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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #27!

This is the twenty-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 twenty-six.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Firebreather was originally the son of Fin Fang Foom

STATUS: True

In an interview with Andrea Speed, Phil Hester (who just had a cool chat at Comic Book Resources, natch) talked about the plans HE had for a title that was to star, oddly enough, “Young Avengers,”

I don’t believe for a second anyone ripped us off. Our whole pitch was about AIM cloning super heroes (Captain America= Crusader, Wolverine=Foxclaw, Scarlet Witch=Mystere, She-Hulk=Dakota, The Thing=Bronze) in an attempt to study their weaknesses, etc. AIM even went so far as to dupe them into forming a super group so they could analyze the group dynamics. Of course, the kids get away and fight back. I think it probably has more in common, at least in tone, with Runaways.

Marvel was hot for it, but pulled the plug for some reason. At least Kuhn and I took one of the villains we developed, a teen aged son of Fin Fang Foom and redeveloped it as Firebreather, which we just optioned to Paramount. So all’s well!

All’s well, indeed! I thought Firebreather was a fun book.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Devin Grayson named herself after Dick Grayson.

Writer of Nightwing (starring Dick GRAYSON), Devin Grayson has never hid her admiration for the character of Dick Grayson. So upon hearing that her name (Devin Kallie Grayson) is NOT the name that she was born with, it is not surprising that people would presume that perhaps that her name came from the character that she has such a predisposition to.

Grayson, in an interview at Alvaro’s Comic Boards, set the record straight:

Devin Kalile Grayson is my real and legal name. It’s what’s on my driver’s license, passport, social security, etc. I’ve never written under a pseudonym. I was born with a different name, but had it legally changed in my early twenties – well before I was working in comics or even thinking about such – in response to sexual abuse issues in my childhood that made me feel like I needed to distance myself from my past a little bit psychologically. I told this to Wizard magazine when they interviewed me for the very first time something like seven years ago and said they could run that as part of the story as long as they were willing to include some phone numbers for national sexual abuse hotlines, but they didn’t want the piece to be a “downer.”

I guess someone got the rumor into circulation without the context, and that actually has been a little painful for me, just since the whole idea was to move on from that part of my life, and now I get constantly asked about it. Believe me, if I’d known I’d be writing Bat-books someday, I would have picked a different last name.

STATUS: False

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: John Byrne’s 2112 was initially designed as a launch of Marvel 2099.

STATUS: True

Over on his forums, John Byrne described the situation as it unfolded as thus:

In 1990, Stan Lee contacted me and asked me if I would like the be “editor-in-chief” of a whole new line he was going to create at Marvel — a line which would be set in Marvel’s future, unconnected to the Marvel Universe as we knew it. As it happened, I had been giving some thought to a “Futureverse” of my own, and, being flattered by Stan’s offer, I suggested that what I had come up with (but at that time thought I had no place to develop) would fit the bill for his project. To this end I plotted (Stan was to script) and drew a 64 page “pilot”.

When Stan saw the pilot pages he asked for more specific MU references. I’d tried to keep the thing “clean”, so as not to turn the whole MU into a Superboy story, but Stan thought we SHOULD at least HINT at what had happened to some of the folk we knew from the present continuity. Fortunately, since my story was told in the 64 pages, this meant only adding some 12 additional pages and some bridging material to make them fit. Thus, when I took the project back it was, luckily, not a case of re-writing or re-drawing, but simply of removing pages I had not wanted in there in the first place. I’d taken a set of concepts, bent them slightly to fit Stan’s needs, and then had only to “unbend” them to get back to my own original material. Stuck with 64 pages and no thought of where to put ‘em — I did not want to offer the book to DC, since that seemed vaguely scabrous somehow — I mentioned my dilemma to Roger Stern, who suggested I give DarkHorse a call. I did. They accepted the proposal with open arms. I also pitched NEXT MEN, which had been floating in my brain for a while, and which they also liked. I then realized the tiniest bit of tweaking in the dialog would make my graphic novel — now titled 2112 — into a prequel/sequel pilot for JBNM.

Imagine how THAT would have turned out? We might have been saved from the ravages of Ravage 2099!!

Okay, folks, that’s it for this week!

Thanks for stopping by!

4 Comments

Hello Ms. Grayson,

This is an unabashed fan letter from a fellow woman writer. Your book Inheritance presents both Batman and Nightwing in a depth of persoonality, action, and physical linked with intellectual power that has me reading the book for a second time and going over the Dyamnic Duo sections a third time. Batman is indeed the wraith. He is meancing and powerful and the price he pays for his persona is to harm the soul of Dick Grayson. Does Bruce know he is doing this?

Please write the next Batman move script and by all hazards, keep up the comic book writing. I am eager to read your next novel.

Please go to my web site at http://www.kgbooth.com and read about my novel, Cover Fire. I taught male youth offenders for 15 years. There was no written material to reach their soul that had been blasted by crime and abuse. I used the Combat! TV eposides, but that was not enough. They needed to read of men who had suffered as they had, who had been sexually abused and KNEW how they felt deep down where no one could see.

That was why I took five years to write Cover Fire. The novel is set in World War II France where a lieutenant and his squad must come to grips with their worst fears to save the sanity of the sergeant who has been driven mad at the hands of the Gestapo. My boys found action, suspence and men they could relate to. What they also founds was that they possessed a knowlege that came from their abuse. They discovered this insight into life was valuable. They alone had the power to come to grips with the unthinkable, not only in themselves but for the sake of other.

Karon Booth

I liked Ravage 2099!

A long time ago, prior to her entrance into comics, I knew Devin Grayson. I got to know her just as she was going through the process of changing her name. I won’t give out her real birth name, but I will say that she chose the name ‘Devin Grayson’ directly because of the character Dick Grayson. She had just discovered the character in comics and on the Batman Adventures and fell in love with him. She then threw herself into writing fan-fiction all about Dick Grayson. In fact, by sending such stories to DC, she developed the connections that would eventually lead to her writing for DC. Her answer above tries to make it sound as if she chose the name without knowing about Dick Grayson. That is false.

Yeah if you read her answer she explains the reasoning behind the name change but says nothing about the inspiration. Not sure that legend was debunked. It cetainly wasn’t in the quote selected.

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