around doing that.

As a young child on vacation and buying an Archie’s comic … and then getting a religious message … royally sucked.

When I was growing up in the south during the 70’s, those religious Archie comics were always on the racks in grocery stores. I remember going on vacation to Florida at one point in the early 80’s and seeing them in some gift shop as well. I can recall reading them in the store and just being floored even then at how bad the were.

The religious Archie comics were the worst! I remember one story had Archie receving a white sports car as a gift. Because Archie percieved it as being a gift from God, he felt it should only be driven on Sundays in order to praise God. Even at ten years of age I remember being offended by idea of God caring how often someone drives a stupid white sports car. Thank God Archie went back to his secular ways.

no more stupid dogs please!

greets from steve

I was at a Raleigh, NC comic signing at Capitol Comics in 1994 when Claremont was touring to promote his Star Trek graphic novel Debt of Honor. One of the comments he made was that Destiny and Mystique were intended to be Nightcrawler’s parents, but for editorial reasons, that concept was not allowed to be published. I’ve been telling that story for years, and I’m finally glad to see it backed up with a secondary source.

I’ll have to disagree about the Al Hartley Archies. I enjoyed them quite a lot when I read them…of course, I’m a Christian and that does make a difference. But I thought the sugar-coated Gospel stuff was fun, and they got me interested in Archie after too long a time, an interest which I continue today. They weren’t the same as the regular Archie books, but they weren’t intended to be. I thought Al did a pretty good job.

I own a couple of those Christian Archie comics. I bought them in a Christian book store, so I knew what to expect. Al Hartley also wrote and illustrated a book to teach manners to teenagers, from a Christian perspective. My dad used to read from it nightly to me and my then stepsister. The drawings looked like they were straight out of Archie comics. And while I enjoyed the issues I have I agree that God would not care how often Archie drove his car, even if God directly gifted it to him. In fact, I think God would be offended.

I love the story in one of the Spire Archies about Ethel, how she is so frustrated with herself but finds peace and purpose.

I wish they would have stuck with destiny and mystique being nightcrawlers parents. that’s a really cool idea. I am a big fan of mystique being nightcrawlers father, would have been very interesting, but I guess its just a little too ‘edgy’

Unless it was contradicted by Claremont himself, in his own comics during his initial run, I don’t consider it canon. Ergo, Nightcrawler’s lame hacky fanfic origin, Sinister’s lame hacky fanfic origin, etc etc, aren’t canon. I go by the much cooler ideas Claremont was going with.

But of course my Marvel Universe ends at X-Men #3. YMMV.

Just to add a footnote on Hogan’s dealings with Marvel, he was surely taking the mick when he did this

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