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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #25!

This is the twenty-fifth 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 twenty-four.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: DC was forced to change La Renard Rouge (“The Red Fox”)’s name to “Crimson Fox.”


Courtesy of my fellow blogmate, Marionette, I offer up the following:

Ever wonder why JLE translated La Renard Rouge (the Red Fox) as the Crimson Fox even though there is nothing crimson about her, and even the french name is altered to become La Renard Rousse (I forget what rousse means but it’s not crimson, either)?

When the character first appeared there was already a british b/w indie comic book that was doing quite modest sales in the USA for the time (though by today’s standards it would be selling better than some DC comics) called Redfox. When La Renard Rouge first appeared, one of the characters identified her as The Red Fox and they guys who did Redfox were concerned about copyright issues since they’d already had one character blatantly hijacked by Marvel when a thinly disguised Demon Queen appeared in Alpha Flight under the name of Dream Queen.

Anyhow, on this occasion they had some inside help, being close friends with Neil Gaiman (who wrote the intro for the first Redfox collection as well as a 4 page story in Redfox #21), and he went and had a quiet chat with the editor of JLE. Result: La Renard Rouge is forever after mistranslated and nobody says why.

Pays to have friends in high places, eh?

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Grant Morrison’s script for BULLETEER didn’t actually request that level of cheesecake, and certainly didn’t ask for the lead character to spend most of the issue in her underwear.

The recent release of DC’s Bulleteer #1 has caused quite a bit of discussion (including right here at this very site) about the physical attributes of the heroine, as well as the fact that she spends a good time of the comic in her underwear.

I personally felt that Morrison was making a statement, but some folks thought that perhaps the situation also might have reflected itself in the art by artist Yanick Paquette.

To settle it, I had the question put to Paquette himself. According to Paquette (and verified by his studiomates), in the comic book, there was only one scene where Morrison did not specifically state that Alix Harrower was to be drawn in her underwear. Yanick did draw that scene with her in her underwear. Every other scene was specifically dictated in the plot by Morrison himself.

In addition, even if it had NOT, remember, Morrison specifically requested each artist himself, so by choosing Yanick Paquette to draw his comic, Morrison KNEW that cheesecake was going to occur in the comic.

So feel free to take issue with the level of cheesecake in Bulleteer #1.

Just spread the blame around.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: The film Hardware just took the movie’s story from a 2000 AD comic.


One of the big success stories in comics today is when a creator has his or her comic adapted for the screen. Even if the resulting film is not that good, it at least is a nice payday for creators who tend not to always work for the largest salaries.

However, that is the way that things work TODAY. It was not always like this for comic book creators. The idea of adapting a comic book was seen as weird as recently as fifteen years ago.

It was fifteen years ago that Ricard Stanley wrote and directed the surprise hit of the year, Hardware, which was about (for the sake of brevity) a killer robot that menaced a man’s girlfriend in their apartment. The movie, put together for under two million dollars, ended up making a good deal of cash.

The only sticking point is that pretty much the entire plot of the movie was lifted from one short story in 1981’s Judge Dredd Annual called “Shok.” I guess Stanley felt that comics did not actually count. A judge thought otherwise, and hereforth, writer Steve MacManus and artist Kevin O’Neill became “writers” of Hardware, and the resulting profits therein.

The oddest postscript was summed up by Stanley himself, “It’s weird the way things turn around; the 2000 A.D. people sued me, and then I was offered the Judge Dredd film.”

Only in Hollywood, eh?


Simon Boulianne

June 10, 2006 at 8:55 am

About the Crimson Fox, I remember sending a fan letter to DC about her French name. “La Renard Rouge” was not grammatically correct. It’s either “Le Renard Rouge” (masculine gender) or “La Renarde Rouge” (feminine gender). But there’s that color thing. In French, “Rouge” is rarely used when refering to hair or fur color. The animal called a red fox in English is a “Renard roux” in French (“Renarde rousse” for the feminine gender).

“Crimson” in French would be “Cramoisi”. Not the right color either…

“So feel free to take issue with the level of cheesecake in Bulleteer #1.

Just spread the blame around.”

Spread the blame? I just wanna know who to send the thank-you cards too.

Seriously, I grew up reading Legion-of Super-Heroes when Saturn Girl and Shadow Lass wore outfits that would get them arrested on public beaches. And they were supposed to be teenagers! So I just wasn’t bothered by how much time Alix spent in her undies at home.

On the subject of “Hardware” . . . The story “Shok” is modified heavily from the third part of a Richard Matheson-scripted movie, in which three horror stories are featured with actress Karen Black taking roles in all of them; The third part invlves Karen’s character being pursued in a house by an African fetish doll with murderous intent, and ends with Karen having destroye dthe doll, only to becoem possessed by its spirit. (It plays way better than that description)

Strangely enough (since this article was written over five years ago), I was recently (last year or so) made aware of “Hardware” because of a new DVD/Blu-Ray release, and a few horror magazines/sites I read recommending it. So I went and searched it out, bought a copy, but haven’t watched it yet. Now, when I do, I won’t be able to think of it as anything but a “2000 AD” adaptation.

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